Guide for Freelancers Submitting to Magazines

One of my 2021 goals is to submit to more magazines, and journals etc. Obviously, there is a process for this so in my research, I found several common rules. Hopefully, these will help you.

  1. Research the magazines you wish to submit to – identify what they are looking for and their esthetic.
  2. Ensure you understand their guidelines for submitting.
  3. Decide on what writing you will submit? There is a vast array of subjects to consider, including teaching a skill, how-to articles, informative articles, or profiles of people or places.
  4. For freelancers trade magazines and general-interest magazines are the most common choices.
  5. Check out their editorial calendar. This will show you what they plan to publish in the coming months.
  6. Research what the magazine pays and what “rights” it buys to your work.
  7. When starting out aim for regional, local or trade magazines, who welcome new writers and pay decent rates.
  8. Study the magazine’s tone. Is it formal or informal, conversational or serious, technical or expressive.
  9. A good tip to look for is the amount of advertisers in the magazine – the more adverts the higher the freelance rates.
  10. Check out the other magazine writers too. What and how they write.
  11. Choose topics that are not already covered in previous issues.
  12. Look at the magazine’s frequency – bi-weekly and monthly issues require more articles. A quarterly or bi-monthly needs less.
  13. Make sure you read and understand the writer’s guidelines – what the editor wants and doesn’t want; what type of articles and departments are open to freelance writers; typical word length; response times; and how to submit material.
  14. When creating your cover letter or query address the editor by their full name and title – their details can be found in the about section.
  15. You should use four paragraphs.
    1. Hook the editor with a short passage from the article to pique their interest.
    2. Support the hook by discussing a solution or solutions to the problem. Make your pitch concise and focused.
    3. Tell the editor why the article will interest readers.
    4. Detail your credentials – publication credits and/or awards and a few highlights (three to five at most and why you are the best writer to write on the topic.
    5. Include an extra idea or two at the end of your query.
  16. Include the title of your submission, the genre, and word count.
  17. Keep records of where, what, and when you submitted and details of any response.

Good luck and let me know how you do!