Thursday, April 16, 2009

Writing For Regionals

Thanks to my online writer's group for inspiring today's post!

I enjoy writing articles for regional parenting publications (RPPs). I have found what I consider to be a great deal of success in this endeavor, especially for a new writer. True, the pay is not as "good" as a national publication, nor do I receive much notoriety from friends--in fact, most people don't realize how many articles of this sort I have managed to place since June of 2008, but the clips and the cash eventually begin to add up.

Here are reasons I write for RPPs.

1-- I am a mom first. I still have a child at home five out of seven days a week. Writing for RPPs allows me to go at my own pace. The only deadlines are the ones I impose upon myself.

2--I choose the topic and the experts. Have my topics always been a hit? NO. Have I always secured the interview I wanted? NO. However, I have sold at least one copy of every single article I have ever submitted. Better yet (maybe) is that I have learned what works and what doesn't work.

3--Less stress. I send RPPs the entire manuscript. Either the editor likes/needs my work, or she doesn't. I have had great success selling articles months after submitting them. I believe that regional editors keep well-written articles on file & access that file on a regular basis.

4--Help an editor, help myself. When I started submitting articles to RPPs, not one single editor knew anything about me. Providing the entire manuscript allowed the editor to know if my work fit their publication. Better yet, they knew the article was complete before their deadline. My favorite part of working this way is--when I hit send, my work on that article is done. The opposite is true with querying--when you send a query, the work is just beginning.

I frequently get caught up in wanting and needing to make big bucks and feeling validation by publication in a national magazine. This desire was only fueled by my essay in Southern Living.

However, RPPs are a great place for me right now. It is steady and comfortable AND I firmly believe that I would not call myself a freelance writer today if I hadn't found the opportunity to write for regional publications. 

Join me next time when I talk more about HOW I submit to regionals!


  1. You've managed to snag some pretty nifty assignments in the process too. It's too tempting to set our sights on the bigger glossies first, I know I've been tempted. You've demonstrated that slow and steady wins the race. Great post.

  2. I'm impressed with your list of publications. You've been one busy mama. :) Way to go!

  3. I am impressed Julie! I have tried submitting to nationals and it's the waiting game--you have inspired me to try to focus more on the regionals. Looking forward to hearing how you've done it!

  4. Julie, will you also include info on how you handle re-submitting something you've already sold to another regional publication? Do you note that in your submission letter, or if they don't say anything about reprints, do you figure you don't need to mention it. I am totally with you on the joy of having something complete and finished to send in. Thanks for this great post!

  5. One other question -- where do you find your regional publications? And do you review an issue before you send in your writing?