Magazine Writing: The First Step

Tuesday’s Writing Tips:

Portable MFA in Creative Writing: Magazine Writing

The First Step: 

Last week we talked about the importance of reading magazines and knowing the demographics. This week we’ll discuss the First Step you need to take to get the ideas flowing.

The process is simple: You come up with the idea. You make sure it’s focused, then match it up with the appropriate magazine. You write a query letter (we’ll discuss query letters later), send it to the appropriate editor and wait for the answer.

It’s important to find the sweet spot. You need to be writing about what interests people.

One of the best ways to come up with ideas is to indulge your own curiosity, but take into consideration whether or not it’s interesting to other people.

Salzberg stated, “Selecting unusual topics allows you to take chances, and forces you to experiment with different writing styles, something that’s very important if you’re going to write for a number of different kinds of magazines.”

Try to write about something you do for a living, or something you enjoy doing. Dive into your interests and see what types of ideas pop into your head.

To get started:

Come up with three story ideas and try to explain them in no more than two sentences. Then, try to match each idea with a magazine that would most likely publish it.

For example:

I write for the publication Experience Rochester. This  magazine is a guide to shopping, eating, culture and recreation in Rochester. So, my idea is about a winter event held every year in Rochester.

Minnesotans embrace the bitter cold temperatures at SocialICE, an event that features ice bars and ice sculptures created by local artists, along with live bands and tasty libations made to warm your soul.

Next week we will discuss The Hook.

Since we are talking about ideas today, I am using the word ideas in my haiku.

 I jot ideas
on blank note cards. A story
begins to bloom

What is your favorite subject to write about?


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