Magazine Writing For Dummies

If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably thought about writing for magazines. But what if you’re a writer with no experience in magazine writing? Don’t worry! This guide will show you how to write an article for a magazine, from finding an idea to putting the finished product into a submission package.

5 Article Writing Tips for Beginners! – YouTube
1. Master the essentials of magazine writing with this comprehensive guide.
2. Learn valuable insights from experienced writers to kickstart your career.
3. Adapt to the digital age by drawing inspiration from online publishers.
4. Explore the world of magazine writing without feeling limited by your background.
5. Break into freelance magazine writing with the right approach and determination.
6. Craft compelling articles by focusing on captivating headlines and engaging content.
7. Enhance your creative writing skills through regular practice and seeking feedback.
8. Gain access to “Creative Writing for Dummies” for a solid foundation in writing techniques.
9. Enroll in MasterClass to learn from industry experts about writing for magazines.
10. Access “Creative Writing for Dummies” digitally on Scribd with a subscription.

Pick A Topic That Interests You Enough To Write About It For Months

Now that you have a topic, it’s time to decide how long you’re going to write about it. This is probably the most important decision in your whole life as a writer.

The best thing you can do is pick a topic that interests you so much that you’ll be able to write about it forever and ever until the end of time. That way, when someone asks “So what do you do?” they will say something like: “Oh, I work at a zoo,” or “I am president of an oil company.” 

But instead of saying this, they will say: “Wow! You must write about monkeys for hours every day!” And then everyone will nod their heads in agreement because everyone knows that monkey writers spend all their time writing about monkeys and nothing else!

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Do Your Magazine Research

You need to know the magazine you’re writing for. The editor is the gatekeeper to getting your article published, and if you want a shot at getting your work in print, it is important that your pitch appeal to her or him. 

To do that, find out who the editor is and what they want to publish. Look at recent issues of the publication (or online copies) and see what types of articles are included, who wrote those articles, and how many words long those articles were.

Next step: Find out who the competition is for that particular publication by looking at similar magazines that have been around longer than yours has been around (at least five years). 

Read some back issues of these magazines and become familiar with their style and editorial process who writes for them? How long are their pieces? Do they print fiction? Articles on travel? Food? Health? Sports? Does fashion advise? Photography tips on shooting landscapes or portraits and so forth.

Create A Magazine Outline

Let’s start with the basics. An outline is a road map for your magazine article that helps you organize your thoughts and keep yourself on track by focusing on the big picture as well as the details. As you write, it will be very helpful in keeping you focused on what needs to happen and when for you to end up with a great magazine piece.

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A Good Outline Should Include These Elements

A title or headline (this may change as you work)

Introduction/lead paragraphs: This section introduces your topic and tells readers why they should care about it

Body paragraphs: These are where most of the information goes; they might be divided into subtopics (for example, if there are three major reasons why your topic is important, one body paragraph could focus on each reason).

Know The Competition

There are a lot of magazines that publish writing, and they’re all trying to find ways to attract more readership and advertisers. You need to know what’s going on in your sector of the market, so you can keep abreast of changes in editorial style or subject matter. 

You also need to be aware of the circulation numbers for competing publications (which can vary widely), as well as their advertising rates and price points for ads these factors will influence how much money is available for writers’ fees or freelance services like yours.

Put Your Magazine Submission Package Together

You’ll need to compile a package that includes your resume, clips, and other writing samples, ideas for future stories, and questions you’d like to ask the editor. You can write your cover letter by hand or use a word processor if you prefer.

Put Yourself On The Line In The Query Letter

You’ll also want to put yourself on the line and tell them what you want. You should be able to demonstrate your commitment to writing great stories by taking good notes during interviews, which will help you write a better query letter (and eventually, a better article).

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Query The Magazines First

The first step to becoming a published writer is to query magazines. This means writing a letter (the query) that will persuade editors to take a look at your manuscript.

If you don’t have experience with queries, you must do some research before sending them out. You need to know what kinds of stories are being published by each magazine and what kind of tone they generally use in their writing.

Follow Up On Your Queries But Don’t Be Too Aggressive

When you’re waiting for a response from a magazine, it can be nerve-wracking. You want to know where you stand, but you don’t want to push too hard and annoy the editor. Here are some guidelines for how to follow up:

Don’t be too aggressive Editors are busy people, and they don’t appreciate aggressive applicants who bother them by phone or email every day with questions about when they’ll get back to them. 

