Friday, 31 July 2009

Time To Get The Dictaphone Out Again

This weekend, unpertutbed by my nervous first attempt at journalism at the Wenlock Games last month, I am following up on one of the leads I had at the games. I will be attending an archery competition at Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury and have just contacted the organiser to confirm. I was a little nervous as I haven't yet managed to get any editors interested in my articles from the games, but I needn't have worried as the organiser remembered me from the games and I feel confident about going.

The mistake I made at the games was to try and cover too many events and end up with not a lot about any of them! Note to fellow newbie article writers: don't spread yourself too thin! But as this is a single event I can relax and take my time to do it properly. I don't feel so self conscious about interviewing people and using my dictaphone now and it such a time saver, plus I don't have to try and read my terrible, scrawled hand writing when I get home. I do still take some notes in case of equipment failure but I wouldn't go to any event now without my new gadget. Note to fellow newbie article writers: get a dictaphone - it will change your life!

Having learned so much from attending the games I am armed to get more information and I definitely want more pictures! I was too shy to ask people if they wouldn't mind having their photos taken at the games but I want to get some clearer shots and get the people behind the bows. I know I will have a much better chance of getting an article accepted by an editor if I can supply good quality photos too, so I will try my best.

Have a look at this month's Writers' Forum magazine for tips on writing and sending articles into local magazines. They have some editors of local mags from around the country spelling out what they want - so if this is your thing I reccommend that you read it.

I just hope the weather will improve for the weekend or I'll have to get my green wellies out!

Good luck with your article writing and submissions!


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Growing The Roses Of Success!

Aaaaagggghhhh! Don't you find that so infuriating - when you see the article you were writing already brazenly flaunting itself in the very magazine you were targetting? Why oh why?! I put in such a lot a work to it too. Still it's not exactly the same as the one I had proposed so I might just pitch it to a different magazine (out from the ashes grow the roses of success).

I'm busy working on some more articles for a website on Hampshire. I've never been to Hampshire and know little to nothing about this county but I said yes because I can research it and I know I have the right style of writing that the editor likes so, with a lot of nosiness and effort, I can write the articles.

Don't be put off writing on subjects you know little about as you can soon learn and I find the research fascinating. Some things in this world are truly amazing and just waiting for you to discover them. As I've said before travel/tourist writing was not something on my radar for my writing career, but it is now. You can never say never in writing, you just have to give what ever comes your way a go and you might surprise yourself; I did!

For the rest of the week I'll be writing the Hampshire articles and also finishing off a couple of articles for the writing magazines. I'm still plodding on with these regardless if the proposals get accepted or not and I will be sending in more proposals today. Is there a limit on how many proposals you can send out before the editor had a nervous breakdown?! I don't think so. The more good ideas you send in the better chance you have of having one accepted and being published. If you don't send your proposals out someone else will. People can and do get published so why shouldn't that person be you or me?

I haven't forgotten about the articles I'm writing and the information I got from the Wenlock Olympian Games either and I'm hoping to do a follow up at another archery event the organiser told me about at the games this weekend. That's come around really quickly!

I find it beneficial to have a few proposals out there while writing a variety of articles. It keeps my enthusiasm and interest up and keeps me on my toes. If I'm writing an article on a subject I know inside out then I'm likely to get bored and this will show in my writing, so by having different subjects I know little about on the go at the same time I can switch between them and keep myself motivated. It can be difficult to work in the dark when you don't know if your article is ever going to see the light of day and grace the pages of a magazine or not. But the important thing is to keep writing. If we let the doubts creep in we are in trouble.

I am no expert on article writing but I'm learning on the job and having fun along the way! If I come across any useful information or tips to make article writing easier and more productive then I'll post them here. But my main tip of the day today is to keep writing and get your proposals out to the editors!

Julie xx

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

We're Busy Doing Nothing .......

...... working the whole day through. Do you ever get days when you're writing loads, doing lots of research, but at the end of it all you look at what you've written and it's only a few paragraphs when you thought it was a full article! That's the kind of day I'm having today. So, of course, I'm doing the most sensible thing a writer can do and procrastinate by blogging! When what I should be going is opening a document and writing the article - it's not going to write itself is it? Now that would be a good invention - the self writing article. You'd just punch a few key words into a gadget, press the big red button (it would have to be a big red button - looks far more important don't you think?) and within seconds there would appear your article.

