Sunday, 31 May 2015

Fillers and letters

Even if your aim is to write fiction or 'proper' articles, it's worth taking a look at the opportunities for filler pieces. These include tips, funny true stories, cute pictures of children or animals and opinion pieces or rants. Often there are also opportunities to ask questions of experts or to have you say on previous articles.

Writing these pieces is creative in its own way, is an interesting way of studying the market and is good practice at getting our point across in just a few words (the shorter the better for most of these).

Not all markets pay, or sometimes there's a prize or payment just for the 'star' letter, but the majority of women's magazines pay for all items published. The usual amount is £25, although it varies from £5 to £100. That's not bad for a few sentences, especially as these items can usually be submitted online. Including a photo means your letter is far more likely to be used.

If any magazines you read (womags or otherwise) have opportunities for these, please share the details below.


Julie Day said...

Most womags, inc WW, PF etc do these, as well as specialised magazines such as Healthy, Natural Health. I have had success with these over the last several years, winning cheques to vouchers to sets for natural cosmetics. Well worth doing. I'd start with magazines that you are most interested in.

Maggie Cobbett said...

Following the success of my little handbook Easy Money For Writers & Wannabes, I'll be running a two part workshop on the subject at this year's Writers' Summer School (Swanwick). It would be great to see some Womag regulars there.

lizy-expat-writer said...

A good tip too, PAtsy!

Carolb said...

A good reminder, and not as time consuming as it is to write a short story. Thanks, Patsy. :)

Beatrice Charles said...

Maggie, I read your book on the subject earlier this year. I sent off a batch of 50 letters at the beginning of March: 16 were printed and netted me £85 cash/vouchers plus goodies of approx. £200 value. So well worth the morning's work!
A question, do you count this as part of the day job of writing and thus taxable, or simply a hobby and thus not required to be declared? Would be interested on people's views.

Patsy said...

@ Lizy - a better one would be to just not climb the walls!

catchingcottonclouds said...

As the acknowledged Tipmeister in my circles, I keep meaning to get round to doing this. It's a real money spinner (once you get round to it!). Thanks for the reminder.

sharon Boothroyd said...

I too, have had quite a lot of success in this area. My article in KISHBOO e-mag is called 'As I write this letter.' It's FREE to read online.

aw said...

This is an area often overlooked by writers. I find specialist titles such as those for gardening or crafts often offer really good prizes rather than cash and I have more success with those than mainstream titles. Great for honing editing skills when you have to cut things to the bone and also for kick-starting your writing when it hits a plateau.

Maria said...

I've had a few letters etc in magazines and the newspapers. Still trying to get a star letter though...had a few nice prizes as well, but no cash yet. Must try harder.

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