So you want to write for a magazine?

Went to a very interesting IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California) Panel discussion.
The title: “Magazine and Newspaper Editors and Reps Tell It All”

"As with all phase of publishing, the magazine is in flux, switching from print to online and back to both.  It’s almost a brand-new field."

This was aimed at writing for "adult" magazines, in other words, not kids magazines. But it was very useful. Since this is some thing I have considered. What I learned:

1) you can't make much moneywriting for magazines anymore.

2) but you can be more personal. Almost all magazines have a personal essay section in each edition.
And you don't need to be a superstar to write it.

3) magazines are more likely to accept work from just about anyone, provided it's well written.

4) you must meet the deadline and be on time.

And here's the big one:
5) you must pitch the article in advance with a query letter.

Silly me, I thought you should write it and send it off.  But you QUERY first and then negotiate with the editor exactly what the article will be and THEN you WRITE it.

(I suppose this is because we are talking about non-fiction, even if it is personal non-fiction.)

Some little tips:

1) Always put YOUR NAME in the subject with a catchy title.
2) Most editors delete based on the SUBJECT HEADING.
3) They are looking for interesting topic that relate to their readership.
4) Make sure to deliver the article you agreed on, not something else.
5) They are interested in building relationships with writers.

The people there were editors from the Whole Life Times, Ventura Magazine (Valley based), and two online publications. One, the LA Free Press, some may remember as a print magazine. Not sure I do, but I'm interested to see what the online version will be like. This particular editor is very open to almost all types of personal stories geared to the 99% of the population who can not afford fancy cars and diamonds and reads magazines to find common ground.

Leave a comment, if you would like more information.

And thanks for reading!



  1. Great post! I'm familiar with some of those magazines. Will we be seeing an article by you in one of them soon??? :)

  2. Possibly. But this may have all been a ploy to distract me from revisions on my novel. I write magazine articles in my head quite often. How about you?


Post a Comment

Please sign up to follow my blog!
I welcome your comments, feedback, questions and engagement.
Have a peaceful, meaningful and joy-filled day!