1. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    What sort of thing do magazines like?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Seppuku, Jun 24, 2009.

    I'm wanting to submit a piece of work to a writers' magazine, they offer £300 for the best story they receive each month and I want to give them something, but something their readers would like and something that they'd publish.

    For short stories, I have in my inventory (unpublished, not even on the internet):
    A sad story to do with child abuse (Only about 400 words)
    A dystopian sci-fi about a religious super-power (1500 words)
    A strange story about a clone and his crazy doctor (2000 words)
    A story about somebody trying to overcome their fear of hand-gliding (400 words)
    A story about rape from the rapist's perspective (It's not graphic, 600 words))
    A story about an obsessed stalker (1300 words)

    I can't imagine all of them being the right sort of material, but that's what I could submit right now (well a couple need editing), of course I will be writing new material geared towards magazines.

    But yes, what sort of Stories do writers' magazines like?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Te best way to know that is to read some issues of the magazine in question.
     
  3. Seppuku
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    I've read a few stories of this month's issue of the magazine and they seem to branch on 'real life' and the ones I read aren't the sort of thing I normally write. But I'll do a bit more research, though is there any general advice for magazine writing? (Perhaps I should have made the title 'Advice for magazine writing')
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every magazine and lit journal is different. In general, from what I've seen, anything above 2000 words is rare, but it depends on the publication.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cog is 100% right. Begin your decision making by studying their most recent editions. Also, see if you can find an edition from a year of two ago (check library) so you can see if the company's focus is steady or evolving.

    When I was writing for the fishing industry, I was paid $300-500 (US) for each article. The company's focus was on fishing but they loved off-beat articles like the Take-a-Kid Fishing Theme, Working WITH Environmentalists Instead of Shooting at Them and one article I wrote got a lot of attention because it was a litany of screw-ups during a day on the water . . . launching the boat without the bilge plug, forgetting to attach one of the batteries, kicking a $300 fishing rod into the 200 feet deep water, gouging a deep scratch into your $40,000 boat on a dock nail, etc.

    Also, magazines LOVE pictures. Even in fiction, you can have a local college art major read your story and produce a drawing to fits with the story. Same with creative photos . . . if you write about suicide, get a local photography major to shoot some pictures of a person that reflect the depression; things like sitting in the corner of a dark room, holding a gun in a pensive way, standing on the railing of a bridge, etc. Pictures DO sell articles.
     
  6. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    Ah, cheers. I guess I'll do my research properly, I might have to right a 'life' story for this one and check out other magazines for my preferred areas of interest - like say as Sci-Fi for my dystopian pieces.

    As far as the note on pictures, I hadn't thought of that. I have a family member finds it hard getting work as an illustrator, perhaps I could ask her to illustrate my short stories.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    pictures can sell 'articles' but not fiction... for fiction, all that's wanted is a well-written, compelling story that readers will enjoy...

    i'd never advise anyone to send in art work when submitting a piece of fiction to a writing competition, or for publication in a magazine...
     
  8. Seppuku
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    I'll bear that in mind, thank you.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to clarify, in re 'pictures' for non-fiction, i meant only photos, not artwork...
     

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