1. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    Do You Have To Be An Expert?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kasper, Mar 11, 2015.

    I apologize if this isn't the correct place for this question. If not, please advise and I will move.

    Question: Do you have to be an "expert" to submit certain types of writing? For example, I am quite knowledgeable in problem behaviors in children. Could I submit work to child/parent magazines if I felt my work was a good fit?

    For example, if I wrote a piece on problem behaviors in preschoolers, could I send it to relatable magazines? Or do I need certain credentials? I have a Bachelor's in Psychology but that certainly makes me no expert.

    Does this make sense? I'm sorry if the answer seems obvious but I've never submitted anything and therefore don't know what is acceptable. Any insight/direction is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can submit anything you like to anywhere you like. Getting it accepted is the trick!

    A B.Sc. in psychology is, I would imagine, under-qualified for a magazine to accept you as an expert whom they would like to be associated with by publishing your work. Bear in mind that if your article advocates, say, slapping your child as being a good thing, their publication would be, tacitly, agreeing with that. So they need to be convinced that you won't be saying anything that they'd feel uncomfortable about - either that, or they'd have to edit your piece so hard they might as well have had it written by a staff member!

    Rather than writing the article and then hawking it around magazines, I'd suggest hawking the idea around first, to see whether they'd even be interested in an unknown author's work, and to see whether they'd have any editorial guidelines that you should be following in your writing.
     
  3. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    @Shadowfax
    Holy Cheezits! No slapping, here. Lol
    Thank you for the suggestion. That makes more sense.
    I guess I was thinking more along the lines of parenting magazines that I read. I don't see any credentials behind the names of folks who write articles on "how to effectively take your toddler on an outing" etc.
    Your suggestion of asking first makes more sense, though. Thanks!
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Research does help. You don't need to have to have a degree in a specialized field to write about it, but if I were writing about a cardiologist, I would do well to research what a cardiologist does.
     
  5. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    @Link the Writer

    Thank you. I have 15 years of experience in child development and am always reading the latest information available.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Based on this, you certainly don't need to be an expert. The editor is going to look for a marketable piece that is well written.
     
  7. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    @thirdwind
    Thank you! I don't think my initial question came across effectively.
     
  8. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, nobody here mentioned it, but wouldn't that depend on a particular magazine's editorial policy? If they have an open submission, they probably have detailed guidelines available, including the level of (academic) expertize they expect from authors. If you are not sure about it, nothing stops you from asking a direct question - there is always an info mail, "ask us" forms etc. But don't send them your texts upfront!
     
  9. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    @Burlbird
    Thank you for the insight. I have no idea what I am doing, so I will look for those things on some of the websites.
    Thanks for the "no texts upfront " warning!
     
  10. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the level of expertise required would depend more on the level of advice being given.

    Your example of "How to take your toddler on an outing" is something that most parents will have a view about, and will have come across the problem of people tutting when their pushchair holds up the queue for the monkey-house. If somebody has found a solution to it - great!

    On the other hand "Slapping your child has been proved to be an effective means of discipline" would require rather more academic backing. I'd certainly expect the author to be able to cite the academic study.
     
  11. Kasper
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    Kasper New Member

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    @Shadowfax
    I understand. Thank you.
     

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