A writer explores a subject he is interested in, then queries a magazine that may be interested in that topic. At first, the writer has to ask magazines for work, but eventually the magazines may start doing the asking. Following are steps to begin writing magazine articles.
- Skill level:
Other People Are Reading
Read the magazines you want to write for. You will need to write the same kinds of articles if you want to get published in them.
Get the writers guidelines for each magazine. Check the masthead; often there is a website for the publication and you can find writers guidelines there. If not, write a short letter to the publication asking for them. Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Send the magazine a query letter if they request one. The purpose of a query letter is to tell the editor about the article you want to write and ask if the magazine wants to publish it. Research books on magazine writing to learn effective query techniques.
Mail or email out more than one query letter about the same article if you want to, but never send out more than one copy of a finished article. Few things annoy editors more than taking the time and trouble to read your article and offering to buy it only to find you've sold it to another publication. On the other hand, more than one magazine may buy different kinds of articles on the same subject.
Research your article. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Some writers can't seem to stop researching and actually write the article. Remember that you don't have to know all that there is to know about your topic.
Write your article. Then rewrite it. Make it the best article you can.
Turn your article in on time. Nothing you do is more important than this. If you want to see your article published, and if you want to want to work for the same magazine again, make sure you meet your deadline.
Tips and warnings
- Every once in a while, an editor might reject your article, but remember that he liked your writing style. The next time a writer is needed for a specific assignment, that editor might offer you the job.
- Don't worry if your article is rejected by one magazine. Rewrite it, make it better and submit it somewhere else.
- Avoid being blacklisted. Editors share with one another the names of writers who miss deadlines, submit articles to more than one magazine or turn in articles substantially different from what the queries promised.
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