Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some Tips for Submitting to a Magazine

Next week is the deadline for two magazines I absolutely love. One is Sew Somerset and I have been completely fortunate that they have included my work in their last 2 issues. My goal was to make it into three in a row. I thought that would fix my wire and fabric work in the minds of the subscribers better than appearing every once in a while. The second magazine is also by Stampington and actually just premiered this June. It's titled Art Quilting Studio. I loved the clean professional looking layout of this magazine. Rather than incorporating any sewn pieces it concentrates on the world of art quilting so it seems to have a more cohesive feel than the first. Sew Somerset is still my personal fave though, just because the projects are all over the place and I LOVE all over the place.

So these two deadlines are then next two goals I'd like to hit. They're on my mind so I thought I'd share my thoughts on submitting.

1-Find the magazine that best fits your work and style. Scope it out and try to get a feeling for the projects they like. For instance, I put more mixed media into the projects I submit for Sew Somerset just because their reader base seems focused on that. So when I created the "believe" mini quilt I added part of an old carpenter's ruler. It pulled the entire piece together and if I hadn't been searching for that little added "something" I might not have thought to include it.

2- Go for Broke! Include an article proposal. It felt completely audacious submitting an article proposal with my first group of work but I figured it was worth it if it put my work in the feature section vs. gallery. Although I would've been thrilled just to have it accepted into the gallery. Published is published! I googled magazine proposals to find the format I should follow. As for topic- did you create a new technique or mix media in a unique way. Is there an interesting story behind the creation of these pieces? Artists love to know what inspires others so telling a little about what inspired you is a great addition to the proposal/article. It also helps if you have 2 or more pieces to illustrate your article idea.

3- See a Need and Fill it. Sew Somerset seems to get less submissions for their wearable art section than the others. You might have a better chance of getting accepted if you tried focusing on a section like that. Could you adapt your work to a wearable format-plus you could be discovering a whole new direction in which to take your work! Fun!

4-Be Different. Don't worry if your work is a little offbeat or a stretch for the magazine. It should fit the general theme per Tip #1 but it's great if it's a little off. The editors could be looking for something a little different to help them expand their look. No one was doing wire and fabric sculptures when I submitted them. I figured they did use sewing techniques so although it might be a stretch that might also be appealing. You never know!


Unknown said...

These are great tips, thanks so much for posting them! I'm in the process of trying to develop that side of my career and any tips and hints are Good Things. :D

Jen said...

I'm glad you thought they were helpful. They're really just some thoughts I had going through the experience myself. :) Good luck!!!