Magazine WritingChapter 3The Portable MFA in Creative WritingCreative Writing ENG 211
Why Does a Magazine WriterHave to be a Reader?• Writing for a magazine is differentbecause there will be a targetaudience, and if one is not a reader,he/she will not know:– what stories magazines publish.– who the intended audience is.– what ideas certain magazine wouldpublish.– what a good magazine article looks like.
Magazine ArticlesGeneral Information• There is a close connection betweenfiction and nonfiction writing.• Whatever they type of article that iswritten, the writer must write in amanner that is concise andeconomical due to space constraintsformat restrictions.
General Magazine ArticleInformation Cont.• ―In order to write for a magazine,you have to know what they are, whothey cater to, and why they exist.‖MFA pg.142• Many magazines are about fantasy asthey play to what we would like to beinstead of who we are.
General MagazineInformation Cont.• In the magazine industry, there aredemographics completed of thecharacteristics of the individuals whoread a certain magazine, which alsohelps advertisers as well to knowwhich audiences to target.• Often the cover reveals the typicalaudience of a magazine.
The First Step inMagazine Writing• Success will begin with an idea towrite about.• Once the idea is formed and focused,match up that idea with theappropriate magazine and create aquery letter to the proper editor.
First Steps in MagazineWriting Cont.• Most magazine companies wantarticles about subjects their readerswould already be interested inreading.• They don’t often want articles ontopics readers know nothing about.
First Steps in MagazineWriting Cont.• One of the best places to get ideasfor articles is through one’s owncuriosity.• Be leery though that once an ideahits the national media outlet, likeTV, it is dead to a magazine unless anew spin can be put on oldinformation.
First Steps in MagazineWriting Cont.• Often the best ideas come fromsomething a writer does for a living,enjoys doing for a hobby, or aspecific filed of study.
Parts of MagazineWriting• One of the first things a writer willneed is a hook—something that drawsthe readers in and makes the storyinteresting.• There will also be what is termedlead time, or the time between whenthe when the writer is assigned thearticle and the time when it will bepublished.
Query Letter• In the query letter, you should:– Present your idea.– Make sure to write it like you are doinga sales pitch for you idea.– Convince the editor your idea is worthpublishing and you are the writer forthe job.– It should make a first good impressionwith the editor.
Query Letters Cont.• Query letters must be:– Well focused.– Well written and well structured.– Written in a style of the magazine towhich they are addressed.– Clear as to the intent and leave nothingto the imagination.– Deliver on any promises made.– Have accurate facts.
Query Letters Cont.– No longer than a page and a half, single-spaced typing.– Not suggest word count length ordelivery dates.– Find the correct editor for the deliveryof the letter.
Writing a Query Letter• Be straight forward and getright into the topic of yourarticle, or start off the queryexactly how you will begin thearticle.• Most like them submitted byemail.
Parts of a Query Letter• Lead: introduces to the editor the ideadone in a preferably creative as to how youenter the query.• Give the intended information of thearticle once you have introduced it.• Give the specific of exactly what thearticle will be about—topic, where theinformation will come from, point of view,and fair representation of information.• Credentials—why are you qualified?