1. Ferb
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    Ferb Member

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    What is "writing sample"?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Ferb, Jul 6, 2009.

    I've been meaning to start writing for online magazines, but every time they ask me for "writing sample," I'm not really sure what to send them. Should I send them something that I have written that doesn't look like anything that magazine would publish? Or should I write something new and send them that one?
     
  2. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Depends if you're speaking of writing content for websites or creative stuff for e-zine publication. The request for writing samples sounds more like website content. If so, I'd suggest sending a sample of something you might write for them and/or linking them to samples of writing you might've already published somewhere else. They're probably going to be concerned about search engine optimization (through the use of google-able words and phrases), some evidence of research skills, appropriate content, and at least baseline writing skills (spelling and punctuation, in particular).

    For e-zines, you'd ordinarily just send the story, unless it's non-fiction where a proposal or sample might be requested, where (again) published work on the internet can be linked to. Short of published credits, you could write something like what you envision they might want (paying close attention to what they've already published--word count, content, style, etc.).

    I think it's worth imagining that the purpose of the writing sample is to exclude folks they don't think can produce the kind of thing they want to see. So, I'd probably shoot for coming as close as I possibly could to what I think they DO want.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as mm noted, it depends on what kind of writing you're hoping to do for them... so, follow the relevant parts of the advice given above...
     

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