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How To Write For Creative Writing Magazines

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A large number of new writers cut their writing teeth on material submitted to the various different writing magazines. More often than not, they will already be subscribers and familiar with the style and approach demanded by the editor, and usually supplied by fellow readers. This means that a beginner also has more confidence about sending an article, short story or poem to someone they feel they know – and very often a creative writing magazine gives them their first paid acceptance.
1: 
Send for a copy of each of the main creative writing magazines and see which one appeals to you personally. Each one reflects the editor’s voice and will encourage you all the more if the style is inclusive, rather than exclusive. Writers remain very loyal to their favourite magazine and often keep the subscription going for many years.
2: 
Remember that although the editor of this type of magazine has seen and read it all before, they are always on the lookout for a new voice that has a different way of approaching a subject. Read several back issues before sending any material in case you are duplicating what has been previously published.
3: 
Do not, however, send pieces about rejection slips or writer’s block. There’s nothing new to be said on either subject.
4: 
It’s not a good idea to submit articles on subjects you’re not qualified to write about. You may have enthusiastically begun your first novel but this doesn’t give you leave to tell other writers how to go about the process of structuring, writing and marketing one. On the other hand, you might get something published on the difficulties of a beginner getting started, providing you’re not stating the obvious.
5: 
The majority of editors dislike ‘opinion pieces’, so if you want to make a political or controversial statement get quotes from both sides of the argument before you begin. The writer’s voice is merely the channel for other people’s viewpoints. Leave yourself out of the picture.
6: 
Never state that you are submitting a humorous piece as ten to one it will fail to amuse the editor. If they read it and it makes them laugh, it’s humour and stands by itself - telling an editor they are about to be amused seldom works. Most humour pieces that arrive on an editor’s desk usually mean instant rejection, simply because they don’t even raise a chuckle.
7: 
Most of the creative writing magazines run their own in-house competitions that are open to subscribers only. This means that the number of entries is confined to those readers who have an interest in writing short stories, articles or poems – it gives everyone a better chance of winning and seeing their entry published in a future issue of the magazine.
8: 
It’s always a good idea to include a 30-word biography with a submission giving any pertinent details of your writing carer to date. This tells the editor where you are on the ladder of successful writing.
9: 
Always include a cover sheet with your submissions that give the title of the piece, together with your name, address, email and telephone number – and most importantly the word count for the submission and the 30-word biography.
10: 
Never address the covering letter to Dear Editor, Sir or Madam, or ‘To Whom It May Concern’! Believe it or not, those few words can be the kiss of death to any submission. The name of the editor is clearly stated in all the creative writing magazines and it’s just plain bad manners not to use it.
Conclusion: 
Every editor has quirks and foibles ... silly little things that please or annoy, which can lead to rejection as quick as a flash. Quirks and foibles have little to do with the actual presentation of a typescript ... it’s more to do with a writer’s personal style. Twee address stickers … signature in pink ink … coloured/fancy paper ... spelling the editor’s name incorrectly ... Don’t leave yourself open to an editor’s personal dislikes by not submitting a totally professional package, no matter how friendly you think you are.

Comments

Interesting Article

I like this article, there are some good, uselful points made.
Thanks xx

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