But wouldn't it take the 'fun' out of it, the huge sense of achievement and satisfaction that 'I wrote that' when you see it in print in a magazine. My IAW (Instant Artice Writer) wrote that doesn't have the same ring to it does it? Oh well, nose to the grindstone.!

Julie xx

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Back From The Break

So what did I learn from taking a week off from blogging and devoting my attention to my writing?

1. It certainly freed up more time for my writing and enabled me to focus on the task in hand instead of getting sidetracked when things were not going too well. It's amazingly easy to procrastinate on here instead of putting my writer's bum on the seat and buckling down to write something.

2. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. A while ago I did an experiment where I turned off the TV for a week and I found that a bit easier than not blogging for a week. I don't know why.

3. It takes will power and you have to make choices between whether you want to be a serious writer and get writing something publishable or whether you want to just play at it and watch TV or blog all the time instead.

4. I realised that although blogging is a great way to exercise those writing muscles and practice my writing skills it can be addictive and that hinders the writing process. If I'm constantly updating my blogs I'm not writing my short stories, poems or articles!

5. It's good to have a break every now and then from blogging and concentrate on another facet of writing for a while. It stops my writing from becoming stale and inspires me to write fresh stuff that has more energy and focus.

6. That things don't happen as quickly as I hope they will! I am very impatient when it comes to my writing and I like to see results ASAP. But I recognise that this is an unhealthy trait in a writer and I'm trying to stop it. What is it they say about old habits dying hard? There are no quick fixes in this writing lark and it takes time to build up enough work of the quality editors want to see and publish. There is no way round it so you have to work hard and then harder still until you gain a reputation with your work that attracts an editor's attention.

7. It's worth collecting a portfolio of work you've had published - even articles from small or local press and stuff you've done for free. It's all published work and if you can show an editor what you are capable of they may be more inclined to see your work and commission you.

8. Don't give up. I know the temptation is high and the effort and work you put into it seems worthless sometimes (particularly when you've had rejection after rejection), but there is always that chink of light at the end of the tunnel where you see other writers who have gone before you and have got published,so you can see that it is possible. Remember most of these writers have started where you and I have.

9. It's incredibly frustrating waiting for replies on submission proposals you send in to editors. Response times seem to vary from half a day to a few days, to a week to a month,to a few months to never! It's a wonder anyone gets anything published at all at this rate! And it's the main reason why I've changed my mind on not sending out multiple submissions to editors with the same article idea. Life's too short I'm afraid to wait forever or never for a reply so it's every man for themselves now and the first editor to reply and ask for the article is the winner!! In the unlikely event that two or more want to see it (if only eh?) I can always tweak the article to a different slant anyway so they won't be the same, just similar.

10. I still have a lot to learn about article writing and the proposal/submission process and I'm always striving to improve my work. And that means listening to those with more knowledge and experience than I do. Learn what you can from the people already in the publishing loop who have been published lots and know what they are doing; their advice is invaluable and could mean the difference between getting your work published or not. And don't forget to thank them too!

So all in all it's been a positive week. Still no takers for my Wenlock Olympics articles or writing ones but I'm still working on them and I have more article ideas swimming around my head and in writen in my noebooks so all is not lost. On a good note, I had an email from the editor of a new Shropshire website launching soon that I wrote ten articles for a few months ago. He wants me to write some new articles for him which is exciting - I haven't had an editor I've worked for actually contact me to write some more stuff for them before, so this is real progress. One editor closes the door on an article and another editor opens one! That's the way it goes.

I haven't had a lot of success in the aticle publishing world and I am trying to lose my current attitude of thinking that I am a one hit wonder and won't get anything published ever again! But the successes I have had have been a real confidence boost for me and have given me the energy and the motivation/encouragement to carry on.

I hope that your writing successes help you to carry on to.

Julie xx
Hello, I'm back - well only for a second or two to ask if anyone has the same problem as I have. Can everyone else see who their followers are? I could up until about three days ago and now there is a blank space where my lovely followers were pictured! Where have you gone? Was it something I said?

I see that I have two more followers but I can't see who you are! Welcome to my blog whoever you are. I'm sure normal transmission will resume shortly. Does anyone know how to fix it. I've been on blogger help and that was about as useful as a chocolate teapot with talk of something called 'chrome' whatever that is?

I'll be posting my findings on my weeks break from blogging and it's effect on my writing later tonight and I hope my followers pictures will come back to me! It's pretty lonely on here without you all.

Julie xx

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Going Off Line

I've decided to not post on my blog for a week as I want to get my nose to the grindstone and get cracking on my article writing. Spurred on by my writing group and the progress and successes some members have had over the past month I have been motivated to get typing and enquiring and step my efforts up a gear or two.

