Tag Archives: magazines

50 travel writing markets for $4.95

[Note from Wendy: Gary McLean just sent this to me. Great deal!]
I am currently updating all of our market lists and adding several new lists. Each market list in our new 2011 series will have around 50 markets and will cost only $4.95.
The first list in this series, “50 Travel Writing Markets”, is available now.
This list is different from my earlier travel market lists in that I have removed all in-flight magazines and magazines that focus mainly on one city or state.
These changes mean there is less crossover with our other market lists and resources.
And 18 of the writing markets in this new list were not in our previous list of travel writing markets.
To order this new market list and for further details please visit:
Gary McLaren, Editor

Author interview with…Wendy Burt-Thomas


Hi all! I’m flying to NY for 8 days so I’m taking some liberties and running my own author interview. I’ll be back with new authors and writing contests around July 22.

Author interview with Wendy Burt-ThomasQueryBook copy

Wendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer, editor and PR consultant. She works from her home office in Colorado Springs – usually in pajamas or sweatpants. Wendy has written three books, and her fourth book comes out in April 2010. Her first two books, written with Erin Kindberg, were, “Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for One” (2001, McGraw-Hill) and “Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick” (2003, McGraw-Hill).

  1. 1.    Tell us about your latest book.

“The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters” is a how-to book about getting published. It includes information on writing a query letter for magazines, agents, novels and nonfiction books.

The book was a great fit for me because I’d been teaching “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” for about eight years. In the workshop, I covered a lot of what is in this book: writing query letters to get articles in magazines, to land an agent, or to get a book deal with a publisher. Since I’m a full-time freelance magazine writer and editor with two previous books, this was incredibly fun to write because it didn’t require tons of research. I was lucky enough to receive lots of great sample query letters from writers and authors that I use as “good” examples in the book. I wrote all the “bad” examples myself because I didn’t dare ask for contributions that I knew I’d be ripping apart!

In addition to the ins and outs of what makes a good query, the book covers things like why (or why not) to get an agent, where to find one and how to choose one; writing a synopsis or proposal; selling different rights to your work; other forms of correspondence; and what editors and agents look for in new writers.

It was really important to me that the book not be a dry, boring reference book, but rather an entertaining read (while still being chock full of information). I was thrilled that Writer’s Digest let me keep all the humor.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I’ve also been a writer. My dad is a writer (12 books, probably thousands of other published pieces) and I gave him a short story for his birthday one year (I think I was 7) and he read it aloud in church. I was hooked! My first paid piece was a poem I wrote at age 16. My dad sent it to a magazine on my behalf (without telling me) and I got an acceptance and check in the mail. I thought, “Wow! People paid me for my words? This is cool.” Yes, writing CAN be about the money too!

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Send my kids off to a nearby home daycare (soon to be preschool!) and then spend at least an hour going through emails. Then I’m either writing (articles, a book, greeting cards), editing or doing PR coaching on the phone. I try not to work after my kids get home, other than posting my latest author interview and writing contests on Facebook and Twitter every night. (Twitter.com/WendyBurt)

4. Describe your workspace.

I have a cream and wood L-shaped desk , bookshelf and two matching filing cabinets that I just love. My office is in a sort of loft area on the second floor of our house, but now that we built our sunroom, I look out onto a tile roof. It’s probably for the best so I don’t procrastinate by watching our neighbor. Besides, the view out the picture window behind me is of Pikes Peak!

I’m not a clean freak, but I’m a bit of an organizational freak. There is dust behind my computer, but everything is it’s a labeled file. I have four Macs and often have two going at once.


5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

“Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing” by David Morrell

“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott

“On Writing” by Stephen King

Two new books for writers:

• “Get Known Before the Book Deal” by Christina Katz  (http://www.getknownbeforethebookdeal.com/)

• “Writing the Life Poetic” (http://writingthelifepoetic.typepad.com/) by Sage Cohen

Also, my dad, “The Sinister Minister” is the author of 12 books. (www.BurtCreations.com)

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

– A horse bit off the last knuckle on my right middle finger when I was 5.

– I once owned a muffin business in Vermont called Little Miss Muffin.

– I went to the University of Aberdeen (in Scotland) my junior year of college.

7. Favorite quote

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

I love when I get to write humor and people email me to say that think I’m funny and that it made my book (like the query guide) fun to read, even though it’s an informational book. I’ve gotten more “fan mail” on this book than my first two combined and the emails make my day EVERY time.

I don’t like being at the mercy of my clients when it comes to deadlines because I have two little kids.

9. Advice for other writers

Seize every opportunity that comes along when you’re first starting off. Many of your regular writing gigs will be from repeat business and referrals.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I was on a flight to NY skimming my first book for errors and the woman next to me leaned over and said, “Is that any good?” I laughed and said, “It had better be. I wrote it.”


