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Question: How Relevant Do My Writing Clips Need To Be?

Question: I am working on a query to a family/parenting magazine. The guidelines specify relevant clips from published writers only. I am a published writer, however, the only clips I have are from articles I composed for bridal magazines. Should I send my query without clips or submit the three best wedding clips I have? Thanks, dmc

Answer: Hi dmc - For the most part, the reason magazine guidelines request clips is to weed out those who think they can write but haven't proven it yet by getting published. The reasoning is something like, "if she's been published in magazine x and magazine y it's reasonable for me to expect she can also write for me - that her prose is decent, she makes deadlines and won't come apart if I edit the piece." So by all means submit your three best wedding clips.

By the way, if you'd told me you'd only been published in a welding magazine, I'd have said go ahead and submit those clips too.

Weddings and family/parenting magazines have a lot in common; other clips do prove you can write.

You might even consider developing a website that has links to all, or many, of your writings - that way you can send the link and avoid all this clip sending, which, frankly, is a pain.

Yes, I'm ignoring the term, literary, because it's squishy and tends to confuse most people, including me.

My suggestion is you write at least a few of your essays and see if you can find a market for them. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Question and Answer Index

If you have a question you'd like to see here, send an email to me at: anne@aboutfreelancewriting.com. Please, put Q&A in the subject line so it won't get lost. I don't promise to answer every question, but I'll consider it. Know too, that when you send a question, and I do decide to publish it, I reserve the right to edit for clarity, etc.



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