I think briefs are the most important part of a magazine. These short, normally under-200-word stories are written to stun the reader in seconds.

People don't usually read a magazine within one sitting, so briefs are perfect. Someone may pick up an interesting fact while waiting for the bus, or going to the bathroom just by reading a small brief.

Briefs can be service stories, personality profiles or question-and-answers. Sometimes magazines feature a certain product in a brief to let the reader know how it works and whether or not it is worth buying.

An important tip I learned about briefs is to cut out all unnecessary words. While magazine writing can be more flowery and creative, briefs must be clear and to the point. As a writer you want to be quick and smart while still maintaining a sense of humor, if that is your magazine's tone.