Tips for Selling Your Essay - Magazine Pub series #9

Tips for Selling Essays to Magazines  ----   Should I submit a pitch or a draft?

The question of sending a full draft or a pitch varies from magazine to magazine. Follow your selected magazine’s guidelines and requirements for submittal, if possible.

Here are points of reference:
•    Literary journals customarily require full drafts for submittal.
•    If you don’t have clips of published essays, a good rule of thumb is to submit essays on spec, meaning in full draft form.
•    When your essay is difficult to convey in a pitch, send a full draft.
•    On a tight schedule? Get your pitch out there and buy yourself some time to draft it.
•    Some editors prefer to receive a pitch. Search the magazine’s website or place a call for the info.
•    If your essay topic is relative to breaking news, your best choice may be to pitch your idea.
•    When you’ve worked with an editor previously, a pitch may be all that’s needed to assign the essay.
•    Should your essay require in depth research and include interviews, pitching the idea may be best.

To grab your reader, compose the essay as you would a story with one theme, a beginning, middle, and end. Include dialogue, setting, and engaging description. 

You may choose to write a personal essay sharing a part of your life with others. Personal Essays connect and communicate to the reader they are not alone. As I worked through an essay about being emotionally sidelined during childhood I knew I was not alone and wanted encourage others with similar experiences. Writing a personal essay in first-person narrative is customary. 

Personal essays are just that: personal. You are telling true-life experiences that may also lead to discussing a subject about which you are passionate. These essays are public—it’s important to consider the subjects you would rather keep private for your journal alone.

** Last time we talked about getting a handle on our Copyrights. I’ve added a couple links you may find useful. 

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,

Thanks for these great tips. Magazine writing and especially personal experience stories are something almost every publication takes and publishes and needs. I love writing these types of articles and need to do more of it myself. Thanks for the encouragement.

Straight Talk From the Editor

Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, thanks for the tips on submitting essays to magazines. I've often thought of writing essays - one of these days I have to jump in!

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