An Interview with Kari Williams, Editor for Ameriforce Media

Kari Williams is an associate editor for AmeriForce Media, focusing largely on Reserve & National Guard Magazine. She has more than a decade of experience in the journalism industry across print, digital and social media platforms. Besides her full-time role, Kari also freelances on the side.

Kari was in conversation with Viney Kirpal, a personal and health writer.

Viney: Hi Kari. It’s great to have you with us. It’s exciting to know there’s a magazine devoted to the Reserve and National Guards. What’s it about? Are all your writers from the military?

Kari: Well, Reserve & National Guard Magazine covers several aspects of U.S. military’s reserve component and National Guard. Everything from unit training, human-interest profiles, history and current events to military technology, deployments, recruiting and finance.

Our writers are a mix. Some have a military background in addition to public affairs/journalism experience, while others are military spouses or journalists with no military experience.

Viney: Your pitch guidelines are so precise and meticulous that they could compare with a military operation plan! Do contributors still go wrong?

Kari: Sometimes. We try to be as clear as possible, but not every pitch is perfect and we understand that. We do our best to respond to every article pitch and, if possible, suggest it for our company’s other brand, Military Families Magazine.

Viney: What makes the pitch a better fit for Military Families Magazine?

Kari: Stories that focus more on active duty, military spouses and veterans are a better fit for Military Families Magazine. Reserve & National Guard Magazine is very niche and has a bit more of a hard news focus, with its coverage almost exclusively on the reserve component (Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve), the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

We have a print edition that is delivered to armories and military installations, but also publishes more frequently on our website. There’s also a digital version of the print magazine available online.

Viney: Is your magazine open to freelance contributions across the world? Can writers highlight the excellent work of the Reserve and National Guards (or their equivalents) in their countries?

Kari: Yes, our freelance contributors can be located anywhere. We have some who are currently stationed overseas. However, the publication is solely focused on the U.S. military, so unless there’s an established relationship between another country’s military and the National Guard or reserve component, we likely wouldn’t feature another country’s military in our publications.

The instances where we do include non-U.S. military coverage are mostly related to the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, in which U.S. Guard units develop a relationship with another country’s military in order to collaborate, train, learn from each other, etc.

Several of those examples can be found on our website.

Viney: As a freelancer on the side, would you tell new writers why it takes so long for them to get published/established? And three unique tips that’ll help them succeed more frequently?

Kari: I think there are so many writers trying to get bylines in a limited number of publications. Many publications also have a limited staff and sometimes don’t have the bandwidth to recruit or work with new writers when they have relationships with others who have proven themselves as an asset to the publication.

My three tips would be:

  1. Refine your pitch: Make it as clear as possible, suggest sources in the pitch, explain why it’s a good fit for the publication and include suggested word counts, photo ideas, etc.
  2. Make sure your online portfolio is current.
  3. Don’t be afraid to follow up with editors about a pitch or to ask why a pitch wasn’t a good fit (I’ve personally had some pitches get lost in my inbox or buried when other day-to-day things come up. So I always welcome a reminder, and I’m happy to explain why I turned down an idea.)

Viney: Your answer is rather honest. But, would asking editors to explain why a writer’s pitch didn’t fit reveal a bias towards working with established writers?

Kari: No, I don’t think so. It’s an opportunity for a writer to get a better understanding of what the specific publication is looking for so they can pitch again in the future.

Viney: You’re Associate editor for AmeriForce Media. FWW readers are keen to understand the preparation they need to get an editor’s job?

Kari: Strong editing skills are vital. Just because you’re a great writer doesn’t mean you’ll make a great editor.

I would highly suggest taking courses from ACES: The Society for Editing, engaging with your local Society of Professional Journalists chapter and seeking mentorship from people who have the type of editor role you want.

Attending journalism conferences (virtual or in-person) is a great way to network and learn from what others are doing in the journalism industry to find success.


Thank you, Kari. You’ve given FWW writers a peek into your publication as also into what it takes to freelance and/or become an editor. The courses and the Professional journalists’ support groups should prove very useful to freelancers and editors.

Thanks again for your time! Kari Williams can be contacted at:


Hi FWW Readers: Please send in your comments, as also the questions you are seeking answers to in future interviews to me to or to Jacob Jans to — Viney


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