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Title: What Is Freelance Magazine Writing? Word Count: 716 Summary: Freelance magazine writing can be o ne of the most rewarding careers av ailable to a freelance writer. Succ essful magazine writers are articul ate, have a wide variety of interes ts, and know how to research a topi c. Many freelance magazine writers write for various magazines, not ju st one, and like to write on divers e topics and sell their articles to a variety of magazines and media o utlets. The key to writing for magazines an d selling what you write is knowing your market.... Keywords: writing, freelance writing, freelan cing, creative writing Article Body: Freelance magazine writing can be o ne of the most rewarding careers av ailable to a freelance writer. Succ essful magazine writers are articul ate, have a wide variety of interes ts, and know how to research a topi c. Many freelance magazine writers write for various magazines, not ju st one, and like to write on divers e topics and sell their articles to a variety of magazines and media o utlets. The key to writing for magazines an d selling what you write is knowing your market. Most magazines focus on a fairly narrow range of content . One magazine might deal with the finer points of horse grooming. Ano ther magazine might focus on the in s and outs of toy robot collection. And yet another might cover the be auties and travel opportunities ava ilable in Bali. This degree of specialization means that magazine editors usually have a specific idea of what articles t hey're seeking, sometimes even down to a specific writing style or voi ce. Since magazines typically cater to a "niche" audience of educated readers, you'll need to write well- written and interesting articles; y our articles will have to feel new to an established audience. If you' re writing for a parasailing magazi ne, then submitting a 500-word arti cle about the basics of parasailing just won't do. You have two options to write salab le articles. The first is to become deeply involved with the activitie s or topics which the magazine cove rs. If you're planning to write and sell travel articles about Germany , take at least one trip to Germany . If you're planning to write and s ell articles about cat care, spend a few days with a cat yourself (or find a knowledgeable, cat-owning fr iend who's willing to give you some good, real-life information). Writing magazine articles is a form of journalism, and often adheres t o the same standards of quality and truthfulness. Would you trust a ne ws article about declining air and water standards in a nearby town if you could tell the writer had neve r set foot in that town? Of course not. Unfortunately, most of us don't hav e time to take on an entirely new h obby. That's why the second way is usually the best option: write abou t what you know. We're all complica ted people. We all have stories to tell. We enjoy hobbies and activiti es that fascinate us. We can easily uncover material for a hundred or more articles. So think about what you can write about, and what inter ests you. It seems hard at first, b ut once you sit down and start thin king about it, the article ideas wi ll flow. Once you have your article ideas and have written articles ab out what you know, start looking ar ound for magazines that might be wi lling to buy them. Chances are good there's a magazine covering your i nterests or hobbies. How do you find suitable magazines, and how do you ask if editors are interested? There are many ways to find appropriate publishing venues for your articles. For one, you cou ld go to your local bookstore and s earch the magazine racks. If you ha ve an independent bookstore in your area, so much the better: you may find some titles that don't circula te at the larger chains. You can al so take advantage of Writer's Marke t, which list pertinent information about hundreds of magazines, inclu ding typical rates and what editors seek. Once you've picked your magazine, s end the editor a query letter about your article. This should be short and sweet, briefly stating who you are, your previous publication his tory (editors like to work with pro ven successes--wouldn't you?), and your article topic. The length, top ic and addressee of your query lett er will depend on the magazine; you can usually find information on su bmissions policies in the "credits" section or on the magazine's website. Send off your query letter and wait . Be prepared, as well, for rejecti on. There are many reasons editors won't take an article, and few of t hem have to do with your skills as a writer. If you get a rejection le tter, just take a few minutes to mo urn before starting on your next ar ticle. The hardest sale to make is always your first sale; keep up a s teady stream of good, well-marketed work, and the sale will come. When it does, pat yourself on the back; you're on your way to freelancing as a magazine writer!
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