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?