This week’s Monday Markets is about the art and business of writing. The American Journalism Review looks at industry trends and issues facing journalists and Written By profiles film and television writers. The last magazine on today’s list, The Writer Magazine, looks at the life of a writer and all its challenges and triumphs.
From the Web Site:
American Journalism Review welcomes submissions from outside writers. Please read the magazine to get an idea of what we cover — namely ethical issues and dilemmas, coverage that falls short, occasional profiles, trends in the industry, etc.
We prefer queries to completed articles. Include in a page what you’d like to write about, who you’ll interview, why it’s important and why you should write it. Note: We are very particular about any appearance of conflicts of interest.
We try to respond within four weeks to queries and unsolicited manuscripts, but feel free to e-mail after three weeks if you want a quicker answer. Please do not submit articles or queries you’re sending elsewhere at the same time.
Here’s a rundown of our sections:
* Drop Cap:
The front-of-the-book section where most freelancers and writers break into the magazine. The pieces are anywhere from 500 to 1,000 words and usually, although not exclusively, are tied to a current event. Most boxes, regular sections and such are staff-written. Very seldom do we run first-person articles, but we’re always looking for ethical dilemmas, humor, offbeat approaches to the craft, etc. E-mail [email protected] or send us a fax. No phone calls, please.
Features run from 2,000 to 5,000 words. Query by mail, e-mail or fax, and tell us why you’re the person we should assign to do the piece. It’s OK to have a viewpoint here, but make sure your query reflects that you don’t have an ax to grind. No phone calls, please.
* Book Reviews:
We have a regular reviewer but do occasionally run outside reviews. If you’ve written a book, you’re welcome to send a copy to the Book Editor for review consideration.
From the Web Site:
What is Written By magazine?
Written By is the magazine of the Writers Guild of America, West, serving its 10,000 members with stories that celebrate Hollywood’s storytellers. We are interested in stories that profile established, working film and television writers and the stories they craft with such art and intelligence that they influence America and the world. We are an insider’s magazine for our insider readers. We are not interested in stories about directors, actors, cinematographers, etc. We want bite, bias, solid reasoning, unknown but relevant facts, and good writing. We address our readers as intelligent, sophisticated, and curious people. Each month we reach about 34,000 people–highly educated professional men and women between the ages of 35 and 54.
We assign approximately 75 percent of the stories each month to freelance writers within the entertainment industry, either as a film/television writer or a journalist covering film/television writers for the major-market newspapers. Staff writes the remainder. We hire experienced writers because they know the industry, the craft, and our audience.
Departments, Columns, and Features
Front of the Book: Columns that address the craft of screenwriting as well as opinion, technology, and business and legal issues. Included in each issue are:
POV: Essay forum for WGA writers to discuss their views on anything related to writing, from the writer’s life to their opinions regarding the industry climate, subject to legal rules governing all submissions. Submissions are usually commissioned but we welcome unsolicited pitches as well. The column runs between 750 and 1,200 words.
Tools. Focuses on craft, such as a film or television writer explaining a single element in the complex process of creating a great script or various writers narrating how to create a romantic storyline for your blockbuster action-adventure feature. 1,200 to 1,500 words.
Next. Business and legal articles to help writers maneuver the obstacle course of Hollywood’s business and legal arena. Articles cover such topics as market trends, foreign levies, and where technology is taking the writer’s paycheck as well as address writers’ contractual, tax, agent/manager, creative rights, and other legal needs, everything from what’s a legal rewrite to clarifying separated rights. 875 to 1,500 words.
Alt.Screen. The big screen and the blue screen aren’t the only places where writers are needed. This column introduces writers to the new media, from enhanced TV and cell phone sitcoms to video games and military-training software. 1,200 to 1,500 words.
Feature Well: Each issue of Written By includes three to four features of longer length:
•Narrative profile or Q/A with featured writers about how they approach the craft.
• Craft article that looks in depth at particular aspects of the craft, such as creating strong comedy or the dynamics of group writing.
• Issues that pertain to writers, such as intellectual property rights, the credits system, or writing trends.
• History articles that cover a particular writer’s body of work or the specific era’s writing trend or influence.
Back of the Book: Introduced by Writers’ Room, a three-page hodge-podge of short items.
Writers’ Room: Three-page introduction to the back of the book, falling immediately after the last feature, containing short items of light but substantive fare, such as:
Gear: 1 to 3 images and short (50 words max.) blurbs about gear that writers would like and use, either because of its novelty (laptop lamps) or its genuine usefulness (voice-recognition software).
