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Can you break into National Publications?

As a freelance writer you probably have many goals. For many, one of the most common goals is to break into a national publication. These are the popular magazines that have a large circulation, and are always found at the doctor’s office. For example, I am a huge sports fan and doing a piece for Sports Illustrated would be a thrill. Not only are national publications a great way to get your name in front of a lot of people, but you can make quite a bit of money at the same time.

The question is: how are you going to turn this dream into a reality? Although my work has yet to be accepted by national publications, I have gotten close a couple of times. As of late querying these magazines has taken a backseat to my other work, but I plan on picking this back up in the near future. When it comes down to it, you have no chance of working with national publications unless you show them that you are interested. Obviously, the best way to do this is through a well written query letter.

Personally, I believe strongly in the power of Writer’s Market. For a small fee you can become a member of the online version which grants you access to information on hundreds of publications. A couple weeks back I queried a sports publication and was promptly rewarded with a 1,500 word feature article at a rate of $.15/word. This is not a huge project, but $225 is much more than I spent to become a member of Writer’s Market. Additionally, it is my hopes that this one article will turn into a monthly gig.

There is no easy way to break into national publications. You have to send out plenty of queries, and hope that an editor thinks enough of your idea to give you a chance. When this finally happens, you will have reached a goal that many freelance writers strive for.

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7 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 25th, 2008

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