2007 Editorial Guidelines
Thank you for your interest in Continental, the inflight magazine of Continental Airlines.
Continental magazine is exclusively published by The Pohly Company and it conveys the
excitement of travel: the chance to experience new places or revisit familiar ones from a
fresh perspective, and to find inspiration and ideas. It offers a mix of quick-hit articles
and full-length feature stories, and in doing so provides a little something for every
Continental magazine serves up interesting and inspiring business stories from
some of the most senior level executives at the world’s leading companies, engaging and
entertaining looks at destinations around the world, fun stories on high-tech gadgets,
popular culture, style, and design, and practical insights about health and fitness,
education, real estate, money and investing, and management. Published monthly, the
magazine is offered free to all passengers on domestic and international Continental
Airlines, Continental Express, and affiliated flights. It has a monthly readership of
approximately 2 million.
Specifics for freelancers
Continental is geared toward frequent travelers, whether they’re traveling for business or
leisure. Our editorial structure follows. Please keep in mind that given the high demand
for writing the longer travel stories, those sections are the most competitive for
freelancers, and as such, are almost always assigned to writers who have written for us
before. Our business stories and shorter items are the best focus for a freelance writer
hoping to write for Continental for the first time. Please consult a recent issue of the
magazine or go to continental.com/magazine for content and style.
Continental’s editorial calendar is established in conjunction with the airline, and
while it changes throughout the year based on the changing realities of the airline, it is
fairly inflexible. We cover only topics that are listed on our current editorial calendar.
That said, some of the topics on the calendar are broad in scope and story ideas that fall
within that scope will be considered. Please keep this in mind when proposing stories for
Continental. To request a copy of the editorial calendar, please visit our web site at
The ―Go‖ section is our main Front of the Book section, made up of short one-page
stories (approximately 300–400 words each) and smaller items within departments such
as ―Go Explore,‖ ―Art on the Road,‖ ―Go Eat,‖ Go Drink,‖ ―Go In Style,‖ and ―Go
Gadgets.‖ Our Feature Well includes ―Idea Makers,‖ ―Been There,‖ ―Idea of the
Moment,‖ and ―The Guide.‖ The Back of the Book includes columns such as ―Fast
Break,‖ ―Fit to Travel,‖ ―Ideas at Work,‖ and ―Kiplinger’s Money Spot.‖
PLEASE NOTE: Not all sections are open to freelancers as they are either written by in-
house staff or on an ongoing, long-term basis by a particular writer. Do not query against
Go Gadgets, Go Drink, Fast Break, Ideas @ Work, or Kiplinger’s Money Spot. Instead,
we welcome queries against the following sections, which are open to freelancers:
Go Explore: We find an unexpected place within Continental’s world and explore why it
should remain ―undiscovered‖ no longer. Ideas may include — but are not limited to —
adventure travel, a conservancy, or a fun cruise.
Query on: A unique and timeless place to visit that’s off the beaten path
Art on the Road: A 250-word art or architecture story on a topic such as an art museum
worth traveling to, new or interesting architectural projects worth seeing, or a traveling
Query on: A destination and corresponding art/architectural event
Go Eat: A 350-word article about a chef and his/her restaurant in the city listed on the
calendar. We typically cover upscale but approachable restaurants. In addition, the
section also includes a ―5 to Try‖ sidebar (short mentions of five other intriguing
restaurants in the same city) and a very short sidebar (about 100–150 words) on three
great places to find a particular food (these places can be anywhere on the Continental
route map. For instance, we might cover three places to find fried clams, or three places
to find hot chocolate, etc.).
Query on: A chef and/or angle
Been There: Our signature travel narrative, this feature gives readers the opportunity to
explore worldwide destinations in depth. The main piece is approximately 2,000 words,
written almost always in a first-person travel narrative. We’re looking for something out
of the ordinary in which the writer, though his/her travel experience, voice, and detailed
knowledge conveys a true sense of place.
Stories needn’t be set in the city proper listed on the editorial calendar, but the city on the
calendar must be the logical airport into which readers would fly for the travel experience
in the story. For instance, a Vancouver story could be set in Victoria, B.C. A Boston story
could be set in Cape Cod, etc. This section will also include two service sidebars of about
300 words total, focusing on hotels, restaurants, etc. Please note: “Been There” is
typically assigned to writers who have previous experience writing for Continental.
