Seeking Your Submissions
What do you look for in Contests and Markets?
What else would you like included?
Is your blog, your publisher, or your school offering a contest?
Do you have contests you’d like us to include? Are you an editor with guidelines to share? Click on the contact button.
Sometimes marketing feels like a hit or miss venture. What are non-fiction editors looking for? Here are 7 tips that may help you figure it out.
Originality–They’ll appreciate a new thought, a new perspective, or a new lens on an old problem. Wouldn’t you?
Credentials–Most editors value life experience as well as academic credentials. Write about the trends you see that aren’t being shared. Share what’s going on in your backyard, at your child’s school, at the office. What’s universal in it? Why does it matter?
Research–Research can be a credential depending on your sources. The Internet is great, but sometimes libraries go deeper–especially libraries on college campuses. As you research, consider opposing points of view. The more sophisticated magazines want well-rounded pieces. Research the publications you want to work with as well as the subjects you’re writing about.
New discoveries–What are the people around you talking about? How do you feel about it? What’s trending in your area? Any idea why? Talk to people, dig deeply, and tell the stories that only you can tell.
Suitability–Tailor your writing to the magazine. Even if your article is brilliant, if the issue is about technology don’t send them your article on safety for 10 to 13-year-olds unless the fit is obvious. Sometimes they want quick reads and sometimes they want in-depth analysis. Read the magazines you’re submitting to. It’s the quickest way to learn their tastes and preferences.
Confidence, flexibility, and humility– Be yourself. Be the person you would like to work with. There are plenty of writers available. The query letters that win me over are written with assurance and poise that sets up an expectation. The ones that disregard my guidelines tell me that the writer’s brain might be wired differently, a nice way of saying they should go back, reread, and make a check-list if necessary.
Small victories– If you’re told “Please try us again” whether the submission is fiction or non-fiction, celebrate the inkling of interest. Keep writing. Trust that more will follow. No one can share your story but you.