Pitch Sessions | Editor Profiles
Friday, September 6th | 8:30am to 12:00pm
Please review all editor profiles before making your time slot selection.
David J. Ellis, Editor, The American Gardener magazine, published by the American Horticultural Society
David J. Ellis is director of communications for the American Horticultural Society (AHS), a 20,000-member national non-profit gardening organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. Since 1997 he has also been editor of AHS's award-winning bimonthly membership magazine, The American Gardener. During his tenure at the AHS, David has coordinated publication of more than 15 gardening books, most recently serving as one of the lead editors for The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques (Mitchell Beazley, 2019) and project director for Homegrown Harvest (Mitchell Beazley, 2010). He has been a guest on several radio programs, including National Public Radio’s “Science Friday,” and NPR's "Kojo Nnamdi Show", and regularly serves as a panelist with other garden communicators and journalists at national events. An active member of GardenComm since 1998, David was named one of the organization’s Fellows in 2008.
For our publication, we seek feature articles such as profiles of individual plant groups; innovative approaches to garden design; profiles of prominent horticulturists whose work has a national impact; plant conservation, biodiversity, and heirloom gardening; articles on people-plant relationships (horticultural therapy, wellness, and community gardening); environmentally appropriate gardening (choosing plants suited to one’s region, using native plants, conserving water, etc.). Also seeking articles that describe and show how to construct simple garden features such as ponds or paths, or illustrate useful gardening techniques such as grafting, pollarding, or propagation. We focus on environmentally responsible gardening practices, including minimizing use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, preventing illegal collection of plants from the wild, and avoiding plants with the potential to escape and damage natural ecosystems.
Tom Fischer, Senior Acquiring Editor, Timber Press
The mission of Timber Press is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. We are based in Portland, Oregon and part of the Workman Publishing family of imprints. You can learn more about our books at timberpress.com.
Horticulture has been at the core of our book list for the past 43 years. We are always seeking new and innovative ways to present trusted, how-to information to gardeners of all levels. We are also looking for books that inspire readers to engage with the natural world beyond their gardens. Recently published topics include birdwatching, pollinator protection, foraging, hiking, popular science, explorations of the landscapes that inspired beloved books, and more.
Tom Fisher is a senior acquiring editor at Timber Press with deep connections to the gardening world. He has been with the company for 15 years, and previously was the editor of Horticulture magazine. Though Timber is a book publisher, Tom will be happy to speak with garden communicators of every stripe.
Susan Applegate Hurst, Editor, Country Gardens, Meredith SIM Garden Publications, and Better Homes & Gardens magazine
I produce four issues of Country Gardens magazine each year, along with other garden titles (ie., Small Space Gardens, Garden Sheds & Retreats, Succulents, Easy Garden Projects, and others) for Meredith Special Interest Media. The Special Interest Media titles contain some new content and some previously published content, but all of our publications lean on great visuals to tell our stories.
My primary need is for contributors who can help me find appropriate stories for Country Gardens (and other titles as requested), and who can prop, style, and manage photo shoots. Areas of the country in biggest demand are the South, Midwest and Plains states, and all of the West. Contributors who can also write engaging, focused, and informative stories about the locations they produce are preferred, but scouting, styling, and productions skills are most important. Please review recent issues of Country Gardens before preparing your pitch.
Pitches should include scouting shots of selected locations or subjects, along with suggested story angles, peak photography season/window, and subject contact information. Also please provide a short summary of your skills and experience. You’ll receive immediate feedback on your pitch, and suggestions for improving it if appropriate. Stories chosen from pitches will—at minimum—earn a finder’s fee after successful photography.
Carleen Madigan, Acquisitions Editor, Storey Publishing
I have been acquiring books for Storey Publishing since 2004, and am grateful to have worked with a number of wonderful authors over the years – many of whom are GardenComm members – in the categories of gardening, herbs, foraging, homesteading, cookbooks, and general self-sufficiency. Rather than looking to fill a particular category, I am seeking authors, photographers, and illustrators with fresh, well-articulated ideas. In just a couple of sentences, you should be able to clearly express what your book idea is, why it’s different from other books on the market, and who the target audience is. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our catalog (https://www.storey.com/our-catalogs/) before coming to pitch. I’m looking forward to chatting with you!
Kelli Rodda, Editor, Nursery Management magazine (GIE Media, Valley View, Ohio)
I manage the editorial content for Nursery Management, but I also represent Greenhouse Management and Garden Center magazines.
