How to Become a Contributing Editor. What is a contributing editor? A contributing editor is a freelancer who has a proven ability to attract readers and regularly contributes articles to a publication, but doesn't do any actual editing. Some possible benefits to being a contributing editor include your name in a magazine's masthead, a flattering pay check, free copies of the publication in which your article appears and sometimes even the opportunity to become a full-time writer. If you are a writer with a specialty, you could become a contributing editor.
The Old-Fashioned Way
Network at writer's conventions. Remember your business cards--it's a great place to make contacts.
Study the publication. The table of contents, the content itself and even the advertisers. This helps you hone in on the audience.
Read and follow in detail the contributor's guidelines. These can be found on the publication's website.
Fashion a creative and compelling (but brief--no more than two pages) query letter. It may be helpful, particularly for new writers, to include a one-page biography with the query letter, listing any personal or professional experiences and/or accomplishments.
Submit the query letter, bio, any clips you may have and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the editor. Do not bend or fold any of this information.
The New-Fashioned Way
Surf the Internet. There are many online ads for contributing editors. Some are even part-time or work-from-home. The possibilities are endless.
Keep an eye on websites such as hotjobs.yahoo.com. Employers advertise on these sites for writers on a myriad of topics, from health and business to finances and relationships.
Complete the online application. Be sure to follow the publication's application instructions implicitly.
Be sure to read the contributor's guidelines carefully, as some of the higher-end periodicals may not wish to be solicited. Such publications choose instead to seek out their contributing editors, so try to consistently write eye-catching, gripping material.