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Old 02-09-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Writing for Print?

Who here writes for print.. like newspaper articles and magazines? If you don't mind sharing, I am curious how you get these types of jobs. Did you send them a proposal, or did they find your website?
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:10 PM
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I write for print occasionally. It’s how I started freelancing. I took a writing for publications class about 11 years ago, which taught how to write queries. For the most part, you pitch an idea. Send a one page query letter to a publication about the story you want to write. There are a ton of books and websites on how to write queries.

I am no expert, but my queries usually consist of an opening paragraph, which I “sell the story”. Next paragraph I explain what I will do with it, word count, who my sources will be ect.. Why this story is relevant and needed.

Third paragraph, I explain why I am the right person for the story, writing background or degree, personal experience with the subject. Lastly I say I included clips (if you do).

You get one of four responses, which include: no response at all, which happens a ton, no thanks, also happens a lot, they want you to write it on spec. This means you write the story, but they are not promising to buy it. Or if you are lucky, you’ll get a go ahead and a contract.

For the most part, that’s what I did. Just be prepared, because there is a ton of rejection ( or maybe that’s just me Anyway the other thing I did, was send an introductory packet with a cover letter and clips stating I was interested in being a stringer for their newspaper. I did this for local publications.

I would highly recommended print work to supplement other types of writing. I guess if you get to the point you get assignments from high paying publications, you may be able to do just print, but that takes years. Still it often pays well and is fun!! I have rode a long with a private detective, watched a police sketch artist at work, interviewed people with really interesting stories and was paid to go see male strippers. (Someone had to do it. Actually they were kind of gross) Hope that helps Good Luck!!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:17 PM
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Thank you for sharing that. I write for online newspaper/mags, but the print stuff is interesting too!

Warmly,
Mellisa McJunkin
Digital Information Tour Guide
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:08 PM
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I do occasionally. I've gotten magazine work by querying in a way much like writermomtomax describes. For newspaper work (which I found more consistent), I just called the editors of local publications, told them about my background and interests, and asked if we could meet to talk about possible work. Sometimes I pitched articles, but more often, the editor would contact me when they had a special project or last-minute work that a staff writer couldn't handle.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:33 PM
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I'm just starting to write for print venues, at least ones that do not surround the printing industry and newsletter for convention throw-aways. A few weeks ago I had an article accepted for a small quarterly mag and was paid for it a few days later.

There are a lot of print venues that are looking for articles. I pitched my concept in a few sentences, sent a link to my online portfolio and got a response back the next day. I wrote the article and turned it in and was paid. It went way easier than I expected. I just sent a pitch to another magazine (a bigger one) and we'll see if I hear back.

I know getting into print can be difficult but it seems that since the change in the industry with content mills going down and the shift in pay rates there are batter opportunities to get your foot in the door with print venues.

I also have a copy of the new Writer's Market sitting on my desk. I'm hoping to successfully wear it out this year and be ahead from doing so.

Wishing you luck in getting your foot in the door.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:35 PM
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I do. I write crime for my local paper and string for a few others. I sell mag articles when I can. I went to school for journalism. When the paper started I sent them my resume and some published clips. They hired me.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:48 AM
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I recently completed my first magazine assignment. I had queried back in... October? November? after seeing an ad online that they were looking for writers, though I don't remember where the ad was. I got an email a few weeks ago, which led to an assignment. The pay was great, but I won't see it until probably Aprilish, which is fine... I did it in addition to my regular pay-the-bills stuff, so that will go right into savings when it gets here.

The senior editor of the magazine emailed me yesterday to say "great job on your first assignment." So, I hope that means that there will be more to come!
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennWith2Ns View Post
Who here writes for print.. like newspaper articles and magazines? If you don't mind sharing, I am curious how you get these types of jobs. Did you send them a proposal, or did they find your website?
All of my print jobs I've either gotten through offline networking (meeting people in the community who've asked me to write for their publication) or via CraigsList. I have, however, done some querying for other publications and continue to do so periodically.

Investing in a Writer's Market subscription is a good idea for anyone trying to break into print markets:

Online Writing Resource for Writers to Sell Their Work
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:26 PM
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I've never done any print writing, but I actually wrote a post on my blog about writing for magazines just last week. I have a list of several different magazines you can send articles to, including many for children like Highlights, Cricket, etc. Those magazines take short stories, poems, and things like that and they pay very well.

Many magazines won't take unsolicited submissions and require that you send a query letter first, but then there are others that will.

I'm not sure it's OK for me to link back to my site in my post, but if you go to the link in my siggy (the first link) that magazines post I wrote should still be on the first page of my blog. I was surprised at all the places I found for that. There were actually more I could have added to the list, but I ran out of time.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:09 PM
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I've had three articles go into print in a magazine or newspaper. One, the magazine advertised on JournalismJobs.com and I applied only to be told a writer had been hired. Six weeks later, I received another email asking if I could get the article done in a week because the writer they'd hired missed the deadline. It was a simple job involving writing a page detailing a mystery shop at a few chain stores that are found in most any mall. I was paid $250 for that and had a blast shopping with my daughter.

Another saw an article I'd written for Associated Content and bought the rights to it for their employment newspaper.

The last one was a contest I entered in Writer's Digest, I didn't win the money, but I was a runner up, so my entry was published as a runner up.
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