Query on: Destination listed on the edit calendar
The Guide: We take a topic and package a monthly feature around it in the form of: The
Guide to.... The feature package will include an expert interview, a ―how to‖ component,
gear or knowledge needed to complete the activity, and boxes of interesting stats, tidbits,
Topic coverage here will rotate through three main activity themes: Explore, Advance,
Indulge. For instance, for Explore we’ll cover topics as diverse as: spelunking, national
parks, or the Houston Astros. In Indulge, we might cover vodka or diamonds. In
Advance, we might do The Brain Guide (tips on improving memory, information about
special herbs, facts about how the brain works, etc.).
Query on: Each query should note a topic expert who the writer will interview
Idea Makers: A section of profiles of people we admire, or people who inspire. ―Idea
Makers‖ typically covers people who fall into in one of three categories: Corporate,
Culture/Entertainment, and just plain Cool:
Corporate Idea Makers should be senior executives with the company listed
on the edit calendar, who have an interesting idea or approach about business.
Although we do often feature company CEOs, presidents, and division
presidents, we’re interested in any executive with an inspirational story or
idea. These profiles are between 550 and 700 words with a format of either a
traditional profile, a Q & A, or an In Their Own Words, in which the story is
written in the first person voice of the subject, as told to the writer.
Culture/Entertainment Idea Makers should be innovative people associated
with the organization listed on the edit calendar. These profiles are about 500
Cool Idea Makers should be people who inspire within the broader category
listed on the edit calendar. These profiles are about 450 words and contain a
short sidebar (approx. 100 words) about other notable people within the field.
Query on: Individuals that fit the company or type of person noted in the edit calendar
Idea of the Moment: In this regular feature, we explore the latest trends in healthcare,
education, and real estate. This 1,000-word story should be a straightforward consumer
service piece, with a short, actionable sidebar.
Query on: Topic listed on the edit calendar
Fit To Travel: This back-of-book section offers information and advice about how to
stay healthy and fit while visiting various Continental destinations. It is aimed principally
at business travelers and includes the following elements, which can be pitched
separately, with the exception of The Run and three alternate workouts, which must be
located in the same city:
The Run: An approximately 600-word column about a great running route
that’s fun and challenging, but also convenient for business travelers. Please
pitch a city and specific route.
Sidebar: Three alternate workout options (swimming, cycling, etc.) in the
same city as the run
Advice Column: A short column on a relevant and timely health or fitness
topic (e.g.: How to improve your endurance)
The Travel Marathon: A short sidebar on a marathon to start training for this
month. Writers should pitch a good marathon that’s roughly four months post-
publication date, and that makes for a good vacation, whether you’re going to
run it or watch it.
Products: Cool fitness-related stuff you can buy, including sports bags, sports
clothes, running shoes, watches, fitness monitors, etc.
Query on: Destination listed on the edit calendar or topic as described in bulleted items
The Greater Good: For the generation that co-opted the ―Think Global, Act Local‖
mantra, this 750-word column will feature ideas and inspiration for travelers looking to
make the world better, one act at a time.
Query on: Story angles that fall within the broad topic listed on the edit calendar
Payment: Fees vary based on difficulty of assignment and experience of the writer with
our publication. We pay 45 days from receipt of invoice.
Submissions and assignments: Because we work closely with our Continental Airlines
partner, and the editorial calendar is subject to change, we typically assign stories on a
quarterly basis. For 2007, we anticipate assigning January and February in late August/
early September. March–May issues likely will be assigned in October and November.
June–August issues likely will be assigned in January/February. September–November
issues likely will be assigned in the April/May time frame. If you are interested in a story
on our calendar, it is strongly encouraged that you pitch us close to the time frame for
which that subject is slated (i.e., 4–6 weeks prior to when that quarter’s issues are likely
to be assigned). In general, you can expect a reply from us within approximately four
weeks from the date of submission. Please do not follow up with a phone call to check
on the status of your query — this only adds to the volume of queries and slows
down the response time.
Querying: All editorial queries should be sent to email@example.com. Please
include your full addresses (both e-mail and physical) in the body of the e-mail. We
cannot be responsible for replying to e-mail queries that do not have this information.
Please send only one query per letter or e-mail. If you have more than one article
idea, please submit multiple letters or e-mails.
To request a copy of the editorial calendar, please visit our web site at
Please send hard copies of clips — avoid sending as Internet links or attachments. For
international writers, up to two attached clips with an e-mailed query is acceptable.
Do not send unsolicited manuscripts. We cannot take responsibility for the return of
unsolicited manuscripts. Please do not send originals and do not send photos.
If you want to query by standard mail, please send a letter describing your proposed
article, along with samples of published features and an SASE for response, to:
The Pohly Company
99 Bedford Street, Floor 5
Boston, MA 02111