The GIE Media Horticulture Group consists of B2B publications that cater to the wholesale grower, plant breeder and independent garden center operator. Our audience does not include consumers/home gardeners.
We sometimes hire freelance writers for company/owner profiles, business-related features (i.e. SKU management, pricing product, understanding costs), production-related articles (i.e. propagation, pest control, irrigation), plant features and garden retail management and trend articles.
We also hire photographers for cover shots, which typically correspond to a business profile. We’re looking for full-time, professional photographers with portfolios. Sometimes we purchase photos for inside use (not cover shots) such as plants or nursery/greenhouse production action shots (spraying pesticides, weeding, sticking cuttings, etc.).
When pitching stories, please keep in mind that we work about three months ahead. Thank you!
Kirsten Sweet, Deputy Editor, Birds & Blooms, Trusted Media Brands
I’m the deputy editor of Birds & Blooms magazine—and I’ll admit that I’m still a beginner gardener! After living in apartments with no outdoor space since college, I now have a house and yard of my own, but also a former landscaper fiancé who has the vision for our yard. I typically have at least three bird feeders hanging in our small city lot. I’m often distracted by all of the flying things (birds, butterflies and bees) while outside on the patio.
Birds & Blooms is America’s No. 1 bird and garden magazine with about 1 million subscribers. We cater to backyard enthusiasts and “weekend” birders and gardeners. Our readers want to know how and what to plant to attract the fliers they love. We’re always looking for fresh creative twists on gardening for wildlife—birds, butterflies and bees. But we are all about the “garden with a purpose” hook—so story ideas related to growing food, container planting, small-space techniques or simply easy-care gardening are in demand. Because we publish year-round and our subscribers are scattered throughout North America, we need fall and winter gardening topics that are interesting to folks in many regions. During the pitch sessions, please be prepared to share your potential sources—especially who you plan to interview to capture an expert voice.
Jessica Walliser, Acquisitions Editor, Cool Springs Press
Jessica Walliser is the Acquisitions Editor for The Quarto Group's gardening imprint, Cool Springs Press. In addition to her work for Quarto, Jessica also co-owns the popular website SavvyGardening.com and is a long-time gardening columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. With over 30 imprints under its umbrella, The Quarto Group is among the largest publishers of illustrated non-fiction books in the world. The Quarto Group publishes books in over 50 countries and 40 languages, and has offices in the US, UK, Hong Kong, and Australia. Due to The Quarto Group's expertise in marketing books globally, Cool Springs Press is currently seeking gardening titles with both national and international appeal. We are no longer acquiring region-specific titles. Jessica is interested in project-based, subject-based, method-driven, plant-based, or sustainability-oriented gardening titles from authors with a well-established or rapidly rising platform in place. CSP is also seeking garden photographers with extensive, preferably easily searchable, stock libraries, as well as horticulture-oriented editors and copyeditors.
Katie Killebrew, Editorial Director, Gibbs Smith Publisher
Gibbs Smith Publisher, celebrating its fiftieth year in 2019, specializes in high-end home reference titles in the architecture, interior design, and gardening categories. We love to hear from professionals with strong press exposure and a solid social media following who are eager to write or photograph on a topic they feel passionately about. Topics of particular interest: foraging and using edible wild plants; single-subjec flower concepts; cottage gardens; regional landscape; butterflies in the garden; gardening for children.
Gibbs Smith is an independent, employee-owned company and is organized as a B Corp. We are concerned with making each book a beautiful work of art and also in promoting social and environmental accountability.
Tamara Horne, Digital Content Editor, MyGardenLife.com
My Garden Life’s audience is new gardeners and people who lack confidence growing plants. We educate and inspire our readers with straightforward information to help them be successful.
- My Garden Life users live across North America. So, we publish articles that cover different seasons and categories (houseplants, annuals, edibles and perennials).
- About 50% of our audience accesses our information via mobile devices. With that in mind, we prefer articles at a length of 500 words or less and written in an easy-to-read style.
- To avoid duplicated content that impacts our site’s SEO, we buy full-rights articles only.
- We don’t publish bylines currently.
We’re seeking website article pitches of tips, projects and recipes for first-time gardeners. We also want to hear from photographers whose images could enhance our ever-growing Plant Library. Bring along a brief list of your professional experience.
My Garden Life is a part of MasterTag. MasterTag has served the horticulture industry for four generations. In 1949, Lou Schmidt designed the first plastic horticultural tag for greenhouse growers. Now we’re helping a new generation of gardeners through our consumer-facing website, MyGardenLife.com.