Friday, February 14, 2014

Writing Holiday Articles for Magazines

Ever wanted to see your words on the 
glossy pages of a magazine?  Go for it!

It’s Valentine’s Day … another holiday offering writers a plethora of opportunities.  Granted, it’s too late to get your name in print this year, but it is the perfect time to think about getting to work on a magazine article for an upcoming holiday or for Valentine's Day next year.

Magazines are produced on a constant series of deadlines.  A yearly outline of topics is set and then writers, photographers and advertising personnel get to work.  They assign articles to writers and give them a deadline and a word count.  Typically, articles are due three months prior to publish date so the page layout can be completed.

You must first pick a genre – what type of information do you want to share about Valentine’s Day?  Will it be fiction or non-fiction?  Do you want to write about food or relationships?  Do you want to write about romance, or about your favorite valentine – your dog? 

Next pick a magazine specializing in the type of article you want to write.  Study their rules for submission and the format of their magazine.  Do they accept submissions?  Do they seem to like lists? The 12 Worst Valentine’s Day Stories Ever! – Woman’s Health Magazine; Five Romantic Trips for Valentine’s Day – Madison Magazine.  Figure out their focus and their target audience. 

Not to worry, you will find a magazine geared toward your interests.  There are thousands of magazines out there, including many with a business interest focus that you have never even heard about, both online and traditional. What are you passionate about?  What do you want to write about?  Be daring and check it out.  
How about some Valentine's Day inspiration?  The following articles appeared in recent online and traditional magazines:

A Personal Story
A mother’s love and the Valentine’s Day dress – The Boston Globe Magazine

What Men Think of Valentine’s Day – Women’s Health Magazine
Survey: Men Would Prefer to Have Sex on Valentine’s Day – Time
The Single Person’s Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day – Caliber Magazine

Heat Things Up This Valentine’s Day! – Curve Magazine
Be my valentine – Harper’s Magazine

Last Minute Valentine’s Gifts – Houstonia Magazine
The Procrastinator’s Guide to Valentine’s Day – RV Magazine
A Valentine to My Future Wife – Set Apart Girl Magazine

Valentine’s Day is for Everyone – Meridian Magazine

Seventeen’s Ultimate Valentine’s Day Guide – Seventeen Magazine

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Like an Animal – Modern Dog Magazine

Gift Guide: Love is in the Kitchen –
10 Sweet Treats for your Valentine – SideDish Magazine
7 New York Patisseries for Valentine’s Day Sweets – Gotham Magazine
How To Cook For A Carnivore on Valentine’s Day – Happen Magazine (My personal favorite.)

How to Nail Valentine’s Day Without Dropping a Ton of Money – Primer Magazine (My husband's personal favorite.)

Research & Information
Valentine’s Day – Christian Custom or Pagan Pageantry? – GetMagazine
What’s the Point of Valentine’s Day? – Relevant Magazine
Valentine’s Day: Why Do We Celebrate it?  (Hint: Naked Romans) – National Geographic

Valentines Poems by the Editors – Poetry Foundation Magazine

Gift Ideas
His and Hers Valentine’s Day Pampering – Michigan Avenue Magazine
7 Amazing Anti-Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Single Friends Will Love
Valentine’s Day Guide 2014 – New York Magazine

Places You Should Be On Valentine’s Day – RV Magazine
Have a Long-Distance Valentine’s Day – Happen Magazine
Valentine’s Day getaways around the state – Phoenix Magazine

14 Romantic Films for Valentine’s Day (that Guys Will Like) – Paste Magazine
The Best of Valentine’s Day: Movies, Books, Songs, Gifts – Time Magazine

Valentines For the Stars – People Magazine

Inspired yet? 

Now you can start writing, but not your article quite yet.  You first must write a “pitch” or Query Letter.  In this letter you must sell yourself to the editor of the magazine.  Tell what your idea is and why it is important to their readers.  List reasons you are the best person to write it.  There are many examples of excellent Query Letters on the Internet.  Spend some time learning the proper format before sending the pitch for your article and your chances for success will improve. 

Once you receive a go-ahead from an editor, you will be given your deadline, word count and a request for photos, if any.  NOW you can start writing your article. If you’ve chosen wisely, this will be the easiest part of the entire process.  Get started early.  Edit, edit, edit.  When you think you are done, let your article sit for a few day, then take a second look.  You might be surprised at the changes you want to make.  Once you are happy with your article, send it in.  

If you met your deadline and produced a well-edited and polished article, chances are  it will be published and you'll finally see your name in glossy print.  Oh, and you might just earn a little income from your writing too. 

Happy Valentine's Day ... now, go for it!

1 comment:

Jennifer Rova said...

What a plethora of ideas you gave us. This is great! We can substitute many other holidays using your suggestions. Thanks for putting your brain to our use.