1. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Wondering about local magazines...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Noya Desherbanté, Nov 2, 2010.

    Just this morning I had the idea of trying my hand writing for a local magazine, since I believe I have a reasonable chance of being published, I would gain a bit of recognition and it would also help incredibly with my discipline, having to write something to standard every week.

    They already have a couple of chatty columns, which, to be honest, I could put an original spin on and create a very different one, but the magazine is sorely lacking in anything poetry or fiction-related and I thought I might submit a short story with a local theme (naturally).

    The problem lies in what tone to go for - I'm assuming that to build a regular readership I would need to ideally go for roughly the same kind of material each week, e.g. not publish a historical romance bit one week and a searing gory horror the next. Unfortunately I have great fun writing both, and anything in between. My county is a very historical one, both quaint and sinister - it has it's cosy pubs and cheery village events, and on the other side it was notorious for smugglers, murders, and creepy myths, legends and landmarks.

    The story I'm working on now to try and send off is about a prison ship (a fairly local issue) and a dystopian view of what it would be like if prisoners got the vote (quite topical). But I don't think I can resist doing a quaint comedy piece later on.

    I think it would be a stretch to expect the magazine to publish such different stories. The point of this worrying ramble is: has anyone had experience writing for small local presses? Were they very limiting with what you could write, or was the opposite true, that they wished to promote local talent and didn't exactly mind what genre? Have you any tips, or advice?
     
  2. skinnydipper
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    skinnydipper New Member

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    I have written for a small, local magazine and I have submitted queries to several. All magazines have style guidelines that are developed for their intended audience. Just go to the magazine's web site and search for their guidelines.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    while columnists are featured weekly, i've never come across a magazine that featured a short story by the same author every single week, so what makes you think this one will?
     
  4. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Now that you've thrown it into the light, mamma, I don't honestly know. I can only say it must have been more of a pipe dream than an actual plan. The magazine I'm talking about is, as I've mentioned, very small, and very local, and free, and because of that I might have got myself into the nasty assumption that they were hungry for contributors. :/

    Perhaps I could pitch a series, featuring the same characters and locale each week? Or maybe send one short story I really like and see what happens. Obviously I would love to be asked to contribute regularly, but I guess I had no idea how that came about... 0_o would they ask you after reading quite a few submissions? Or would it be something you would pitch in a letter?

    Or is this all something that could be better handled in one letter, addressed to the editor of the magazine?!
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Send for their guide lines.
    If they do not already publish fiction or poetry, they may have no intention of doing so.
    You could always get intouch with them and see if they would consider your work.
    Good luck
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... start by checking out their submission guidelines, if they have a website... if they don't, then try a phone call, since it's local...

    but since you say they do not include fiction now, what makes you think they'd want to?... before investing any time in a query letter or submitting mss, you'd better call the editor or publisher and see if they'll even consider it...

    that said, i don't advise giving away work to any but respected literary journals that only pay in copies... and especially not to freebie mags... if you want to be considered as a professional, then do what the pros do and expect to be paid for what you write...
     
  7. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Mamma, it would obviously be great to be paid for what I write, but I don't expect it straightaway. I write articles for a site which pays fractions of pennies every time someone clicks on an ad, and consider that my main source of writing income lol ;)

    My main objective with this whole kinda half-baked idea was to get a bit of local recognition, and in turn, maybe advice or contacts, as well as a readership that might send in a letter to the magazine every so often to say they liked it. In my opinion, don't worry if you don't agree, words aren't going to run out any time soon - I enjoy writing, and if I can trundle off enough and get in the habit (working on it) I can see nothing wrong with spreading a few 'freebies' here and there. Obviously the danger with less renowned publishers is the increased danger that someone will see, think no one will have really read it, and attempt to rip it off or steal it - but I think if my story's printed in an archivable physical format, with a date and my name and everything on the magazine, it should be fine.

    I'm not precious about my work whatsoever, I'm one of those annoyingly Dickensian sorts who thinks any way I can put a smile on someone's face is worth it, especially if they remember my name and would 'tune in next time'... that being said, I want to make it clear that I respect your outlook completely. In the end I think it's a much more sensible way of doing things! But right now, I'm out to get read, not a profit. :)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it works for you, that's all that matters...
     

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