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Should I Query or Submit? Ask Anne, The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,
When you want to break into a new magazine is it better to submit a query or a whole article? 


Hi TA,

Great question! And it’s one that doesn’t have an absolute answer. Submitting a complete article has the advantage of letting the editor see your whole work from beginning to end. If you’ve studied your target magazine well and provided what they need you may get a check in your SASE. 

On the other hand, if you submit a query the editor then the editor has a chance to help shape the article, which can be a blessing or a curse.

Part of the decision depends on how many credits you’ve got. If your writing resume shows you’ve published in a goodly number of similar publications a query may make sense. If you’re a relative newcomer, the whole article might increase your chances.

Another consideration is the timeliness of your material. If it’s truly news you need a response in a hurry. In that case an email query or phone query might be in order.

Of course, when you check the publication’s market listing online or in 2009 Writer's Market or other source.

Do you see what I mean about no one answer to this question? Use your best judgement on a case-by-case basis.

Do you have a question about freelance writing? Ask Anne, The Writing Pro – that’s me 😉 Ask in the comments or send an email and put Q&A in the subject line so I can sort it out from spam and I’ll do my best. Meanwhile, you’ll find some Q&A’s here: Ask Anne, The Pro Writer


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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • I tend to write requesting their guidelines and themes of future issues along with schedules of submission. Then after reviewing, I query the editor with an idea and outline that works within their theme(s) of the future issue(s).

    I have had positive feedback and usually receive a contract to proceed with my idea. I like doing this throughout the year for different publications and genres. It never grows stale.

    The thing to remember is not be intimidated in sending out a query. The worst that can happen is they say no.

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