Saturday, August 25, 2018

Write for Magazine Publication #4

Writing for Magazine Publication is a great way to monetize your writing and test your topic for readership interest. This series offers tips and ideas for magazine publishing: a list of genres or categories and where we find ideas (posted 5.25.18), research tips (posted 6.25.18), standard templates for essay and article pieces (7.25.18), query letters (#1 8.25.18), formatting for submission, and copyright definitions.

An essay is all about the writer, but an article is all about the reader. An essay is an opinion piece: an analytical or interpretative composition with a limited point of view. However, an article is non-fiction prose that is based upon presenting information to the reader.

Today, let’s talk about the How-To Article and a query submission. 

Several years ago, I approached an Art Magazine Publisher with an emailed “cold call” query after studying their submittal requirements and locating the correct editor. I included several photos of the subject artwork along with my query letter.  A copy of the email correspondence follows.

Note: First, How-To Articles are a specialty and include more graphics than other types of articles. From the approach below, you will note the lack of formality. This first “sale”, that also made the cover, has been followed by four additional articles. I am confident you also have some How-To Articles just waiting to be written and submitted. Go for it!

Submission Sample
Initial Query for Submission Review - Value Study Portraits Article
Subject: Initial Query for Submission Review
Art Quilting Studio Submissions:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to submit my work and technique to Stampington’s Art Quilting Studio for consideration.  I am attracted to the Series Showcase feature of the magazine.

I am a portrait artist working in watercolor and textiles.  I paint with ink on fabrics such as silk and cottons.

My value study portrait series has been of great benefit to me as I work through values of black, white and gray.  Value study is one of the hallmarks of an artist’s journey through design development.  I have received good feedback and enthusiastic response as I have shown this series to the art groups I belong to.  I am sure your readers will be encouraged to experiment as well!

I have found that many quilt artists sense the benefit of working in a series, but are at a loss when it comes identifying where to start.  My value study article will inspire your readers to apply my simple method to create their own art piece or open the door to create their own series.

Each piece is a workable size of approximately 11” wide by 12-14” high.  I have attached jpeg photo files for your reference.

I suggest presenting my method per the following steps accompanied by high quality photographs:
·         Fabric selection
·         Drawing or picture selection
·         Pattern development
·         Initial steps to begin the piece
·         (2) Steps showing progression and painting
·         Final step of machine quilting the piece
·         Completed project photo
Thank you for your consideration.  I would love to hear from you soon.
Best regards,
Deborah Stanley, Artist

Subject: RE: Initial Query for Submission Review
Hi Deborah,
Thank you for contacting me and sharing your art quilts. Wow! These are stunning!

If your artwork is selected, it will be sorted into an article that will both explain and showcase your art, giving you full credit for it; I can also put it into consideration for the Series Showcase. You will be compensated (if chosen for an article) and be given a free copy of any issue your artwork appears in.

Each article usually focuses around a common theme regarding the look, design, or technique of the pieces. I feel your combination of watercolors and textiles into portraits would make for a fabulous feature. Here is our website that explains our submission guidelines:

The deadline for this round is Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Do you think you can send in your pieces by then? We prefer submissions of original art, as it aids us in selection, and gives you a better chance of being selected. However since we’re cutting it close to the deadline, I will accept hi-res digital images (300 dpi at 8½" x 10"). You can just email these to me. If your art is selected from the photos, we will probably eventually need your pieces in our offices to keep photography consistent throughout the magazine. You can also provide step-by-step photos like you mentioned.

What do you think?

Subject: RE: Initial Query for Submission Review
Cynthia, I’m delighted. 
Thank you very much for your quick and favorable response.  Yes, I can make the deadline of January 31.
I live locally, so I can easily hand deliver the art pieces.  I do have the equipment to provide the hi-res photos with 300 dpi as required.

I would like to double check with you on a few items as I prepare for the deadline. 
My submission package for January 31st will include:
•    Actual art work pieces
•    Photos of the Step-by-Step Process presented digitally (and hard copy if desired)
•    Photos of my watercolor paintings used as the reference for the quilt art pieces, presented as digital copies (I can meet with the photographer to photo the watercolor pieces but I won’t be able to leave them as they are due at shows)
•    Text introducing the project and walking through the steps (I use Word) as digital and hard copies
•    I understand from the submission guidelines that if selected, editorial assistance will be available
Thank you again!  Please let me know if I am on track or if I have missed something.
Website address:
Phone number:

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley : MyWriter's Life .

Write clear & concise, personable yet professional. 
Know your reader. Use quotes & antidotes.


Terry Whalin said...

Deborah Lyn,

Thank you for the great advice in this article about writing for magazines. It takes work to craft your query letter and get it off--but if you not pitching then you don't have the possibility of getting accepted and getting published and getting paid.

How to Succeed As An Article Writer

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Glad you are covering this, Deborah! Sometimes bloggers forget to cover what we writers need to do to bring in income while we're attending to books or or most recent project!

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