Wednesday, August 31, 2016


When you are sending for sample copies, keep a look out for those publications that also offer a theme list. A good number of publications are theme-oriented, which means that each issue—or at least a good portion of it—is devoted to a specific theme. Possible themes might include, prayer, faith, missions, politics, money/finances, nature, etc. Because they want to be sure they receive appropriate material to fit those themes, once or twice a year they will put out a list of upcoming themes. Some give just the overall theme like I did in my examples above, while others will list specific article ideas they are looking for. In either case, it is to your advantage to get a copy of the theme list and send material to fit.

Some lists will give you a specific deadline for each issue, but many do not. You can often get a reasonable idea of lead time by checking the market guide for how far ahead they want holiday or seasonal material. In any case, it is best to send such theme-related material as far ahead of time as possible. Don’t wait until the day of the deadline to get it there. Because they will be concerned about filling the issue, they usually don’t want to wait until the last minute to fill all the slots.

Some editors want a query for theme-related material, while others prefer to see the complete manuscript. Determine which your favorite editors prefer and send them what they want. Keep in mind that your chances of selling to a theme-related periodical are almost nil if you ignore the themes. While on the other hand, you increase your changes ten fold if you study the magazine to see how they treat their themes, follow the theme list, and get your submissions in in plenty of time. Also when submitting material to fit a theme, include a cover letter identifying the theme issue you are targeting.

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