Editor Can you land a freelance magazine assignment without any clips?
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Kerrie Flanagan June 11, Kerrie Flanagan, author of the brand-new, comprehensive Guide to Magazine Article Writingshares her best tips for writing for magazines.
Writing for magazines is a lot like catching a fish. It requires the right bait, understanding the conditions, finesse with timing and most of all, persistence. When it all comes together, the time and effort are worth it when you net the big one.
Use the Best Fly: Pitch the Perfect Idea In order to catch a fish, you need some knowledge about what they are biting on.
Sometimes conditions call for the two-bit hooker. Different bodies of water and different seasons call for different flies.
The process of writing for magazines is similar. Using the right bait, which in this case is an article idea, is the difference between a no and a yes.
If I want to write for a parenting magazine I need to think about the current market and what concerns, issues and challenges parents are facing. Something like, finding the right preschool for your child might work, but if I can narrow that idea down even more to, 5 tips to finding the right preschool for your painfully shy child, it has a better chance of luring an editor.
Find the Right Magazine Before I don my waders and step into a river or lake, I research the current conditions so I can have a more successful day on the water. To do this, I visit my favorite, local fly shop or check the fishing reports online. Then I can make my plan accordingly and increase my chances of catching fish.
This idea of doing your research in order to improve your results is also true for magazine writing. If you want to get an assignment, you have to find the right publication by finding out more about the reader and the types of articles in the magazine.
Make a trip to your local bookstore or newsstand to read through magazines. Visit the various magazines website and read their articles.
Look up their media kits and guidelines online. Media kits contain a pool of information. But this information is also helpful to writers. I am interested in writing a piece about the four best Denver neighborhoods in which to rent your first apartment, and this publication looks like a great fit. Initially, the idea still looks like it might work.
Then I go to the media kit.You would of course get more of a traffic boost writing for an online magazine (or a print magazine that also posts articles online), especially if the magazine or article is on the same topic as your blog.
Due to the nature of magazine writing, many magazine writers work as freelancers. Some have cushy at-large positions, while others live assignment-to-assignment. Freelance magazine writers who don’t have steady gigs -- i.e., stories for a certain section that magazine editors regularly assign to them -- can find it stressful to chase.
The bulk of my magazine writing is done on assignment. How do you get an assignment? Which magazines do you read on a consistent basis? Your familiarity with these publications and the types of articles that they publish, gives you some needed background.
Assignment's third installment, The Counseling Issue, is now available. It features new fiction from Christine Smallwood, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, and Amie Barrodale, an interview with Andre Dubus III, and a story by David Moloney, the winner of the Assignment MFA Student Writing Contest. Writing articles for travel magazines is a great way to get your articles published, earn some extra cash and become known as a travel writer.
Read More 7 Ways to Increase Your Writing Range and Raise Your Income. Writing for magazines is a lot like catching a fish. It requires the right bait, understanding the conditions, finesse with timing and most of all, persistence. When it all comes together, the time and effort are worth it when you net the big one.