I am about to submit a query letter (explained later for novices) to a national magazine for parents. It has taken me several weeks to research various publications–print and online–to find the best venue for my article about how to make a day at the zoo educational and enjoyable.
My granddaughter asked what the delay was in sending the query letter. I told her that I had to find a magazine that publishes articles similar to the one I am proposing; to do otherwise is a waste of time.
For example, Family Fun wants first-person articles from parents. (My children are all adults.) New York Family seeks submissions from New York City writers. (I have relocated to Las Vegas.)
Eventually, I found a magazine that publishes articles about things that parents can do with their children.
I spent several weeks drafting my query letter. I suggest you do the same.
There are numerous websites that offer advise about and examples of effective query letters, so I won’t go into too much detail; however, it should include a brief (a few sentences) description of the content, the reason you are the best person or expert to write the article, and a listing of publications you have written for.
Most magazines or e-zines post submission guidelines. Read them carefully. Do they want only e-mail submissions? Do they want copies of your previously published work? How do they pay–per word or per article?
One big no-no. Do not submit to more than one publication at a time.
After you hit “Send” or drop the envelope in the mail, expect to wait several weeks for a response.
If you get a rejection letter, don’t fret. Do more research, brush off your query letter, and re-send it.
Rejection is part of the professional writer’s reality. We all get rejected at one time or another.
With each rejection, consider yourself one step closer to success.