Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lynne Thompson's Writer's Corner

Lynne kindly let me share this with you all!

Magazine Writing Q & A
(Answers to my most asked questions)

Question: Should I send an e-query or send my query letter in the mail?
Answer: Personally I love e-query. No envelopes or stamps to mess with and usually a quicker reply. You need to check though with the market guide to see if the publisher accepts e-queries. Most do, but there are a few who hang to the old tried and true through sleet and snow group.

Question: Do I have to send in the entire article or is a query enough?
Answer: Well, the answer is both. You need to send the query to get the assignment. If you are a beginning writer, or new to that particular magazine, they may want to see the entire manuscript first. This is called “on spec” and means you may do all the work and they will still reject you without pay, but if they like your style they will probably use you again. It's a way to get “in the door.”

Question: Can you send the same query letter to different magazines at the same time?
Answer: Yes, but...
First, be sure and tell them in the query that you are sending this as a simultaneous submission (you don't need to list to whom). Second, I'm hoping that your query isn't a “shotgun” letter ie. sending the exact letter to everyone. Each query should reflect the individual voice and needs of that particular magazine.

Question: When can I send my published article in to another magazine?
Answer: That depends. First, it depends on the kind of rights the first magazine purchased. If they purchased “All Rights” then you can't sell the article again. It belongs to them forever. Personally, I don’t sell “All Rights.” If you sold “First Rights” which is what I sell, then you need to refer to your contract or writer's guidelines. Most magazines secure their right to that article for 60 days after it runs in their publication. Be sure and check before trying to sell the article again, called “Reprint Rights.”

Question: How many rejection letters did you get before you finally sold an article?
Answer: This is a dangerous question. If I said 20, and you've received 21 rejection notices, does that mean you're going to quit writing? The reality is, God is looking for obedience. So if you've received 100 rejections, and He says keep going, then that is your answer. I would suggest, however, that you keep working to improve your craft.

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