The Mighty Aquarian's Writing Nook
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Writings & Musings

Three Important Points of Magazine Writing


            There are many things to take into consideration when writing an article intended for magazine publication. So many in fact, there are numerous books on the subject. The most important things to consider about magazine writing are how to write a good query letter, matching your articles with the right publication, and rejection is not the end.


            The query letter is the first impression the editor has of all writers their first time out, or first time with that publication. A good query letter consists of three sections: summary and explanatory paragraphs, and the paragraph about your qualification. This is where you sell not only the article, but yourself.  You want to represent your article in the best possible light. It is from the query letter the editor will determine whether they want to reject it sight unseen or proceed to read, and possibly publish, it. The chances of being printed for public consumption live and die here. But you need to sell yourself as well. Having experience and training in your craft are key to opening doors with editors. They would much rather look at a manuscript from someone they know has the ability to write. Having firsthand knowledge of a topic helps as well.


            Determining the target audience for your article is key, as it will then determine where you will submit it. The good news is that there are many publications that cover just about every topic conceived. The objective that writers need to consider is the fact that so many of them nowadays are highly specialized. This is due to the demands of today’s periodical marketplace. The modern reader is more interested in specialization of a topic rather than a general one. So an article that covers a subject in broad term may not find a place in most publications. This is why being familiar the publications you are looking to submit to is important. Knowing what their specialty is will help shape the way you approach the subject.


            Rejection is a part of writing. It is so much so that is the norm. Even some of the top writers today, such as Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, faced years of rejection before they were first published. It’s not an overnight phenomenon. If you are not prepared for it, rejection can wear a writer down to the point of no longer pursuing writing professionally. Persistence is required. When you accept this, you will be prepared to eventually succeed. Likewise, not having your article immediately accepted does not mean total rejection by the periodical. The editor may like your article, but it may not work in the current issue. This is a good thing, and it is important to follow up with.


            Writing for publications is a tough business to break into. One should be prepared to put much time and work into getting that first published article. As long as you create strong query letters, customize your articles to the publications you are submitting to and do not take rejection personally, then you have the tools to make it as a freelance writer.