So I started my semester long apprenticeship with Anne Zieger. We started talking a couple of Mondays back, and it turned out we went on for 2 hours during our first session.
One of the first assignments Anne had me do was to research three local magazines that are a step up from where I am right now. As of now, I write for the local Patches in Anne Arundel County. If anyone’s been following the Patch model, it’s like this: Patches are AOL backed. Each Patch focuses on its own community or small town. It’s all hyper-local news. Each Patch has an editor who manages a stable of freelancers. It’s not very high paying, but for me, it was all about the bylines, and getting a break at a name-brand company that was at least partly recognizable.
What’s a step up from Patch? I found that many regional pubs in Maryland pay about the same as Patch, so the real step up is really in the prestige associated with the magazine. Sometimes it’s in the name. I decided I wanted to get published in a magazine like Chesapeake Family, as opposed to say an obscurely named M Mag. Why? I want to break into writing for national lifestyle and family magazines. If I have a clip from Chesapeake Family, it’s instantly recognizable that I’ve written a piece for a family magazine.
I also bought my first copy of a Writer’s Market at Anne’s behest. I somehow had the impression that it would cost 100+ dollars, which I can’t afford at this time. So when I found a used (2011!) copy on Amazon, for $17 with free Amazon-prime shipping, I experienced the opposite of sticker shock. So
cheap affordable, I told myself and bought it.
The great thing about Writer’s Market is that it tells you about all the universe of magazines you didn’t know existed. So you end up like a kid in a candy store. There were so many magazines I could pitch to, and so little time to do it in, I was almost delirious with excitement.
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