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How do I get my articles published in magazines? (1 Viewer)

C

ChrisL

Hello,

This is my second post to this forum, so I hope y'all forgive me if it's a repeated topic.

I'm a published volunteer journalist for a local weekly paper, Real Change. I'd like to graduate to bigger things, preferably national magazines (and heaven forbid if they actually paid).

I have a couple good ideas for some articles, but how do I sell them? Do I write them first, and send them to the mags? Or send queries to mags instead? OR do I go about and try getting an agent for this? (The mags in question, at least where I'd like to start aiming, are Harper's and the like).

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Chris
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
This is my second post to this forum, so I hope y'all forgive me if it's a repeated topic.

i replied to your other one with some suggestions for your cover letter...

I'm a published volunteer journalist for a local weekly paper,

as i noted in the other post, while having your writing appear in print could qualify it as being 'published,' if i was an editor reading your submission bio and checking your clips and you hadn't been paid for it, i don't think i'd consider you a 'journalist'...

I'd like to graduate to bigger things, preferably national magazines (and heaven forbid if they actually paid).

national magazines do pay... but you'd do better starting out with small local and regional or 'niche' ones, till your writing is professional enough quality-wise and you build up enough impressive clips to interest the biggies in your work...

I have a couple good ideas for some articles, but how do I sell them? Do I write them first, and send them to the mags? Or send queries to mags instead?

as you're an unknown newbie with no paid clips to show, i doubt anyone would bite on a query and agree to take your work till they see it... you'll need to write the articles and then submit them to whatever mags they fit...

OR do I go about and try getting an agent for this? .

agents don't rep magazine articles or stories for new writers... there's no money in it for them, at only 15% commission, considering how many places they may have to submit an article before it's accepted... and they'll only do so for pros in rare cases, if they already represent them for books...

(The mags in question, at least where I'd like to start aiming, are Harper's and the like)

better lower your sights!... take a good look at harper's authors' bios and you'll see why... you'll find them on their website...

Any suggestions?

yes... write articles of professional quality for magazines you have researched thoroughly... then submit them to all the relevant venues till somebody buys them... get yourself a copy of the latest edition of writers market... it will give you all the basic info on freelancing that you seem to need to know... as well as listings of all publishers and their preferences, guidelines, etc...

you can also go to www.duotrope.com for listings of venues for short stories...

if you need any one-on-one help with writing your stuff, feel free to email me any old time...

hope this helps... love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 
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C

ChrisL

Again, thanks for the info. Why is it I suspected everything that you told me? You mean I can't just submit to Harper's or GQ and say, "Here's my piece. Place check in mail promptly!" What's wrong with this wor...

Ok, um, thanks again. I do know some smaller, more relevant places for my work, but the trouble is finding them (specifically, education and teaching magazines. I've seen them in the teacher's lounge, but not on the web, nor the writer's market book.) I'll just have to do more research there...

Thanks again, a by the way, that website is great! Hope to use it soon...

Chris
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
Again, thanks for the info. Why is it I suspected everything that you told me?

must be 'cause you're smarter'n you thought you were, huh? ;-)

re niche mags, duotrope may have those... you can also browse your nearest newstand/magazine shop or library, with notepad and pen in hand, to write down titles, editors' names and addresses...
 
writing for magazines?

Hi!I worked as a professional freelance photo/journalist to five national magazines for twelve years. Magazine editors do not like having to correct material submitted. Material for general submission is about 1000 words and has to be concise, direct and able to take the reader on the journey covered by the article. Most national magazines have commissioned writers to produce their major works, so it is not worth the effort to approach such magazines as geographic. To provide a stupid example, it would be unaccepted to send an article on women's fashion to a shooting magazine[sorry]. You have to establish what the subject matter the magazine you are looking at is interested.You then have to establish an area of interest within the framework of the magazine's interest, but has never been covered by the magazine. An example; Two magazines I wrote for covered fishing , the other boating.
I could not compete with the staff writers. I studied their area of material, and discovered that the fishing magazine did not cover isolated fishing locations. The boating magazine like wise did not offer isolated boating loacations having safe anchorages and privacy. I went out and located close handy sites for starters and submitted 600 word stories with photos.
After three stories, to establish that I could write, I was given feature status with a maximum of 3000 words plus photos. I wrote for them for eleven years untill I had no more locations to write about. Magazines only employ as staff writers people who have established their creditability.
Most of those came through the free lance ranks.
I wish you every success and really can only offer the adivise an editor gave me; keep it simple. Choose your words with care and be brutal with your editing.
Mac
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
mac... you might want to check the date of the last posts, when adding info... this one was over and done with over 5 months ago, so the op may not even be around any longer...

love and hugs, maia
 

Spudley

Senior Member
ChrisL said:
...but the trouble is finding them (specifically, education and teaching magazines. I've seen them in the teacher's lounge, but not on the web, nor the writer's market book.) I'll just have to do more research there...

One good starting point for research is to buy a copy of the Writers & Artists Yearbook, or the Writers Market. These are books which are published annually, and which contain listings for a wide range of writing markets, including a load of magazines. They also give the names of the current editors, so you know who to write to.

Of course, they include all the heavy-duty magazines, which as Maia says, you really need to be an established pro to submit to, but they also have plenty of smaller publishers listed.

Hope that helps. :)
 
C

ChrisL

mammamaia said:
mac... you might want to check the date of the last posts, when adding info... this one was over and done with over 5 months ago, so the op may not even be around any longer...

love and hugs, maia

HEy! I'm Oppie and I'm still around! Granted, not to frequent (though that might change), I still appreciate the response, albeit months after I pose the question. "La lucha continua," or something of the sort.

Ps- I feel like I oughta defend the professionality of my "volunteer journalist" endeavors, you can find my "published work" here at RealChangeNews.org.
 

Loulou

WF Veterans
Even with a 'proven' track record I'm not having much luck so far getting published by a national magazine/newspaper. To be fair I have only been pursuing this for a few months though.
My 'track record' is that I've written (and been paid for) three different weekly columns for my local newspaper....the longest lasting five years. I've also written maybe 20 travel/days out pieces for the Saturday Guide Magazine that goes with this newspaper.
Getting published with nationals is incredibly difficult.
All I can advise, as it's something I definitely do, is to get the name of who you're writing to (ie - travel editor) and do your research. Read loads of copies of that mag or paper before you even think of sending a submission.
Good luck all who are trying to do this! (me included!):p
 

TsuTseQ

Senior Member
Graduate from a weekly to a daily paper first, or try and find a local daily that works in tandem with a national paper. They tend to share stories, and you will get exposure in the national paper through your local submissions. It's a way to build your reputation in the industry. If your work is consistent and good, it will catch the eye of the editors at larger publishing houses. It's all about building up your experience. People who suddenly appear in the big-name papers or magazines usually have many years and publications under their belts.
 
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