I have sent propsals to two writing magazines, two 'health' magazines, and a woman's weekly magazine and so I want to edit the articles I hope they will want to see so I can make them the best I can and give them a fighting chance! So this week I intend to work hard and try and make my dream of getting an article in to another major UK magazine a reality. )I've already done it at Writers' Forum, and so I want to convince myself that wasn't just a fluke by repeating the achievement elsewhere!

I find it very difficult to pitch ideas and send proposals into magazines. I'm not the most confident person in the world and in the back of mind, as I type the proposals in an email ready to send, I can hear this nagging little voice of the child me whining that it's no good sending proposals in because the editor will just delete them. Why should the editor be bothered to look at an email from you? I feel intimidated as I am well aware that there are thousands of freelance writers out there who are much more experienced and better writers than me who are going for the same slots in the magazines I am.

But if we sit down a moment and talk about what you can do to overcome these negative thoughts then I'm sure we can help to disperse them.
The most important thing to remember is this: Forget about what other writers are doing. They all had to start somewhere, just like you. And, just like them, you can get your articles in the same magazines they do. I won't pretend that it will be easy because it probably won't, but with some hard work and determination it can be done.

What you have to is is sit down and write the article. I know it sounds basic and slightly patronising but it's the truth. If you don't sit down and write your articles no one is going to do it for you - in fact another writer who took the trouble and effort to write a similar article to yours while you were sitting down whining that you couldn't do it did it instead! How annoying is that?

Before you write your article it's a good idea to see which magazines carry the type and style of article you're writing and whether they take work from freelancers. Then gather the relevent info, interview the people you need to and after you've gathered all the info you need, formulated your plan and written half decent draft of your article you should maybe think about sending a proposal of your article off.

1. Make sure you send the proposal to the right person at the magazine - finding out their name shows the editor courtesy and that you have done your homework. If you can't find the person's name in the magazine (usually a long list of all the different editors at the magazine in the first couple or last pages of the mag) then there will at least be a website where you can find the information you need or telephone no. you can ring.

2. Make sure that you follow the magazine's submission guidelines to the letter. If they request an email proposal first then send that. If they want the whole article then send that. If you send an article in that hasn't been asked for then yes, they may well read it, but it will probably go to the bottom of the pile and the editor is far more likely to read the articles he/she had requested from other writers. You don't want to alienate yourself by showing your inability to follow the editor's instructions do you?

3. Don't be afraid to send your proposals/ideas in for fear of being rejected. The editor will receive thousands of them a week and remember it's nothing personal if they decline your idea. If you don't send your ideas in you'll never get your articles published so you will just have to feel the fear and do it anyway! And if you get a couple of ideas rejected send more in but remember to look at the reasons, if any, the editor gave you for rejecting your idea - it could be helpful.

4. Make sure that you have written the article - or it is near completion before sending your proposal/idea off. You must be prepared to send the article in when the editor requests it - this can be a few days of a week after you've sent the idea in, or it can be months, you never can tell. Unless you say in the proposal that it is a work in progress it will look unprofessional if the editor wants to see your work but it's not ready. Sometimes editors will be happy to commission you on an idea but they may want to see other samples of your work so they can see the general standard of your work before they make a commitment.

5. Go with the flow. I know that sometimes I tend to get very anxious and stressed out to the point of inertia when I'm writing, even though I know that panicking or having a severe self confidence crisis doesn't help get the articles written or anything published! So my advice would be - and I do try and write by what I advise - relax, don't panic and take your time. Remember you have the magazines in front of you and you can see how the magazine lays out its feature articles and you are more than capable of stringing a few sentences together on your chosen subject to fit in with the magazine.

Don't give up! And I'll be back in a week.


Friday, 17 July 2009

Taking Aim

I'm still sorting through the information I gathered from the Wenlock Olympian games last weekend and I've still not come down off the ceiling from the whole experience. I have approached some editors but none have bitten so far. I have to admit, though, that I took a sabbatical yesterday in order to tidy my work space and get rid of all the old magazines and bits of paper that have accumulated over the past few months. You see, I do take my own advice every now and then.

I have to say that now I can see the wood for the trees I feel calmer and more organised which I hope will translate into more efficient working and a more efficient brain! (My husband is choking on his breakfast as we speak!) Everything is in its own appropriate space so I can find things more easily and not waste hours (precious writing time) tearing my hair out and searching for whatever it is I have lost.

