(Meta) Life Changingly Awesome Query Letter Part 5: Tiger Beat

Publish date:

(In order to allow you, the reader, to play along at home and fully
utilize the time-tested, mother-approved formula that make LCAQ's so,
so damn successful, I'm going to walk you through the steps I take
when crafting these timeless phenomenon's of top shelf journalism.)

(First: always find the name of the editor of the section you're pitching,
unless you know for a fact that they don't like you because you
accidentally got drunk at a writing conference and called them an
"ugly faced sellout", at which point it's probably better to stick to
the editor-in-chief)

Dear Editor-in-Chief Whose Name I Couldn't Find Online,

(The lede's got to hook them in right away and show off some of your
writing skillz. Sidenote: Don't make a habit of replacing s's with
Oh, Tiger Beat, sweet, sweet Tiger Beat, ye olde beacon of
puberty-past. How you must long to dramatize the alarming effects
that teen idols have on 13 year old girl psyches. How perfect your
pictures were for the collages girls used to give to their BFFs with
ransom-esque words like "Boy Krazy" and "Hottie" juxtaposed over
pictures of Justin Timberlake and that guy who played AC Slater. Do
you not pine for the pre-Facebook days when kids still read things
that weren't posted on their friends "walls"? Don't you wish you knew
what a "wall" was?

(Ok. Although this is sort of an advanced concept, I recommend that--
while displaying your intimate knowledge of the magazine you're
pitching-- you feel free to speculate philosophically about the
meaning of said magazine's name)
Well, fear not. Your magazine is
called Tiger Beat for a reason, although that reason isn't all that
clear to me. It is neither about Tigers nor about musical beats and
none of your reporters seem to have local ties to zoos, which--while
puzzling-- is unimportant. I think too many people overlook the
subtlety of a name like Tiger Beat. Perhaps you're giving a subtle
homage to Colin Farrell's American movie debut in "Tigerland", which
also had nothing to do with tigers but did have several hotties who'd
look above average on collages.

(Now that they know where you're coming from and what you know, drop
the full idea on them in a short, interesting paragraph. Be very specific and try
to identify where you will place it in the mag so that editors will feel like you
actually read the magazine and didn't just hear someone talking about it while browsing
Forever 21 in the mall.

Moving on, my idea is simple. I wish to spend an entire day participating in
various athletic/intellectual/social-emotional contests of the body/
mind/soul with Kevin Alexander Clark--the former teen heart throb
from School of Rock and a mutual bearer of the Kevin Alexander name/
stamp. Although the details are still "iffy", let's just say there
will be a Slip N' Slide off, a You've Got Served style dance off, and
some sort of left handed arm wrestling contest. I assume you have a
legal department in case sh*t gets real. The piece will consist of
several sections detailing these athletic feats coupled with the
Juiciest (random capitalization? So in right now!!) of details re: KAC's lady
friends, haircuts, and turbulent trip through puberty. And just because
I like you,if you give me 24 hours, I can probably deliver 3600 words
and several pull quotes from Raven Symone Pearman, gratis.
(Oooohhh. Here's a teaching point: Always use words that you understand.
For example, I didn't realize that gratis meant free, and now I've
potentially screwed myself out of my rent money for the month of

(Now that you've unleashed your idea it's time to throw down your credentials so
they know why you're the one who should be writing the article)

But maybe Sweet Tiger Beat, you still remain on the proverbial fence. Maybe you still
doubt that someone can penetrate the soul of a method actor like KAC.
Well to help assuage said fears, here are a two FAQ's about my life
as a professional writer to help get you all aboard the Kevin
Alexander writing train express.

1. In your estimation, how many articles have you, Kevin Alexander,
Answer: First of all, I never estimate. Never! I just know. And the
answer is roughly 70.

2. Why should you write this article? I don't think you've ever read
a Tiger Beat.
Answer: You don't have to "open" a Tiger Beat to know that they're
dropping the hottest celebrity journalism outside of Eastern Europe.
And to answer your first question, I have to believe that God and at
least one of my parents put me on this earth to do two things: 1. Get
arrested for "disturbing the peace" at a Third Eye Blind Concert and
2. Win Tiger Beat a National Magazine Award and--as the magistrate at
the Hartford Civil Court can attest-- I'm already halfway there.

(Now that you've wrapped your query in such a tightly constructed,
finely tuned package of words, it's time to bring it home. I
recommend a pithy little comment about how busy you are so they
realize you're the real thing and then some sort of pop culture
reference sign off incorporating the title of the magazine. Editors
LOVE this.)

Alright TG, I've got to be off. It seems Facebook has alerted me that
someone has both "poked" me and written on my wall and I need to
update my Myspace page to include a blazin' Justin Timberlake remix I
just encountered on the Internet 2.0. You know where to find me (Oh
yeah. Include your contact info at the bottom)
. I feel like I've
known you forever.

(Tiger) Beat it,

Kevin Alexander

Image placeholder title

For the Travel and Nature Writer: Keeping Your Mind Sharp and Words Insightful

Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares some insight for travel and nature writers, including how travel helps keep your mind sharp and words insightful, whether you're writing fiction, nonfiction, sports, politics, or something else entirely.


Olga Grushin: The No Man's Land Between Genres

Award-winning author Olga Grushin discusses what it meant to wade into a new genre and how she put her spin on the fairy tale retelling.

Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.


The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.


Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.