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help with magazine article : Writers' Block Party • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

help with magazine article

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
80squeen
Sergeant Major of the Army
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:09 am

RE: help with magazine article

Postby 80squeen » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:10 pm

Thank you all for your positive encouragement! I appreciate all the advice. I'm so encouraged I think I might go and whip me out another article. ;)

Seriously, THANKS!!!

Melissa

Jamesaritchie
Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 8276
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:11 pm

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Jamesaritchie » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:30 pm

Unlike fiction, most articles are less about writing skills and more about a good idea and the right infromation. If you have a good idea, and the right information, a nonfiction editor will work with you on the writing skills, should they be needed.

At times, top magazines may even offer to buy the idea, rather than the actual article.

Some extra steps, however, can be very helpful. Just reading the guidelines in Writer's Market often isn't enough. If you can, get your hands on a couple of issues of the magazines you want to sell the article to. Maybe the library has copies. Either way, make sure you visit the magazine's website. You can often get a very good idea about what a magazine wants, and how they want it, but reading things posted on their website. Many magazines have either e-versions, or have same article sposted, or departments and columns, etc. Reading whatever is on the website can really help.

I would also recommend looking around the web for several websites on how to write a query. There are many. I think it's always good to get advice from several sources on this. You can then mix and match to fit your personality and writing style.

Lastly, I'd suggest buying some good paper and matching envelopes. Nothing gaudy. But a very light cream can work very well. It looks great in stacks of Wal-Mart special envelopes.

And print the addresses on the envelopes, rather than writing them by hand.

These last two are small steps, but they can make a difference. Neither will sell your article, but the more professional looking your query is, and the more it says, "I really care about what I'm doing," the likelier it is a tired editor will reach for it when she's sick of seeing all look and read alike clones that never seem to stop pouring in.

All the pros I know say pretty much the same thing. . .nonfiction is many, many, many times easier to sell than fiction. Many estimates are up to a hundred times easier, and this is likely true because the article market is easily a hundred times larger than the short story market.

It can be tough breaking into the really large markets only because the competition is so keen, but in all honesty, writing and selling nonfiction to mid-size magazines just isn't all that tough.

The great thing about it is that there are dozens of articles types, dozens of nonfiction types, and however and whatever you prefer to write, there's a market for it.

Rejections are par for the course, but hang in there. Articles are how many, many fiction writers really bring home the cash for day to day living, and the list of possible markets is massive.

And it's fun.

Jamesaritchie
Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 8276
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:11 pm

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Jamesaritchie » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:46 pm


Jumbie
 

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Jumbie » Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:30 am

You guys are making me feel bad. I've never been published and you're all "whipping out" articles and books. Consarnit! (I threw that one in for my brother who thinks the word is loosing it's appeal - along with "dagnabit".) I want to whip something out.

Maybe next week...


abqwriter
Vice Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 7123
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:49 am

RE: help with magazine article

Postby abqwriter » Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:08 am


Aspiring
 

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Aspiring » Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:18 am

I'm not whipping anything out either, and what has taken me three long years to write is not getting much agent attention! Oh well. I'ts still good to hear about all this success of you other "whippers" and it makes me hopeful, even though I don't whip.

Jumbie
 

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Jumbie » Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:41 am


80squeen
Sergeant Major of the Army
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:09 am

RE: help with magazine article

Postby 80squeen » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:38 pm


Jumbie
 

RE: help with magazine article

Postby Jumbie » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:00 am


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