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Submit to magazines: #180
February 14, 2015

Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch
and it is the single most important page
an unpublished writer will ever write.
It's the first impression
and will either open the door or close it.
It's that important, so don't mess it up.
Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.

--Nicholas Sparks

In this issue:

1. 5 tips on submitting to magazines
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Letters to the editor

1. 5 tips on submitting to magazines
The last issue gave four reasons to write for magazines. Here are five tips to get you going.
  1. Find a magazine
    I'm always on the lookout for magazines. I find them in the recycling bin, in waiting rooms, and in the public library.

    Check market guides. If you find a magazine you think you can pitch to, send for a sample copy. You may have to pay for it, but if you get published, that's a small investment.

    Do an online search for magazines. Type things like cooking magazines or travel magazines or children's magazines. Again, if you see one you think may take your work, be sure to get at least one back issue.

  2. Peruse several issues
    It is critical that you read, or at least scan, a magazine before you make your pitch. The better you can match the magazine's mandate, the better luck you will have being published.

    The better you know the magazine, the better job you do of selling your idea. What works best is pitching to a magazine you regularly read. Next best is reading multiple issues.

    Take notes as you read. Record the title, the name of the editor or submissions editor, the sections, and the length of articles in each section. Why pitch an exposé of 10,000 words to Reader's Digest?They won't take it no matter how wonderful it is. It doesn't fit what they do.

  3. Check submission guidelines (in market guides or online)
    and follow them to the letter


  4. Go beyond
    Many times, you must first send a query letter in which you describe your proposed article. In the query, show you know the publication. Suggest the section your article or story belongs in. If you can, tie it to something the magazine either has done or might be expected to do. Some magazines publish their themes ahead of time. If so, try to fit into something you know is coming up.

  5. Keep trying
    Just because you are refused once, don't give up -- not on other magazines or even on the one that just rejected (or ignored) you. Tweak your query. Move sideways on your topic or propose another one. Choose a different section of the magazine.

My first paid publication was with an American children's magazine. I nearly fainted when I got the contract to write the article I had pitched. Then I went to work. Like any first child, that article has a special place in my heart, and it began a publication resumé that shows I'm a "real writer."

If you haven't yet started pitching articles, consider this door to publication.


2.Tickled my funnybone
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.


3. Interesting Web sites
One of the most well-known magazine market guides is Writer's Market.

I have relied on Longridge in my own writing business: (for children's magazines) (for adults)

Join Writer's Helper Facebook page at
Follow me on Twitter @AudreytheEditor

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