I occasionally glance through magazines when visiting the hairdressers but find most are so full of adverts that I put them back. I prefer something with more substance, such as National Geographic and Writer’s Digest. In reality the magazine company’s require the revenue from the advertisements but surely not so many! Do you find it annoying?
In my current research into freelancing, I have found many magazines, who welcome articles from freelance writers. I have compiled a long list and will create specific articles for them in the coming months.
Do you write for magazines?
What is your experience? Any tips?
Quotes: I love magazines. It’s such a McNugget kind of information. Scott Adams
When I was 16, I started publishing all kinds of things in school magazines. Margaret Attwood
“It’s so important to have a genuine curiosity not just about magazines, but the world around you.”—Anne Fulenwider,Editor in Chief, Marie Claire
Write in the style of a magazine or newspaper article of a everyday mundane event to make it ‘exciting and newsworthy’.
Guidelines – definition: an indication or outline of policy or conduct
Guidelines are important and should be adhered to when submitting your work. Whether it is for a competition, a particular genre or for freelance submissions. How we submit is almost as crucial as the work itself. Many publishing houses and agents now accept email instead of snail mail, but remember to read carefully how they expect your work to be received. Some prefer attachments while others want everything in the body of the email.
When freelance writers are contacting potential clients the guidelines change from company to company and an incorrect submission can mean the difference between success and failure. Researching the company’s profile, any articles already published and establishing the correct person to contact enables you to refine your work and ensure the piece is received and not lost in the internal mail system of the company.
For manuscripts, submissions are more tricky. Which agent or publisher to send your novel to requires a good deal of research before you send anything to them. Find out which genre they publish. If one company publishes or represents numerous genres ensure you identify the correct agent and read up on their profile before sending. Try to make the ‘match’ as perfect as possible for the genre and the person you are contacting. Send exactly how and what they require – no less, no more.
Competitions are a great way to practice submitting your work but again who, how and where to send is still important. A horror story will not make it with a romance competition even if there is a romantic element within it. Again adhere to the instructions given.
A handy tip is to print out the guidelines and tick off each item to ensure you have crossed your T’s and dotted your i’s as per the guidelines. It may be time consuming but worth while if you want your work published.
Do you have any tips or experiences you would like to share?
English: he calls it bliss turmoil in pink bliss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All writers have some sort of inner turmoil, it is our motivation. This turmoil can change from moment to moment when we are struggling with a new project or settle on our minds after we send off submissions. A constant questioning of our talent and the words we have loving placed on screen or paper – has many of us unwilling to share them.
Be brave in your commitment, reverse your thinking and have confidence in yourself and your work. A first reading or an initial submission are rites of passage. The more you do the easier it becomes. The important thing to remember is you and your ‘voice’ are unique.
In the words of Oddball in the movie Kelly’s Heroes –
Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
Importune – definition: to plead or beg persistently
When we submit our work, whether to a publishing house or a magazine, our natural instinct is to silently plead that it is accepted. We make bargains that if we are successful we will do x,y, or z. Then we wait; the hardest part. An email pops up weeks (or even months) later and once again we plead before opening it up and reading the response to our submission.
Rejections are part of the writing life, an occupational hazard you might say. We can sit and feel sorry for ourselves or use them as a learning tool. The latter is harder to do but with persistence it pays off. If we are lucky we received comments on the rejection – these nuggets of advice are worth their weight in gold. Re-work your article or revise your novel – tomorrow is another day and another chance.
I found this great interview on Joanna Penn’s blog,The Creative Penn, which deals with this topic. Pop on over to read it.