Saturday, December 8, 2007
I talk a lot about the importance of downloading or sending for writers' guidelines before submitting to any publisher, but I also want to emphasize how important it is to be aware of theme lists. The market guide will tell you which publishers provide a theme list. Such a list tells you what topics the publication plans to highlight in each upcoming issue. Usually these lists are available a year to two years ahead of time. (Some give a specific deadline for each issue, but others do not.) Many of those publications maintain a list of writers who are sent the list each time a new one comes out. You can write and ask to be put on that list. If they make the list available on their Website, they might just inform you when a new list is posted. Keep in mind that a theme list can be handled in two distinct ways, so it is important that you understand its use for each publication you are interested in. Some publications only accept freelance submissions that fit into one of their upcoming themes. Other will indicate that all their theme-related articles are assigned and they are open to freelance submission only for their non-theme-related articles.