I would really appreciate any advice on how to take the first step to writing an article and submitting to a magazine. How do I go about finding information on what magazines are taking submissions?
Many, if not most, magazines have a web site, which can provide you with a wealth of information about the publication. If the writers’ guidelines are not posted there, you can contact the magazine and ask for them.
If you type “magazine writer’s guidelines” into Google, over 370,000 hits will come up. I would add “pay OR paid” to your keyword search to zero in on publications, since that will bring up 7.9 million hits.
There is no shortage of magazines out there. You can probably find one dealing with just about any topic you can imagine. When you are looking for writer’s guidelines, you will want to narrow your search to a specific niche that you are interested in.
Once you have the writer’s guidelines in hand, treat them with the same reverence that you would any other important document. Not only do you need to familiarize yourself with the topics and writing style of the magazine you would like to send a pitch or a submission to, you will also want to find a subject that hasn’t already been covered.
To get an editor’s attention and win an assignment, you will need to capture his or her interest by providing a new approach to the topic you are pitching. Do that, and follow the instructions in the writer’s guidelines and you may get the nod to write the article.
What would you like to ask about freelance writing? Share it in the comments and it may be featured in an upcoming column.