What would you rather do – draft query letters or get writing assignments? Well, that’s a no-brainer. Every freelance writer would love to have a stable of editors who regularly call her up with assignments.

But where do editors — juggling limited budgets — find capable, competent writers willing to work on assignment?

Well, there’s no magic to it. You have to let them know you’re out there. I’ve found the easiest and most efficient way to meet editors is to send an e-mail letter of introduction.

But how else will all those wonderful editors learn of your terrific skills unless you tell them a bit about yourself.

This is the freelance writer’s version of a cold call. And it’s not something any of us like to do. But how else will all those wonderful editors learn of your terrific skills unless you tell them a bit about yourself.

Your intro letter doesn’t have to be long. In fact, editors prefer you keep it short and to the point.

Here’s one I sent recently:

Hello Editor’s first name (spelled correctly),

I’m a San Diego-based freelance writer and editor. I’ve been freelancing for nearly 20 years. My articles, essays and reviews have appeared in local, regional and national publications, both in print and online.

I am available to write on assignment for Your Terrific Magazine. I have attached three recent writing samples for your perusal. If you’d like to learn more about my writing, visit clairefadden.com.

I’m happy to answer any questions, send additional clips or discuss future assignments.

Thank you for the opportunity,


Truthfully, wouldn’t you rather be writing articles that will be published in an upcoming issue instead of creating queries that may never go anywhere? We all would.