I'm still unsure as to where I'm going with the info from the games but I will be attending my writers' group meeting tomorrow so I'll take some stuff in for some advice. I know I can always rely on my friends at Wrekin Writers to save me from myself!! (The cheque is in the post guys and girls!)

I think that a big part of my hesitation and concern is to do with the hang up I have that I'll never get another piece of work published. It started after I got a short story published in an Australian mag back in April/May. Although I was estatic that I'd got one in, I very quickly got myself in the damaging mindset of thinking I'm never going to do it again and that it was a fluke. So far I haven't managed to get another story in any magazine. And every rejection just inflates that belief just a little bit more.

It's happening again with my articles too. I had one accepted for Writers' Forum last month (HURRAH!) My first article in a national magazine - and a writing one at that! But I have a sinking feeling in my stomach and an impending sense of doom that I won't be able to pull it off again. Does anyone else feel like this sometimes, or is it just me?! I know someone's going to give me a kick up the posteria for this!

I know the only way forward is to read the target magazine, keep writing, keep pitching and keep sending stuff out, so this is what I am going to do. I think a lot of barriers that we come up against as writers are self imposed and we have to work hard to punch through them. Going back to a workshop we had at my writers group meeting last month where we had a motivational speaker in, he advised us not to feed the ducks - people or situations that suck our energy and ambition out of us. (I'm looking at the plastic duck I got from the workshop now. I keep it on my desk). The speaker was quite correct so I must remember it's a phase I'm going through and I can stamp the ducks down!

If we can conceive it we can achieve it, as Liam, the speaker, said - but we have to be prepared to work hard and keep going, not giving up at the sign of a first and subsequent rejection slips. So if you're feeling in a bit of a rut with your article writing and can't seem to move forward here is what I suggest you do (it's what I'm doing and it seems to be working for me. Try it and see - it might not work for you but it's worth a try.)

1. Take a step back: You're the boss so order yourself to take some time off - a mini holiday. Put your writing away for a period of time - long enough to feel refreshed and to recapture your enthusiasm for writing but not too long that you are demotivated and never pick a pen up to write again.

2. Do something different: Try an activity you've always wanted to do but have never done for whatever reason. This will not only be fun but it will give you more material to work with!

3. Relax: Go to the spa, go for lots of walks, read a book, put your feet up with a stack of magazines, coffee and biscuits and let the world pass you by. If you are relaxed the ideas for articles will flow better.

4. Clear the decks: Have a good clear out and get rid of the paperwork and junk within your writing space - a tidy desk = a tidy mind and you will be more focussed and able to prioritise your work.

5. Read: When you're ready - read through a couple of back copies, and the most reent copy of the magazine you want to target. Don't be tempted to do what I usually do and read lots of different magazines as this is confusing and you may start to panic! Take it slowly and by one magazine title at a time. Note down the name of the editor and their contact details. Get their submission guidelines and note down the types of article subjects they use, the tone, language and style of the articles and word count. This will help you to write your article in the style that is in keeping with the magazine, and give you a better chance of acceptance.

6. Research: It's important, when gathering info for your articles, that you ensure you get them from a reliable source and they you get the facts right. If you say something in your article that is untrue - whether you realise it or not - the editor will not be pleased and you may lose your chance of acceptance. Don't just rely on one source for your info. There are many places you can go to obtain info: the internet, library, journals, newspapers, magazines, books, people.

7. Organisation: Once you have all the info you need take a deep breath and don't panic. Sit down and sift through the info and organise it into files for each section of the article. If you keep all the information in one file but devided into sections within the file you won't lose any of it and it will be easy to locate the info you need.

8. Try to keep the idea of the theme of your article in your head when you are writing it. What are you trying to say? What are the main points? What evidence to back the claims up do you have? What other info do you need and how are you going to get it? Try not to wander off topic or lose the cohesive thread of your theme in your article.

I think, by taking a step back from your writing and doing something else or relaxing for a while, you give your brain time to calm down and recharge your batteries. You view your life from a different angle when you relax and this can be liberating for your creativity which is now unbound and free from the constraints of your everyday life. But the only answer really is to have regular breaks but then get back to your writing and keep going! Keep sending your work out there - and try and have fun while your doing it.

Good luck

Julie xx

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Driving me Crazy!

I'm not having a very good writing day today. My get up and go seems to have got up and gone and it hasn't left a forwarding address or any indication as to where it has gone or when it may come back. A note wouldn't have gone amiss. If you are out there, Get Up and Go, please get in touch - I'm sure we can work something out. And I promise I won't work you so hard when (if) you come back.