However, if your query is well-written and interesting enough, an editor will take note of your interest in writing for their publication and may consider giving you a call or sending you an email themselves if there’s been no response after two weeks or so (depending on the publication).

Don’t be too passive If there’s been no word after two weeks or so (again, depending on the publication), it’s okay to send another query letter asking if they received your last one yet but again only once! Do not keep pestering editors until they finally give up on working with you altogether because “you just won’t listen!”

Start Cold-Calling Editors With Article Ideas (Not Full Articles)

The best way to get a foot in the door is to call and pitch an idea. But don’t send them your article that’s what they’re looking for! Instead, call up editors at magazines you want to write for and ask if they’re taking submissions at that moment. 

Tell them it’s a topic you’ve been wanting to write about but haven’t found an opening in their publication yet.

“I’m always looking for good ideas,” an editor might say, “but I don’t have anything open right now.” That’s where your conversation takes off! You’ll need to convince him that yours is the one idea worth taking on from among all those other submissions coming across his desk each day.

Research Your Story Thoroughly

Research is the most important part of writing a good story. It’s not just about looking up facts and figures, but also about immersing yourself in the world you’re trying to evoke on paper.

When you’re researching your topic, take time to get into it; otherwise, your research will fall flat when it comes time for you to write about it. 

For example, if you’re going to be writing about an archaeological dig, try participating in one yourself beforehand! You’ll get a better feel for what it’s like being down there in the dirt with nothing but a trowel and some elbow grease.

Get In Touch With People You Might Want To Interview For A Story And Explain Why They Should Talk With You

The next step is getting in touch with people who might be a good fit for your story.

First, think about why they would be a good choice to interview and write the story.

Then, consider how you might convince them that your magazine would be a good fit for their story.

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Make Sure You Understand What Each Person permits You To Do or not to do with the interview material you collect 

You may want to ask the interviewee if you can use their material for anything else. There are certain things that not everyone will be comfortable with, like if you’re going to use their joke in your standup routine or something like that. They might feel weird about that, so it’s best to clarify before you start recording.

Also, make sure they know what rights they’re giving you when they permit you; do they give you exclusive rights? Do they want credit?

Demonstrate Your Commitment To Writing Great Stories By Taking Good Notes During Interviews 

When you interview someone, make sure to take good notes. You’ll want to write down everything they say in the order that it’s said. If you get distracted or start thinking about what questions you want to ask next, chances are that you won’t remember everything they said and will miss important details in your story.

On the other hand, if you write too much down during an interview, chances are that there will be parts of your story that don’t make sense because they’re so disjointed (this happened to me once!). If this happens with many different sources for your article and no one seems willing or able to help fix it, then maybe writing isn’t for you after all!

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So, now you’re ready to start writing for magazines. The most important thing of all is that you love what you do and have fun doing it!

Further Reading

MasterClass: How to Write Articles for Magazines Learn from industry experts at MasterClass about the art of crafting compelling articles for magazines.

Creative Writing for Dummies by Maggie Hamand Explore the world of creative writing with this comprehensive guide from the “For Dummies” series.

Creative Writing For Dummies – Scribd Access a digital version of “Creative Writing For Dummies” on Scribd for valuable writing tips and techniques.


What are some essential tips for writing articles for magazines?

Writing articles for magazines requires a unique approach. Consider these tips: Focus on captivating headlines, engage your readers from the start, and ensure your content is well-researched and fact-checked.

How can I improve my creative writing skills?

Improving your creative writing skills involves practicing regularly, seeking feedback from peers or mentors, reading extensively in different genres, and experimenting with various writing styles.

Is “Creative Writing for Dummies” suitable for beginners?

Yes, “Creative Writing for Dummies” by Maggie Hamand is designed to be accessible for beginners and provides a solid foundation for aspiring writers.

What can I expect to learn from MasterClass’s article writing course?

The MasterClass course on article writing covers various topics, including finding story ideas, conducting interviews, structuring articles, and refining your writing voice.

How can I access “Creative Writing for Dummies” on Scribd?

To access “Creative Writing for Dummies” on Scribd, you’ll need a Scribd subscription. Once subscribed, you can read the book digitally and access other materials available on the platform.