Tag Archives: article

Guest Post by Marcie Connelly Lynn


My friend Marcie and her husband David live aboard a sailboat and are traveling the globe. They have one last long passage to make to complete a circumnavigation of the earth,  that last leg from Australia to the southern tip of Africa. They have sailed from Africa east past South America via the Panama Canal to Australia, where they are now–and a zillion points in between–over more than a decade.

I asked Marcie to write a guest blog, since she is a published author. She and her husband both have sold many magazine articles. Furthermore, Marcie is an accomplished (and published) photographer. She has LOTS to share for those aspiring to do the same. Read up and enjoy!!!

I must have at least four books in the works at the moment … all of them in various stages of “incomplete”. There’s a cookbook which needs a rewrite and an update; a novel based on fact; an anthology of sailing stories and another mystery novel which revolves around our life at sea. What keeps me actively writing though is our daily blog, our website and freelance writing for magazines.
Marcie and David 2012 Australia

My husband and I have lived aboard a sailboat for the last 13 years, very slowly traveling around the world. Writing has always been a passion for me, so it was only natural that I’d keep personal journals and continue writing as we sailed from place to place. Now I post our experiences daily and write articles for publication.

Want to take a stab at getting published in a magazine? Try this.

  1. Determine an area of expertise or interest. Figure out what you’d like to write about. Do you have a hobby? Are you a parent? Do you sail? Do you like to travel? Do you have pets? Are you a farmer, a hairdresser, a welder, a 50+ retiree?  Obviously, the more you know or care about your topic, the more it will show in your writing.
  2. Research what journals or magazines cater to this interest. There are magazines out there for every interest imaginable. Don’t forget to research regional magazines for your area. They’re smaller and may be more interested in your articles than national journals. Think outside of the box. We tend to write for sailing magazines because we sail and live on a boat, but I’ve submitted articles to cat magazines because we used to have a cat aboard. I submit articles to travel magazines. I’ve even submitted funny anecdotes to Reader’s Digest.
  3. Obtain the Writer’s Guidelines for those magazines of interest. This is key. Some magazines are very specific as to the length of the piece, the format in which it should be submitted, whether photos are required, their terms and amounts of their payment. The links below this post provide lists of magazines and their guidelines. These lists are not exhaustive by any means, but they’ll give you an idea of what’s out there.
  4. Get a copy of the magazine(s) in which you’re interested. Read it. See what types of articles they publish. Get a feel for the mood of the pieces. Are they serious? Whimsical? First person anecdotes? Determine what “departments” they have that might prove suitable for the article you want to write.
  5. Figure out your angle. Magazine articles usually do one or more of these things: inform, persuade, instruct or entertain. I tend to write informational/entertainment pieces on the places we visit. My husband, David, writes how-to pieces (instruction) on various topics relating to the boat. Write your article.
  6. Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation required…need I say more?
  7. Research your topic carefully. If you’re using facts and/or statistics to give some depth and color to your article, make sure you document them well and provide the source if necessary.
  8. Many magazines will accept articles on “spec”. Others prefer you send a query. I call this a teaser. Tell them in a short, succinct paragraph what you intend to write about and why it will be of interest to their readers. They’ll  review what you send them and get back to you if they’re interested. Send your best piece. Make the teaser irresistible. Then write the article. Make sure it’s ready to go.  If you don’t hear from the publisher within a couple of weeks, send them a reminder, asking their level of interest. Caution: Do NOT send the same query to several magazines at once. Be patient and submit to one publisher at a time. If two or more magazines should happen to accept your article or idea and you have to tell one of them “no”, you probably won’t get another stab at that magazine. If you don’t hear in a month after a reminder, consider it dead and move on.
  9. Don’t be discouraged if you get a “reject” notice. It’s common. Not every article received can be published. Find another magazine and send them the same teaser. We’ve had several articles rejected by one journal which were happily accepted by another. 
  10. If you get a bite and some interest in your teaser, respond immediately. Some will ask you to do a rewrite. Cut it down here…expound a little there. Get on it right away. We’ve had situations where the publisher delayed in responding and then we received an urgent email saying, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? We need your article for the next publication. Can you send it and all photos today?”  Needless to say, having the article written and ready to go was key.  We scurried, but got it done.

I doubt you’ll get rich from writing for magazines. We certainly don’t, although we usually succeed in having about six to eight articles published each year. We average ~$300-500 per article. You will, however, see your article in print, promote yourself, build confidence and polish your writing skills. Sometimes that’s enough!

About Marcie…

Marcie & David Lynn have lived aboard “Nine of Cups” since 2000. They’ve sailed over 70,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans  and visited hundreds of anchorages and ports in their travels. They’re currently down under in Tasmania. Marcie writes a daily blog www.justalittlefurther.com and maintains a website www.nineofcups.com. Both David and Marcie contribute regularly to Ocean Navigator and Good Old Boat magazines.

Www.oceannavigator.com

http://www.goodoldboat.com

Writer’s resources

http://www.freelancewriting.com/guidelines/pages/index.php

http://www.internet-resources.com/writers/markets/online-guidelinesMO.htm#MMM

Mark Your Calendar — Sell An Article


For my science fans, here’s a nugget about a celestial show you may want to watch.

Comet PANSTARRS: March 10 to 24, 2013

Comet PANSTARRS discovered in June 2011 using the Pan-STARRS 1 Telescope at Haleakala, Hawaii, is expected to put on its best show during this two-week period. During this time, the comet will also be near its closest approaches to the sun (28 million miles, or 45 million kilometers), and Earth (102 million miles, or 164 million km).
 While Comet PANSTARRS was a very dim and distant object at the time of its discovery, it has brightened steadily since then. It still appears on target to reach at least first magnitude and should be visible low in the west-northwest sky shortly after sunset. On the evening of March 12, 2013, the comet will be situated 4 degrees to the right of an exceedingly crescent moon.

Why mention this now instead of in March?

Because, for those of you who write for social media like Yahoo news or e-How, now you have a time critical subject to research, write about, and sell! If you are unfamiliar with this market, as easy place to start is ezinearticles.com. Click here for the editorial guidelines: http://ezinearticles.com/editorial-guidelines/

Ezinearticles doesn’t pay for articles, but it does offer affiliate marketing. Advertisers link to your articles and you get paid for click throughs. It’s not big or easy money, but it is a place to start to learn the ropes.

Check out Associated Content. It pays for articles outright.

If you are a blogger, get paid to post at Blogger’s Pay Per Post. There are strings attached, but you can earn from $.50 to $10. per assignment piece.

Bukisa is a traffic driven buyer. So you have to write on popular topics to draw a paycheck.  However, Bukisa allows you to re-post material that has been published elsewhere. So using Bukisa can double earnings on non-exclusive material.

This gives you plenty to start your at-home writing career. So start researching that comet heading our way, write an article or two, and sell, sell, sell.

Writing Non-fiction with the Punch of Fiction


For today’s post, I borrowed a piece of writing that I thought did a good job of adding a bit of punch to a news item. The original article in its entirety can be seen at http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-12/preparing-inevitable. I’ve excerpted a section for educational purposes.

Hope you find this helpful when you write something like a magazine article. If you can add a bit of spice to your writing style, it may make your submission stand out to an editor. Be a good chef: know when to draw the line on the seasonings. Too much can spoil the dish.

Nuff said:

One thing we haven’t had to contend with much in the past is the impact of a computer glitch on our lives. My favorite example occurred right here in San Diego on July 4th.

The long awaited, highly anticipated, state-of-the-art fireworks tribute to American independence is an event so spectacular that people drove hundreds of miles just for the “oohing” and the “aahing”, and the gut punching of dozens of thunderous explosions spread out over forty-five minutes.

Billed as the Big Bay Boom it is a fireworks lover’s heaven. The show itself was produced by the venerable century old firm, Garden City Fireworks, all the way from Millington, New Jersey.

No amateurs flickin’ bics in a trench somewhere. Four separate locations, including three barges brought into the bay itself, would serve as launch pads.

Because of the uniqueness of the site, this would be one of company’s biggest shows of the year and they do hundreds of them from coast to coast.

As darkness set in, people positioned themselves for what was to come.

And, then it began.

Oh, and it was magnificent! No one could recall ever seeing anything bigger or hearing anything louder. One observer described it as looking “as though a flaming planet were roaring right at us.”

It was an apt description. It had that Steppenwolf song “Born to Be Wild” lyric quality to it, “Fire all of our guns at once, explode into space.”

And then…. it was over. Done, fine, the end.

They had indeed fired all of their guns at once and the show was done in 15 seconds, pretty much guaranteeing some kind of Guinness record I would imagine.

Officials referred to the event as “premature ignition.”

But hey, it happens to all of us at one time or another, right?

The Big Bay Boom was just that, one big boom. Only a computer could do that.

When an Author Offends


The bane of the author who wishes to make a living from his work is offending the reader.

Writers, by nature, are rogues, as in “rascal” or “playfully mischevious”. We’re opinionated. Why else would we write? We’re a bit arrogant, too. We believe our opinion matters. We believe a reader should take time to read us.

But even the gnarliest author is a humanitarian. We are trying to make a positive difference in our world. I have yet to see a series of books on “How To Fail at. . . .”  The expose is meant to uncover that which is loatheful, harmful, dishonest or dangerous. The topic may be uncomfortable, but it exposes truth in order to benefit the reader.

I write to entertain. That’s what I tell myself. Yet when I review the topics I cover here, the majority are meant to help someone else.

However, there are times when I offend, even as I am trying to help. When I offend someone, they disappear as a reader.

I want to be a commercial writer.

I have considered writing under a pen name and producing formula books that endear, uplift, encourage, but never offend. To do so would be telling a half truth. There is a rosy side to life, but it is one facet of a many sided existence.

When I am true to my nature, I can’t do that. If I ignored other sides of life, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed to face another day of intellectual boredom and artifice.

That leaves me with the reality of a writer. If I write about things that I deem important or sane, but which can be ugly or brutal, then I am going to offend. Period. End of story.

I may stay broke, but I jump out of bed every morning.

Lesson: Photographing Bambi Ballet


Flying Reindeer?.

Click on the link. Please take a moment to read the tactic used by the author to capture this real life Bambi Ballet. For authors who wish to sell magazine articles, acquiring photography skills can enhance your earnings. A friend of mine sells articles to several sailing magazines. She has learned to be a good photographer. Now she sells photographs with her articles. Consequently, she has doubled her earnings.

The “Flying Reindeer” author talks about animal photography and a trick he learned on the fly. It’s a simple tool to add to your writer’s  tool box.