2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 7

Spoiler alert: I’m about to spill the beans on what we’ll be doing on Wednesday (1/8) and Thursday (1/9).

Tomorrow (1/8), we’ll be jumping on Twitter to have a chat about what we’ve covered so far. Participants can ask me questions on goals, stories, pitches, bio notes, or whatever. More details tomorrow, but I’ll probably reserve two one-hour slots using the #gswc hashtag.

On Thursday (1/9), we’ll be putting together an actual query letter–building on the tasks from the past few days. Since we’re going to do that, we need to know where we’re sending the query. Enter today’s task…

For today’s task, find a market to submit your pitch from day five. You don’t have to actually submit it yet, but spend today (and maybe tomorrow) finding the best market for your pitch. If you’re not sure how to get started, I’ll share some more advice below, but I can tell you WritersMarket.com is a great place to start (and I’m not just saying that because I’m the editor).

The market I’m going to pitch is Atlanta Parent. It literally took me a few minutes to find the market on WritersMarket.com and then research the market a little more online through the Atlanta Parent website. And now I’m done for the day.

Here are a few tips on finding the right market for your pitch:

  • Use a market listing resource, such as WritersMarket.com or another third party source. There are listing resources for Christian markets, Canadian markets, Australian markets, and more.
  • Go to your local magazine stand. If you have a bookstore, check out the magazine rack. For instance, my local Books-A-Million has a magazine rack stocked with hundreds of magazine titles–rotating in new titles regularly.
  • Go to your local library. While the pickings may be slimmer here, your local library is always a great free resource for doing research–even when searching for magazine markets.
  • Get social. As a writer and editor, I’ve found many new magazine listings through sites like Facebook and Twitter. Plus, many of these magazines will put out special calls for submissions through social media–so follow the ones you like.
  • Attend conferences, conventions, etc. Getting out to writing events is a great way to find new markets and opportunities. Plus, writers often have the opportunity to network with actual editors, agents, and other freelance writers.

Whatever method you use, be sure that the market you select is appropriate to your pitch as far as subject. Avoid falling into the trap of trying to pick the most impressive magazine you can and forcing a square peg into a round hole.

Since my pitch has to do with fathers-to-be, I searched for magazine that focus on child care and guidance. Then, I looked specifically for a more regional title on the subject, because I don’t have a lot of experience writing about these topics–so I want to improve my chances of an acceptance to start building clips in the subject area.

Another spoiler alert: We’ll get to submitting later this month–so don’t push the bright red button yet. Just find the right market today, and we’ll get to the rest in good time.

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2014_writers_market_robert_lee_brewerPrefer a book to a website?

If you’d rather search a printed book for your market listings than a website, use the 2014 Writer’s Market. It’s packed with market listings for consumer magazines, trade journals, book publishers, contests, and more. Plus, there are several articles on the business of writing, from handling submissions to dealing with taxes and more.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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Find recent tasks in the Get Started Write Challenge here: