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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact Empire?
Click here to email Empire staff members.

Do I need a degree in journalism to work for Empire?
Some magazines and newspapers place great stock in a journalism degree - Empire does not. Many of our staff did do a journalism degree, but other writers - including the editor - did not. However, a degree in journalism could prove useful, and we are unlikely to employ a writer who has not been educated to degree level.

Do I need work experience to work for Empire?
In short - yes. Even for our Junior Writer position it is unlikely we will hire anybody without relevant experience, preferably on a consumer magazine. Empire is the leading magazine in the film and DVD market, and that means we tend to sign players who have made an impression elsewhere first.

What about working for my college magazine?
Working for a college magazine is useful and can be an advantage but does not really amount to relevant work experience.

Would it help if I did an internship at Empire? I'll work for nothing!
Thanks for the offer - but we are a very small office and we've nowhere to put you. We don't run an internship programme as such, and our staff members are too busy to allow for formal work shadowing. We do sometimes take work experience people for one or two weeks and below are some guidelines for how to apply. However, it is important to remember that while work experience can give you a flavour of the office, you are a) unlikely to have any writing published in the magazine and b) very unlikely to be offered a permanent position.

Can't I just be one of your film reviewers?
The best way to break into the Empire family is indeed as a 'freelance contributor'. However, be warned: currently we are not actively seeking new reviewers and we receive more than a dozen unsolicited applications a day. Again, the best way to start reviewing for Empire is to already have a portfolio of published reviews - not least because it can take years to earn enough from reviewing for Empire to quit your day job. (New reviewers may do one review a month - that's perhaps £100.) Click here to email Empire staff members.

I sent three letters to the editor and never got a reply. Should I try email?
Well, first of all, don't send anything to the editor. Unless it is a permanent post, the editor is not involved in the day-to-day commissioning of freelance reviews, features or work experience. Learn the right names of the relevant people - they are printed here, along with phone numbers, on the Letters page each issue. As for letters or email, well, we suggest both. Hard copy is polite, but email is far more likely to get an immediate response. (Including an email address on a letter is NOT the same thing; hitting "Reply" is still more likely than a section editor firing off a new email.) A follow-up phone call should only take place after hard copy and at least one email.

Finally, do you have any general tips for budding magazine writers?
Yes - read each magazine you pitch to very closely. Know it backwards and tailor every idea to the relevant magazine. (Empire reviews should be written in the Empire style, they should never use the personal pronoun - "I think this etc.") It is always a good idea to say, "I think this would work well for your such-and-such section." Learn the right name of the relevant section editor and spell it correctly. Never use "Dear Sir/Madam." All those letters go straight into the bin. Don't just come up with a list of names for interview - be original. And be realistic - don't say, "Can I please write features for Empire?'" Start with local newspapers, teen mags, web sites - they are all more likely to take a chance on untested talent. And of course, keep trying - getting work for any magazine takes patience, a thick skin and a big dollop of good fortune. Or, as Roy Castle once said, dedication is what you need. Good luck!


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