Monday, 30 September 2013

Is It A Man's World?

I was looking through the latest issue of Outdoor Photography magazine this week, and when I turned to the page listing all of the different contributors (and their head-and-shoulder photographs) my immediate thought was: “they’re all men.” Then I looked more closely and spotted that there was one woman in amongst the collection of 12 contributors.

The reason I mention this is because I was then amused to see on the readers’ letters page a question from a reader making the same observation, and asking the editor outright, why he preferred male contributors to female contributors.

The editor responded that he didn’t - that was just the way things worked out, mainly because he received more contributions from men than women. He ended his response by saying that he looked forward to receiving more contributions from female writer/photographers (so, if you’re reading this, are female and can take photos too, then there’s an opportunity for you!).

But the editor raises an intriguing point. If a magazine relies upon freelance submissions, the editor can only choose to publish from what he receives. And writers shouldn’t perceive that just because the subject matter is geared towards either a predominantly male or female readership, that you have to be of the same sex to write for it too. You don’t! Men can write for women’s magazines and women can write for men’s magazines. Indeed, some magazines like getting a different perspective on the subject matter.

So, don’t think because Woman’s Weekly is a women’s magazine, predominantly written by women, that you have to be a woman to write for it, or that because Esquire is a man’s magazine you have to be a man to write for it. You don’t. All you need is the right idea for that readership. And, thankfully, both male and female writers are capable of coming up with good ideas! So there’s nothing stopping you. Got that?

Good luck! 


  1. Exactly ... and you don't need to have been pregnant to write for a pregnancy magazine, or to drive to write for a car magazine ... and so on. I try to drum this point into students all the time, because if you think 'it's just not me' then it knocks out 90% of the writing market at a stroke ...

  2. I can vouch for the fact that editors are happy to publish work by female contributors in what are perceived to be male oriented publications. I have had three items in a military title recently and the editor's letter when the first was published actually exclaimed that in that edition there were more female than male contributors and he welcomed their contributions. I have two more pieces being published next month in a different military title and a railway magazine. I have no obvious links or indeed interest in either topic. I enjoy the challenge of writing for I see as "impossible" markets and with a bit of lateral thinking it is amazing how you can turn your own area of interest into something to suit.