Thursday, January 28, 2010

tips on writing for magazines part 3

Here is some more information freelance writers can use, and which I've learned from doing lots of querying and having many articles published, plus my co-authored book on Christmas.

Editorial calendars.
This is the schedule of themes and of articles the editor creates as he or she plans the magazine's issues.
Many magazines lock in their articles way in advance, from three months to a year in advance.
For seasonal articles, many guidelines say to submit your query one year in advance.
In June of 2009 I thought I was way ahead of time and submitted a reprint article on a Christmas theme to a magazine that has published some articles of mine before. You might think that querying in June for a December issue is well ahead of schedule.
I was sadly disappointed to hear from them that their Christmas issue was already set, in June. Their email had a happy twist, though, since they loved my article and asked to publish it in December 2010, and I said yes, of course.
Pay on acceptance vs pay on publication.
Some of my favorite magazines pay on acceptance, which means when I send them the article they want, they send me a check. Hurray! More magazines pay on publication, so even if you send an article in June 2009, if they publish it in December 2010, you will be paid in December 2010, a year and a half after they agree to buy it. Hopefully a big fat check!
Using the same logic of "pay on publication" maybe we can buy a dress, perhaps in January, and offer to pay "when we first wear the dress", perhaps in June. Lots of luck on that one!
Whether "pay on acceptance" or "pay on publication", the check is always welcome at my house, and it is great to see my words in print, often with some gorgeous photos provided by the magazine. I hope the words are meaningful to readers, which is why I write.
Writers write, so to all of you writers out there, keep on writing and querying, and tell me about your writing successes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Zinnia


Zinnia
Originally uploaded by SK Photography

"Tis time to imagine spring and summer flowers

Friday, January 22, 2010

Our favorite 22 books of 2009

New votes by commenters on this blog have arrived for favorite books read in 2009 so I have redone the list, and expanded it from 16 titles to 22
The Road by Cormac McCarthy got 3 votes. So The Road is our winner!
The Key to Yourself by Venice Bloodworth.
Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Shack by William P. Young
90 Minutes in Heaven by Cecil Murphey
Women of the Bible (please clarify who is the author, there are several books with this title)
The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (2 commenters plus also one of my 2 favorites, so 3 votes, tie for 1st place in our hearts)
Lost Mission by Athol Dickson
Brutal Journey by Paul Schneider
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (my top favorite and 1 commenter)
Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
Steve Berry's Venetian Betrayal, Templar Legacy and Alexandria Link.
Jane Eyre.
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
A Tree Grows in Trout Creek by Coralie Cederna Johnson (a bloggy friend)
Eat, Pray, Love
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our favorite 16 books read in 2009

Hi Bloggy Friends,
I compiled a list based on your comments of favorite books read in 2009.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy got 2 votes. I haven't read it, it sounds harsh but evidently brilliant, so I will read it one day.
Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Shack by William P. Young
90 Minutes in Heaven by Cecil Murphey
Women of the Bible (please clarify who is the author, there are several books with this title)
The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (commenter plus also one of my 2 favorites, so 2 votes)
Lost Mission by Athol Dickson
Brutal Journey by Paul Schneider
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (my top favorite)
Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
Steve Berry's Venetian Betrayal, Templar Legacy and Alexandria Link.


This is a list full of intriguing possible TBR titles for us. I am putting Flying Troutmans on my TBR list and Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorw and will consider all of the others.
If you haven't read 90 Minutes in Heaven by Cecil Murphey, I recommend it and am happy a commenter listed it. It is a true story of a man (Don Piper) who was in heaven after an auto accident, and wow, he describes it as so magnificent. What a beautiful place our Father has created for little ol us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What book that you read in 2009 is your favorite?

Hi Book Lovers,
I will do a post soon listing the favorite books read in 2009 by readers of this blog, and I will include my own favorite too. Though I will probably list 3, since I can't limit to just one.
The books can be published in any year, the 2009 just means that you read it then.
I asked this question on twitter, and will add in their favorites to the round up post too.
Do you like to see this kind of idea list? I always find a few book to add to my TBR wish list when I read Best of or Favorites of lists.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Magazine writing tips part 2


vintage typewriter
Originally uploaded by H is for Home

This is fun sharing some tips with y'all on freelance writing for magazines, and I love reading your comments.

Contacting magazine editors.

I recommend that you do not call editors unless they ask you to call them. In their magazine's guidelines, editors will say "email queries only" or "no email queries, snail mail only." Often they say "no phone calls" and they do mean that!

When to follow up.

The writer's guidelines for the magazine usually give a time frame of how long it takes for them to reply. Some reply with a form rejection in one day, yes, that has happened to me. Sob, cry me a river.

Others say "6 weeks to reply." If you hear nothing within the 6 weeks I suggest that you send the same query again, with a note that "Here is a query I sent you on [date], and I wonder if you have had the opportunity to look at it." Sometimes the editor answers "thank you for sending this again, I somehow didn't see it."

Sim subs.

This is the abbreviation for "simultaneous submissions." Often in the guidelines it says "sim subs ok" or "no sim subs." If you believe there are several magazines that might like your brilliant article on "how to brush your teeth" and they say "sim subs ok" go ahead and send it to them all.

If you send a sim sub to more than one magazine and more than one wants the article, you can sell it to one of them, and tell the other interested editors that you offer to write an original article with a different slant on that topic specifically for them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who are your favorite characters in fiction?

Hi All,
Yes, to answer my own question, I do journey with favorite characters from novels, and look forward to their next adventures.
Today I completed reading "Chasing Darkness" by Robert Crais, an excellent mystery author, with his cool heroes of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. But now I need to wait to learn more about these guys, until Crais writes another mystery with them in it.
I still have for future reading a stand alone book of his, "The Two Minute Rule" and he has the Joe Pike novel for me to read, "The Watchman".  Hey, Elvis Cole, come on back soon.
My newest book is a Christmas gift, "The Winter Queen", written by Russian author Boris Akunin. Who knows, I may like this guy, Fandorin, the protagonist who is a lowly policeman in Moscow in 1876, and who is only nineteen.
Other favorites of mine are Melrose Plant, Amelia Peabody and Dorothy Wetstra.
I know lots of readers love Jane Austen characters.
Do you have a favorite character to share here with us?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who is your favorite character from a novel?


Penguin English Library 0 14 043.016 4
Originally uploaded by scatterkeir

Hi Bloggy friends,

Yes, to answer my own question, I do journey with favorite characters from novels, and look forward to their next adventures.

Today I completed reading "Chasing Darkness" by Robert Crais, an excellent mystery author, with his cool heroes of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. But now I need to wait to learn more about these guys, until Crais writes another mystery with them in it.

I still have for future reading a stand alone book of his, "The Two Minute Rule" and there is also the Joe Pike novel for me to read, "The Watchman". Hey, Elvis Cole, come on back soon.

My newest book is a Christmas gift, "The Winter Queen", written by Russian author Boris Akunin. Who knows, I may like this guy, Fandorin, the protagonist who is a lowly policeman in Moscow in 1876, and who is only nineteen.

Other favorite book characters of mine are Melrose Plant, Amelia Peabody and Dorothy Wetstra.

I know lots of readers love Jane Austen characters.

Do you have a favorite character to share here with us?

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.