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The place you call home may be a treasure trove of publication opportunities.

When I attended the 2014 Ultimate Writer’s Workshop in San Diego, presenters emphasized the importance about “starting local.” I took that advice to heart.

How and where to find local publications is a question for many new writers. It was for me too.

Even as a fairly new writer, I’ve had 20 of my 68 articles published in four separate local print or online publications. And out of 20 published stories, 16 were paying publications. From those publications that did not compensate me monetarily, I’ve had free tours, dinners or wine tastings in exchange for a published article.

Additionally, I’ve had 9 articles about the San Diego region in other non-local publications, never having to leave my hometown for the story. My writing ranges from family travel and mining towns to elegant afternoon teas in a historic hotel.

Here’s how and where I found sources for my local travel stories…

1. Car Wash. One day while waiting at the car wash, I saw a publication called San Diego Reader sitting on a table. Curious, I thumbed through the magazine and realized they had a travel section. I searched their writer’s guidelines, and lo and behold, they were a paid publication. My first article submitted on a fascinating, spectacular hike on the island of Kauai was accepted for publication. The editor then invited me to submit more stories. Just last week, I went to the same car wash and found another publication called City Beat that focuses on local art, culture, drink, food and the like. I picked up a copy, went home, did some online research, and found they pay writers, as well.

1602 Noreen Kompanik publications

2. Grocery Store. The publication source for many of my hometown articles is a free publication for San Diego families. They have a fun travel section, love local writers, and I’ve become a regular contributor to this lucrative paying magazine.

3. Doctor’s Office. While waiting for a family member in a medical appointment, I thumbed through several magazines in the outpatient area. One magazine happened to be a military publication. I had recently visited an incredibly beautiful military cemetery right here in San Diego. I pitched the article, submitted it, and it ended up being a cover story!

4. Google. I simply typed in “San Diego magazine publications” and a few names popped up. Not all publications accepted freelance work, but I quickly found a few that did.

5. Local Newspaper. Though our local newspaper doesn’t have the budget for freelance writers, this doesn’t mean yours doesn’t. I know several writer colleagues who have gotten articles published this way.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy famously clicks her heels together and repeats, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” I tend to agree.

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