There are many different ways to practice your writing craft, and writing for magazines is one that is very rewarding. Not only does magazine writing offer you a great platform to write, it also gives you the opportunity to work with different editors, get feedback on your writing, and of course, get paid!
One of the great things about writing for magazines, in addition to the above, is there are so many different publications out there, from consumer publications we’re all familiar with such as Redbook and Southern Living, to the free publications you find on the news rack at our grocery store. And then there’s the whole realm of niche publications, for antique car fanatics, cat lovers, or quilters, to name a few, and the world of business to business publications where you might find yourself writing about the latest technology used in making mattresses or tips on how to attract customers to your aquarium store.
To get started in the world of magazine writing, first you need to get an assignment, and unless you happen to know an editor, you’ll be sending out a few queries. Here are some tips on querying editors.
- Do your research. Look on the magazine’s website for an editorial calendar so you know what topics they’re interested in and when they’ll be published. Remember, magazines work ahead, so for example, a parenting magazine editor might be preparing the back-to-school issue in May.
- Don’t write an entire article. Come up with a few ideas that are well thought out, and write about a paragraph or two on each idea explaining the topic and how you would approach it.
- Do follow up. Persistence pays off in the world of magazines. Editors are busy people, and often they’ll read your email but not have time to respond. Keep track of when you send queries, and two weeks after your first email, send a follow up email to let the editor know you’re still interested. It won’t hurt to send another email again in a few weeks if you still haven’t heard from them. You never know when the email you send could happen to arrive right when they’re looking for one more article to fill up an issue. And sometimes, just the fact that you’ve emailed a few times will help them remember your name when it comes time for new assignments.
To learn more about writing for magazines, check out my video on the All About Writing page. This page is for members only, so subscribe today to take full advantage of everything All About the Authors has to offer.