Chapter by Chapter: Magazine WRiting That Sells Chapter Two

Magazine Writing That Sells

Chapter Two

Get The Editor’s Attention


First one must write a good query letter.

  1. Avoiding the Slush Pile:

     Write to a person not “dear editor”

     Find the proper person to submit to, by name.

  1. What Makes a Good Query
    1. Lead – must explain the idea. Can be same as lead for article.
    2. What about – summarize the point of your article as simply as you can in one paragraph.
    3. Why now – Why is this the right time for this article?
    4. who from – Where does info come from
    5. What treatment – how do you plan to handle the story? Interviews, humor?
    6. Who are you – about yourself, why you should write the article, credentials.
    7. What length – Projected length of the article, don’t be to rigid.
    8. When can you deliver – Not ironclad, but some idea when you can deliver the article.
  2. Multiple Submissions

Most editors don’t like it

  1. Fourteen Things Not To Do In Your Query
    1. No cute attention getting devices
    2. Don’t discuss fees
    3. Keep opinions to yourself
    4. Don’t tell editor what others think about what you’ve written
    5. No name dropping
    6. Don’t try and soft soap the editor
    7. No unnecessary enclosures
    8. Don’t offer irrelevant information
    9. Don’t offer comments like, “I never read your magazine but-“
    10. Don’t ask for a meeting to discuss the idea.
    11. Don’t ask for advice
    12. Don’t offer to rewrite
    13. Don’t make threats
    14. Don’t include multiple choice reply card



Don McKinney

Copyright 1994 – Writer’s Digest Books



About davepyl

Though I have held many jobs over the years, being a fiction writer has always been my main interest even though I may not have always pursued it well enough. Originally from Princeton, IN, where I graduated High School and took writing related courses, I went on to attend Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN, and obtained a degree in journalism. After working a few years as a journalist and freelance nonfiction writer, I pursed other careers. late in the 90’s my interest in writing fiction resurged with stronger and better ideas, I have taken courses through Full Sail University to help me hone my skills as a creative writer. Now my plans are to focus more on writing fiction in addition to my day job and build it as a career in as many ways as I can: books, short stories, scripts, comicbooks. My writing credentials include: *KNOX COUNTY DAILY NEWS | Feb 1988 – April 1992; Staff Writer / Journalist; * OFFICIAL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE GROUP | 1990 – 1992Freelance Writer / Photographer; *VIETNAM MAGAZINE | April 1995 • Contributing Writer (Short Story) – “Operation Babylift” *MIDNIGHT ZOO | May/June 1991 • Contributing Writer (Poem) – “Lady In Black” *REUNIONS MAGAZINE Summer, 1995 * Contributing Writer Reunion at George Field *QUILTER’S WORLD | April 2004 • Contributing Writer (Short Story) – “Two Visionaries” *STORYTELLER MAGAZINE | Nov/Dec 2010. • Contributing Writer (Short Story) – “The Ol’ Conner Place” short story *TALES OF THE TALISMAN | Oct 2011 • Contributing Writer (Poem) – “Bloody Red Riding Hood” *REUNIONS MAGAZINE Fall/Winter 2012 * Contributing Writer Morgan/Bivens Family Reunion * Frontier Tales magazine/ Winter 2012/ Battle of Three Lakes and what inspired you to write your book. The battle between the ani-men and the JLA, from Justice League America issues 221-223-1984.
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