Getting Published In Magazines

Tips for getting your writing published in magazines.

You've typed out your great-grandmother's secret barbecue sauce recipe, and now you want to share it with the world because, let's face it, she could make a barbecue sauce! How do you go about sharing it?

Why don't you submit it to a magazine? The publication doesn't have to be a huge one - most magazines are read by a lot of people, and those people tell their friends and family, who tell THEIR friends and family, get the idea.

The first step to getting your work published is simple: Write the thing. Remember, it's almost always a lot more enjoyable if you're writing for the fun of it - though writing it because the money's not bad is good as well. My point is simply this: keep your priorities straight. For the moment, this is just something you do in your free time - your next meal doesn't depend on whether or not you write this.

Now you have to find a magazine that will accept it for publication. For example, if you've got a short collection of recipes using a certain common ingredient, Playboy may not be the magazine for it because the overall theme is different. Go for the magazines that publish work similar to yours in idea and theme - in other words, send personal stories to Readers Digest and great recipes to Martha Stewart Living or The Joy of Cooking.

Now that you've found a few magazines you wish to hit up for publication, you need to write them a letter explaining (politely, of course!) that you've got an idea. It's just like working here at Writeforcash - give a short proposal, a topic description, and a little bit of information directly relating to the article you wish to write. In other words, this doesn't have anything to do with sucking up, rambling for hours, or the like - stick with the facts, and tell it like it is.

Send one letter at a time for each article. In other words, don't hit up more than one magazine at a time for the same article. Be patient, as this could take a bit of time depending on how busy these people are.

Speaking of people, who do you address your initial letter to, anyway?

One of the assistant editors. Never go for the editor-in-chief - he or she is guaranteed to be busy dealing with people that are already published, along with the other editors and staff. In other words, they won't have time for newcomers such as you or myself - they're busy with the already-familiar people. Address your letter to one of the assitant editors (usually named on the publication's masthead, of course) because they've got a little more time AND they're eager to discover new, fresh talent - give them the chance to prove themselves at their place of work, why don't you?

Also, while you're at it, going about this a bit early never hurts. A lot of magazines have printing schedules that are up to a year in advance - six months is usually a fair estimate. Send your proposals in as early as possible so that your chances of getting a check are better.

Please remember the following:

Don't discuss money during the initial letter. Remember, you're just trying to get noticed at this point - they'll make an offer to you if they like what they read.

Be patient. This takes time and effort - on your part as well as the parts of everyone working for the magazines your proposals were sent to.

Enjoy this! It's not pulling teeth, it's WRITING! This is one of my favorite things to do and, if you're anything like that, you'll get a bigger kick out of writing it than you do the check (although the money certainly doesn't hurt).

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