Friday, January 8, 2010

Tips on writing for magazines part 1

Hi All.
Many of my blog readers said they would love some tips for becoming a freelance magazine writer. There is so much I can share about this, that this is the first post of more.
Here are some ideas, gained during my years of freelance writing.
1. Get some writing clips, which means samples of complete articles written by you and published in magazines. Is there an online magazine you read where you can submit an article? Your first published articles may need to be published for no pay, but that way you gain some published "clips."
2. Submitting articles is easier now, with many magazines allowing queries and submissions via email, instead of the slower snail mail. Snail mail costs you in stamps, buying an envelope, printing out your clips and a cover letter and going to the post office.
3. The difference between queries and submissions. Each magazine has its own guidelines and be sure you follow their rules. If it says "queries only" that means describe your idea and why you are the best person to write it. Don't be shy here in stating your qualifications. "Query only" means do not write the article and send it; merely describe your idea in an exciting manner. If it says "accepts article submissions" you need to write the article and send it in.
4. Where do you find the magazine's guidelines? If you visit the magazine's website there is usually a section of "writer's guidelines" or "submit your story."
5. Two very important books for you to use are "Writer's Market" and Sally Stuart's "Christian Writer's Market Guide". In the world of publishing changes are fast and continual and editors change and guidelines change so only use the most recent edition since these books have a new edition each year. These guides contain children's publication guides, but there is also a "Children's Writer's Market" book if you specialize in writing for children. Fortunately many libraries have these books. I buy the first two each year and jot down in the book when I send a query but beginners may want to visit their local library or a book store, and take notes.
This writing journey is so exciting and I hope you have much success. Please share your successes and other ideas here to help new writers.


Skeeter said...

You make it sound so simple! I left you an answer to your questions over at In the Garden :) Happy Writing and good luck with the cats and the new sofa...

Heart2Heart said...

These are some great ideas and even if you can start with magazines articles it makes it that much easier for you if you hope to get a book published to have this magazine articles to share.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

tina said...

I too read this and may give it a try! I especially liked the info on queries vs submissions.

Nezzy said...

You have given some solid advice here. Thanks

I also wanted to thank you for popin' over with your sweet comment.

You have a wonderfully blessed weekend ya'll!!!

Denise said...

thank you for coming by my blog.. It is so nice to meet you.. Yes I am starting a book but I have to say I am in the dark with this project.. It is just the instruction from the Lord and I am praying that I can listen and HE will help me.. all I can do is start.. I have read this post on your blog and I will come back and read it again..

Holly said...

Great tips. I have not pitched magazines before. Any magazine writing I have done has come from my books publicity, but this is definitely something I would like to pursue.