Do You Have to Write Stories to Be a Magazine Editor?

by Helen Holzer

Editors perform many functions at magazines. Depending on the size of the publication, an editor could specialize in certain skills, or may have to perform all editorial functions, including writing stories. Generally, the larger the magazine, the more specialized the editor’s role becomes. Editors must plan, read and revise stories by deadline. Editors also may write columns or stories as duties permit.

The Big Picture

Top editors at large publications such as executive editors and managing editors, usually handle more executive functions such as hiring and management, and do not do the day-to-day editing and writing. Assistant editors and copy editors are the backbone of the editorial staff for reading content, researching information and correcting errors.

The Smaller Picture

Editors at smaller publications may not only assign and edit stories, but they also plan sections, hire and mentor staff writers and freelancers, work with production, do page layout, assign and choose art, work closely with the publisher and write stories as needed.

About the Author

Helen Holzer is a veteran journalist who began writing in 1972 and has lived all over the country. She has written and edited on nearly every topic for major daily newspapers and other publications. She has also been a book reviewer and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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