Getting an article published is a challenging puzzle. It means selecting the right travel destination, the right story angle, and the right publication. Since I’ve begun piecing the puzzle together, I’ve matched over 55 stories with 14 publications to achieve my travel-writing dream.
While many people start by looking at their stories and attempt to match them to a publication, I took the opposite approach when I first started.
I had many story ideas from a variety of destinations. My travel to 42 states and 41 countries has been an adventure that produced a fountain of story ideas, so instead of focusing on those, I reviewed over 100 publications. I spent hours reading websites and magazines, to get a feel for each publication. What types of stories did they publish? Who were their readers? What voice did they use? Did they publish people profiles? Once I had an idea of what the publication was looking for, I was able to fit an appropriate story to it from my collection of story ideas.
Here are three tips for finding editors to publish your work:
1. Consider non-paying publications
I wrote without pay for a website that published women writers. While there was no pay involved, there was a big payoff. They offered a closed Facebook group for women who published on their website. Through that Facebook group, they would post offerings of paid work. If you were interested, the editor advised to contact her directly. One posting described a new travel app paying $50 per article. In that case, the editor who I had written for without pay, made a favorable introduction to the editor of the app. That editor published my work and paid $50 for the article.
2. Keep an eye on free magazine racks at local businesses
Often these publications are just advertisements, but sometimes they contain stories too. I had my first print article published in a local glossy magazine that I came across at a restaurant. On the cover were the words, “Premier Edition,” so I knew it was brand-new. I contacted the editor, requesting the writer’s guidelines. He simply replied, “What’s your idea?” From there he published my first article and several additional ones in the months to come. New local and regional publications are constantly popping up. Explore your local area, and you’ll be surprised what turns up.
3. Check out your local bookstore
Even bookstores like Barnes & Noble carry different magazines depending on the size of their store and region of the country. So checking out a national chain bookstore in a new town can help you uncover new possibilities. I always check out bookstores when I am traveling to see what new publications are lurking out there.
There are thousands of print and online publications and some are guaranteed to be a good fit for your writing. Understand what a publication is looking for, and you will be more successful in pitching an editor a piece they can’t resist.