I have spent the last two days trawling through all the information I was given and all the interviews and notes I took when I attended the Wenlock Olympian Society's games over the weekend. It's driving me crazy! I have a rudimentary article of the facts that will need a drastic face lift before it gets sent anywhere. And I have written down plans for a couple of other article ideas I have from the event.

I have, so far, sent proposals to two magazines and I'm waiting for their reply. I may be waiting some time, I know! But, hey ho, that's the nature of the beast I suppose. In the meantime I'm trying to access my emergency/reserve tanks of energy so I can carry on writing. And, yes, this blog post is an exercise in procrastination and diversion therapy! I'm also hoping it will encourage me to write the articles ......... soon. The trouble with me is that I have a butterfly mind and tend to flit from one article idea to another and then back again. My head is spinning. I so want to do well on these articles that I think I'm just putting too much pressure on myself and if I don't settle down soon I will be in danger of not writing anything and wasting the hard work I did and the opportunity I was given over the weekend. I'm sure I'll calm down in a bit!

We were given a media pack from the Wenlock Olympian Society and we can use some images from them, free of charge, and some we have to pay for.But I can't work out out to access these images and I've tried everything I can think of (we had a CD of all the stuff in the pack) to get them off the CD into my computer (you'll have to bear with me but I'm not technically minded) but I've failed miserably. I have resorted, at the risk of looking a prize idiot, to sending an email to the Society in the hope they will take pity on me and tell me how to do it! So watch this space!

I'm sure it will all come fine in the end and I will produce at least one article that is publishable! I just have to get over these couple of hurdles (pardon the pun): technical difficulties and confidence crisis and get on with it!

Hope everyone else is having a better writing day!

Julie xx

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Do Your Homework!

Having recently been thrown head first into the madness that is writing articles I decided to push myself a little further and attend the Olympian Games in Muchwenlock. After several phonecalls I went to Muchwenlock this morning and was issued with my Press pass and media pack and I will be returning tomorrow for the main portion of the games: Athletics, road race, fencing, and bike race.

I've never attended an event like this in a professional capacity before and so I feel a mixture of nausea, elation, anxiety and excitement at the prospect of coming well and truly out of my comfort zone and doing something new. I'm assured it's all good fun and character building! I didn't think it would be so easy to get permission to become part of the press pack as, although I've had some articles published before, I would hardly call myself confident, or an expert in this area. I am, however, determined to give it my best shot and write an article that the Olympian Society can be proud of. And thank you, Simon Whaley, for your help so far! I had a panic on yesterday when I knew I was going to the games and he managed to calm me down!

So here are some tips on preparing for an event like this.

1. Don't panic - it's not going to kill you! Stay calm and enjoy the experience as you will learn more this way.

2. Do your homework - find out as much as you can about the event and its organisers before you attend. Go on the internet, ring/visit the organisers and look out for pictures/info on previous year's events. It will make the organisers feel that you are committed to their cause and that you know what you're talking about.

3. Be honest - if it's one of the first events you've attended and you have only been published a couple of times tell them. There's no point lying, and they will appreciate your honesty. They want publicity no matter how low key - so any publicity in your article writing you can give them they are not going to turn you away.

4. Be confident and friendly - don't be frightened of them; they won't bite! Honest.

5. Be prepared - don't forget to take your notes, pens, dictaphone (if you use one) and camera with you. You will just look unprofessional if you're rooting around in your bag for a pen, or paper and it's likely to annoy the person you're talking to.

6. Dress for the occassion - I don't mean don your best dress/suit, just make sure you're wearing something suitable for the environment you're in. It's no good wearing killer heels and a smart skirt if you're going to be yomping over muddy fields. And make sure you're comfortable - no one wants to talk to a writer/journalist who is grimmacing and shuffling about in their seat because their shoes are pinching and their skirt/trousers are too tight.

7. Be vigilant - look through the media pack and other information they give you. Be very careful re copywright and read the forms they may ask you to sign. You may need written permission to take photographs and use some of the literature they give you.

8. Cough up - some organisers of events will ask for a percentage of the sale you make on any articles you sell using details of the event: interviews, photographs, historical info etc. This may not be up for negotiation so unless you want to run the risk of being barred from the event, and any future one, pay up!