Table Read (Book You’re Reading & Writing): 1 to 3 books with short excerpts from the books. This section would include books about the craft, from the silly (Art is a Spiritual Path) to the substantial (The Screenwriter’s Legal Guide), and books of merit written by our members (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed–Alan Alda).
Question/Answer: Short question submitted by a member/reader, followed by an answer of 300 to 500 words. Q/A could include anything from legal questions about the MBA or agents/managers to those about deciphering notes and how to write a better villain.
Overheard: Short quote, no more than 100 words, about writing or writers or from writers about craft. Culled from such places as newspapers, trades, and screenwriter receptions.
Lexicon: Industry jargon writers need to know.
How To: 300 to 500 words on how to publicize yourself, pitch, secure a backend deal, etc.
Lightbulb Moment: Short commentary from writers on how that grand idea about structure, character, story beat, et al was illuminated for them.
The back of the book also includes lighter columns about writers and the writing life.
Take Five: Spotlights obscure, new, acclaimed, indie, TV, new media, or news writers and discusses their creative process in general or specific to an upcoming release. 850 words.
The Job: Personal essay style that illuminates the individual perspectives of writers working in Hollywood. 1,200 to 1,500 words.
The Writer’s Mind: The psychological take on writing, creativity, and craft. 850 words.
Pays $500 for a department length story (1,200 words) and between $1,000-$3,000 for a feature length story (2,000-3,000 words).
From the Web Site:
The Writer is dedicated to helping professional and aspiring writers with a straightforward presentation of information, instruction and motivation. In the pages of our 121-year-old magazine, writers come together to share their experiences, expertise, struggles, successes and suggestions. The magazine’s efforts have been recognized in recent years with gold and silver medals for Editorial Excellence in Folio magazine’s national competition.
Feature articles generally run 600 to 3,500 words. These include our “Step by Step” how-to articles and our regular in-depth author interviews. A separate memo is available by e-mail on our “Step by Step” articles, which are built around a series of interactive steps. These articles are done only by experienced writers. Most of our “Step by Steps” address a specific aspect of fiction writing, but we also consider general nonfiction and creative-nonfiction topics.
We encourage a roundup approach for articles on market or publishing trends, such as the changing youth market, the growing interest in inspirational writing, the best of the small presses, how to get your manuscript past the first reading, what small-press editors want, and how to find an agent.
We will consider personal essays about writing as both general features and Off the Cuff columns, but these essays should not be of the “navel-gazing” variety that is excessively focused on self and one’s life story. An essay should provide some take-away advice and benefits to a writing audience just as our other features do.
Columns and departments usually run around 600 to 1,600 words. Note: The Bottom Line, Networking, Syntax and Ethics columns have been discontinued, though we still deal with many of the same topics those columns did. Our current column lineup is:
Breakthrough: Formatted first-person articles of 700 words about a writer’s experience in “breaking through” to publication (with an article, book, etc.). Query senior editor Ron Kovach at [email protected].
Freelance Success: Tips on the business of freelancing. Length is 1,600 words. Query associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
Get Started: Short articles specifically angled toward instructing the beginning writer. Most of these are assigned by an editor, but queries are accepted. About 830 words, including a short sidebar of resources. Query associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
How I Write: One-page, formatted interviews with authors including a bio blurb. About 600 words, plus 100 for bio blurb and credits. Query senior editor Ron Kovach at [email protected] first.
Literary Spotlight: A one-page look at a literary journal. Most of these are assigned by an editor. Query associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
Market Focus: Reports on specific market areas such as trade journals, alumni magazines, parenting, sports and travel. Usually 1,600 words. Query associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
Off the Cuff: Personal essays on a particular aspect of writing or the writing life. Usually 1,600 words. Submit finished essays to associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
Poet to Poet: Specific aspects of writing poetry, such as imagery, revision or poetic forms. Note: A regular columnist currently does all the Poet to Poet columns and queries are not accepted.
Take Note: Brief, topical items of literary interest. Should be 150 to 400 words. Query associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
Writer at Work: A writer describes a specific writing problem and how it was successfully overcome on the way to publication. Most of the columns deal with fiction. Experienced writers only. A separate memo is available by e-mail on the Writer at Work column. Query senior editor Ron Kovach at [email protected] first.
WriteStuff: Reviews of books and other products of interest to writers. Experienced book reviewers write for this column. Reviews are 450 to 700 words. Send letter and book-review clips to associate editor Sarah Lange at [email protected].
The Writer buys first rights and pays on acceptance. Pay varies from $40-$80 for book reviews, $100-$300 for columns, and $300-$500 for features.