Do you dream of having your writing published in a magazine? Whether in print or online, seeing your name attached to your best work for all to see is incredibly rewarding! And there’s plenty you can do right now to work toward that goal, even if you’re still in school. Just follow these top five tips on writing to pave your way.
1. Have Passion – and Persistence
If you love writing, it certainly has the potential to turn into a career someday. With magazines covering a wide range of topics today, the possibilities are nearly endless. Keep in mind, though — the road to your dream job may not be smooth and you may need to stick your neck out to get noticed. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t always go your way. Your persistence will pay off if you just stick with it.
2. Take the Right Classes
If your school offers a journalism course, sign up right away! Similarly, if your school publishes a newspaper or yearbook, consider joining the staff to learn about what it takes to find a story, write it, and publish it alongside other stories in a printed medium.
These courses and activities give you a chance to learn and practice various writing styles. You’ll get to research and interview people to get the information you need for feature-oriented pieces, and you’ll probably also get to write long-form or narrative pieces about events at your school.
English and grammar courses are also useful for learning tips on writing. Your work is not likely to be taken seriously if you have grammatical mistakes or spelling errors, so make sure you understand the technical writing side as much as the creative side. Plus, English classes often give you the chance to edit the work of your peers, giving you a feel for what it’s like to be an editor, another important position at a magazine.
3. Work with a Private Writing Tutor
Even if you’re naturally talented, the skills you learn from working one-one-one with a writing tutor could be what you need to achieve your goal! Consider pursuing private writing lessons if you want to learn important tips on writing that are often glazed over in a classroom setting. If you’re serious about becoming a writer at a magazine, consider finding a tutor who has experience in that industry. He or she may be able to provide you with insider advice for polishing your work, submitting to publications, and networking.
4. Submit Your Best Work to Your Favorite Magazines
Whether the company publishes physical magazines or is a purely online entity, you can submit copies of your work for consideration. Go to your favorite magazine’s website and look for contact information. You may need to send your work by snail mail to a physical address, or there may be an email form you can complete. Make sure you’re following any directions or guidelines, as these can vary by publication.
5. Be Prepared to Adapt
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects writer and author employment to grow by only 3% between 2012 and 2022. While some positions are expected to open up with the growth of online publications, jobs are expected to remain competitive because the print industry is shrinking. In the end, you can expect more opportunities if you are able to adapt to new media formats in today’s ever-evolving media content industry.
Writing for a magazine is fun. You can make extra money and build your portfolio. If you work toward getting published now, and hone your skills by working with a writing tutor, you’ll have a greater chance of working as a full-time staff writer with your favorite magazine one day. This is truly one of the most coveted positions in the entertainment media world today, and with enough dedication, it can be yours!
Photo by Phillie Casablanca