9. Be professional - You are more likely to get the info you want by being polite and playing the game their way. The way you behave at events could lead to having more work or less, so make sure you behave appropriately at all times an ensure that the tone of your articles are favourable to the event and its organisers. You don't want to upset anyone. If you have any complaints about the event then talk to the organisers instead. They would much rather you brought the issue to their attention first and not slate them in an article.

10. Enjoy yourself - it's work but that doesn't mean it has to be tedious or painful! Your articles are likely to be better if you go with the flow and have fun.

Julie xx

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The importance of Patience!

I'm always intrigued as to the length of time the editors of different magazines take to give a verdict on articles that I send in to them. There seems to be no logic or pattern to it! You can wait hours, days, or most likely months! Sometimes - and this is the real killer - you hear nothing at all!

Sinced Sunday I have managed to get three articles accepted at different magazines (what is it they say about buses?) The first one was taken up by The Link - The National Association Of Writers' Groups magazine. This one was accepted the morning after I had submitted it. The second article was also taken up the day after I submitted it. Today, an article I originally sent the proposal out for in March this year was finally accepted by a well known national writing magazine today! This was after I made two enquirey emails.

So don't give up on your submissions and don't be afraid to contact the editors you have sent work out to if it's been a month or so since you sent it. Persistence (not being a nuisance) does pay!


Monday, 6 July 2009

Small Press

I was thinking this afternoon about the small press publications that are out there. I think a lot of people overlook these as often they pay very little or nothing for contributions. From my point of view, okay, they may not pay but it's the ideal opportunity to get your work out there and read by people. It's also good practice and that leads to better quality work and can build your confidence to work up to sending your articles out to bigger publications.

Local community magazines are a good place to start and are often crying out for contributions to fill their pages. I get some of these magazines free through my letterbox every week, and I'm sure you do too. So, instead of throwing them straight in the recycling box read through them and get a feel for the type of topics they cover. Study the 'house' style and write something you have tailored specifically for them. Give the editor a ring, or send them an email to outline your article ideas. Build up a rapport with them and, if your work fits their remit, you may get other articles in the same publication. You can build up a portfolio in this way which can lead on to other opportunities.

Most importantly, do not make the mistake that as they are local and tend to have a smaller distribution than the larger, national magazines that they don't expect the same high standards - they do! Also don't give up. You have to be persistent in this game and be quick off the mark. Don't give up if one publication says no. They are not saying no to you personally, they are saying no to that one piece of work - so do look at the piece again, rejig it if you need to, and send it elsewhere.

Don't sit there brooding; take a look outside and see what's happening in your community, in your area. Is there anything going on that you can get an article out of. Think laterally and get a different angle to present to an editor. There's always something to write about, so don't be shy, and don't be too late! Get out there and get the material for your article. Get the article written and the proposal in to the editor before someone else does. I went to a Writers' Bash in Hereford on Saturday. I got home at 8pm and by 1030 pm my article was written, photos attached and emailed to the editor of The Link (The National Association Of Writers' Groups magazine) and it was accepted for publication the next morning! Seeing as the Writers' Bash involved the coming together of several local writers' groups in the area reading their work out I thought it would be ideal subject matter for the Link. On this occassion my speed and pitching the article to the right editor worked; it doesn't always but I'm getting better at it.

Any thoughts on article writing? What got you interested in article writing?


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Hello And Welcome

Hello and welcome to my new blog on everything to do with article writing. Whether you write for a small press, local community magazine, or the bigger national/ international magazines this is the blog for you! I have had some success in article writing in small magazines, most notably The Link, the magazine of the National Association Of Writers' Groups, and a new online website about the best facilities and places to visit in Shropshire which is due to be launched soon.

I started off writing readers letters to local newspapers, magazines and then the nationals. I have had many such letters printed but I wanted to move on to article writing. I also write short stories and poetry, but you can read about my successes and challenges about that side of my writing on my other two blogs Julie's Quest and Poetry ponderings. My aim with this blog is to discuss and explore article writing, looking at ways of searching the market and pitching your article idea to the right person and how to increase your chances of publication. I have no qualifications in journalism or article writing so any advice I give here is purely of my own findings along the way and what I've picked up from kind folk who do know what they are doing! My other aim is to try and break into writing articles for national magazines and this blog will also be a journal of how I get on.

I am not an expert on article writing but I'm learning as I go along with the support of the writers' group I attend Wrekin Writers in Telford, Shropshire. Without their help I wouldn't have sent any of my work off! I'm hoping that others who write articles will join in the debate and add any advice they have so we can all help each other on the road to publication.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you come back soon.