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Get Published and
EARN MONEY WRITING SHORT FILLERS FOR MAGAZINES
by Gail Miller
More articles about Writing
For anyone wanting to make a good part - time wage from home,
writing short fillers for publication in news-stand magazines is an ideal way.
We all have half an hour here or there which could be utilized for writing, so
here I briefly outline how to present work
and give you a few ways to generate ideas for your short fillers.
The most crucial factor when submitting work to magazines is to act
professionally. Competition can often be fierce in this business so you want to
be on a par with all the other freelancers donít you? When
you are new to an Editor, you must show them that you have made an effort to
present yourself properly.
Never hand write submissions or query letters and never, never, never send
letters or articles with spelling mistakes or crossings out in them.
Always check who the current editor of the publication you are targeting is.
These positions change so rapidly it is always worth a call to reception to find
out if you have the correct contact name. And spell his or her name correctly;
make sure you have addressed your letter correctly too. An address which
has spelling mistakes or errors in also
reflects on you. It shows that you may be 'slap-dash' in your approach.
Always enclose an SASE when approaching a publication or sending manuscripts,
otherwise you will not get a
reply, and donít be in too much of a hurry to receive your reply. Magazines work
through their mail very slowly and a wait of three or four months is not out of
When you submit any manuscripts, always use only one side of white A4 paper and
print in black ink. Put your name, address and telephone / email number on every
page and leave generous margins all around the
page. If you use more than one page for your feature, number each page. Double
space your work and use around size 12 font size.
If your mind cannot generate ideas to write about, your typing fingers certainly
wonít be able to get into action. Therefore it is a good idea to start an Ďideas
fileí in which you should save cuttings of anything you have seen that fires
Start collecting news snippets, facts and figures, humorous news items - in fact
anything that will get your creative juices flowing. Try to talk to as many
people as you can in your day to day life and donít be afraid to eavesdrop
either! You can pick up some fantastic stories listening in to other peopleís
conversations. No really! Just donít make it too obvious.
Keep in mind the timing of your submission too. Yearly events or special
occasions can be worked into short articles very nicely However most magazines
a few months in advance, so if you are wanting to submit something topical for
Christmas, donít bother sending it in November or even October.
If I was wanting to submit something for possible publication around Christmas
time I would submit it around June or July. This may seem a bit over the top but
you really do need to send things in this early.
Look through a dictionary of dates and look for anniversaries; famous battles,
shipwrecks, music, politics, entertainment. There are many starting points to
set you off on the road to an interesting
piece of work.
article sponsored by:
If you are still stuck for ideas, why not write what you know about. Do you have
children? What are your hobbies? Do you have any employment experience that
can be turned around and used as material for your writing? Where do you live?
Are there some interesting snippets of information that you could pass on in a
short feature? It is quite easy to generate ideas when you look at your own life
There are many types of feature that are a page or less when published. If you
are wanting to write medium length articles aim for the 1000 word mark. Shorter
articles can go right down to around the 350 word mark. These are called short,
shorts. They are
still viable as features in their own right however.
When you are writing short pieces, you really can focus on anything. If you want
to talk about miniature dolls houses, why not? What about pollution, transport,
animals? The skyís the limit. These subjects could be made into fillers,
quizzes, humorous anecdotes or factual pieces. On the other
hand, there are certain types of features that are designed to be short by their
very nature - all excellent openings to the freelancer.
Lists; where the writer gives a list of facts or tips, e.g. "You know itís
Christmas when ....." you would then follow with a list of reasons why you know
itís Christmas when ..... or something like "20 ways to
Book reviews; or indeed music, theatre or cinema reviews. You also find reviews
about restaurants and clubs and pubs in some local publications. What could be
better than getting paid to write about a pleasant
Profiles; of famous people, or not so famous ones. Profiles of interesting
people who are not actually celebrities can be fascinating to read too,
sometimes more so. Do you know someone who has a fascinating hobby? Maybe you
could submit a profile to a
specialist magazine on that particular pastime?
Humorous essays; the type that you get in some of the large circulation
weeklies. With these, the writer just tells of funny things that have happened
to them in their own lives. These pieces are written as if the
writer is chatting to you over a coffee. There are plenty of columns like these
published in many magazines every week from both male and female freelancers.
Readersí letters or tips pages; which appear in numerous magazines and
newspapers. They are there specifically for readers to submit their letters etc.
However, if you are going to submit to these pages, donít present your work as
you would a manuscript -
just send a letter, as you would to anyone. Itís as simple as that! Often the
payment for these very short pieces is very, very good. If you divide the
payment you get per word in your letter, you will be commanding a higher rate of
pay per word than an article writer would receive.
Questionnaires and quizzes; which are very popular in many large circulation
magazines. The ones which say something like "Are you a bitch or a babe?" or
"Are you a good liar?" The reader then has to fill in the
questionnaire and pick an answer from each multiple choice question. The marks
are added up at the end and a Ďpsychologicalí assessment is given for that
These articles are fun for readers to do and a good market to aim for,
especially in the Ďteení magazine markets.
Writing for children; If you can think as a youngster thinks, the you have a
good chance of breaking in to the childrenís publications market. Because these
pieces will be read by children, they have to be short anyway. If you can write
activity based features then all the better.
Poetry; a difficult market, simply because poetry goes in and out of fashion,
and you donít often get that many poetry features in magazines these days.
if you feel that a particular magazine would benefit from the addition of some
verse, then by all means approach them. You never know, you might get a regular
Well there it is. Writing for magazines can be a great way to earn a part time,
or second income. However, you need to be able to adopt a thick-skin and not
rejection personally ... it's all part and parcel of the job. Someone once said
that the only difference between a professional writer and an amateur one is
persistence, and this is absolutely true. If you are serious about writing for
magazines you have to keep at it until you get your first acceptance. Then there
will be no stopping you!