Where can people buy my book(s)?

You can buy my latest book, “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters” in most major bookstores (it’s usually right next to the Writers Market) or on Amazon.com.

Follow me on Twitter.com/WendyBurt or befriend me on Facebook or LinkedIn.


New question for Ask Wendy



When writing a query letter for a magazine is it a good idea to do brief interviews before you get the assignment?





My personal preference is to not interview people in advance, but rather to LINE UP interviews. You can explain to potential interviewees that you’re pitching an idea with no guarantee that the article will be assigned, and that you’d like to list  them as your “experts” in your query letter; experts you will interview if the piece is assigned.


If you do decide to interview the people in advance, make it a pre-interview scouting session (scouting for information and direction for the article, and to make sure you’re using the right experts). Otherwise, a two-hour interview that never turns into a story could leave you with a disappointed (or even mad!) expert. 


Hope that helps!



Ask Wendy – The Query Queen: What are “fillers”???



What are fillers and how much do they pay?

New! January 2009

New! January 2009



Fillers are those little snippets and one-paragraph factoids you often see in consumer magazines. Sometimes they run them next to larger articles (almost like sidebars or “Did youknow?” blurbs), sometimes they’re scattered throughout the magazine, and other times they’re listed in groups in their own section. A magazine like “Woman’s World” might run a whole page of tips from readers (“I clean my toilets with denture tablets because it’s cheap and safe for my dogs to drink from the toilets!”) and pay $25 or so per idea. I used to write short blurbs for “ePregnancy Magazine” on newsworthy pieces of interest to pregnant moms. The pay wasn’t much – I think $15 for 100 words or so – but each one only took me about 15 minutes, so that’s $60/hour. Other than greeting cards, fillers might have the highest per-word rate of all the types of writing you can do as a beginner. (Ad copy writing pays great per word too, but you usually need more experience.) I highly recommend trying your hand at fillers. It’s great, easy money and you usually get paid faster than you do for longer pieces like feature articles.

5 markets for short stories


Third Wednesday www.thirdwednesday.org

Persimmon Tree (women over 60) www.persimmontree.org

Slab Literary Magazine  http://slablitmag.org

The Absent Willow Review (horror, fantascy, sci fi) http://absentwillowreview.com/submission

The Teacher’s Voice www.the-teachers-voice.org

Ask Wendy: How do you break into magazines with no published clips?


Question: I’d like to break into magazines but many of them say to send published clips. I don’t have much to send. What should I do?

Answer: First let me point out that while the term “published clips” is just how it sounds, “writing samples,” (a term you’ll also see a lot) can be UNPUBLISHED

NEW! January 2009

NEW! January 2009


 pieces. If you’re writing for say, Parenting Magazine, but don’t have any published clips, you can send a general writing sample of a parenting-related subject.

But let’s assume we’re talking “published clips.” Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a blog or Web site and start posting writing samples so you can just email editors the link. If the pieces get  published, you can update the blog/Web site with a note. “This article appeared in the July issue of…”

2. Write something for another blog or Web site and ask for the archived link so you can email it to editors.

3. Don’t rule out your clips from small publications – like a college newspaper or a company/church newsletter. Just mention the name. You don’t have to go into specifics, apologizing about how small the newsletter was. Most likely, your style of writing will speak for itself. Here’s an example of what I’m suggesting for someone who only wrote for her college newspaper, her church newsletter and her corporate e-newsletter:

“Jane Smith’s work has appeared in The Collegiate, The Glory Church Times and MCI’s corporate publication, Tech Today.”

4. Try to rack up some clips in local and regional publications before pitching to national magazines. Local newspapers and magazines are typically more open to unpublished writers.

5. Look for reputable online portals where you can post sample articles. Just to give you examples of two I’m familiar with: http://www.EasyLivingFrontRange.com (covers stories, news and people in the Front Range of Colorado) and http://www.YourHub.com (right now covers CA, CO, FL, NY, PA, TX, TN and OK) 

6. If you choose to post your unpublished articles on places like Helium.com, wait until the article gets picked up and runs on another Web site – then send the new site’s link. Some editors are immediately turned off by links to article clearinghouses like Helium.

7. Yes, contests count. Most contests publish their winners’ entries someplace. If you win, place or get honorable mention, say it.

The diversified writer


There’s some controversy on this issue. Some writers swear the only way to make money is by creating a name for yourself in one particular area (travel writing, romance novels, food writing, etc.) I can see where this would help you develop a platform and a following (“When’s your next romance novel coming out”) but at the same time, I can tell you that I make my living (and fight boredom) by diversifying. Here are just some of the ways I make money: articles, essays, reviews, short stories, poems, greeting cards, copywriting (products, brochures, Web sites), press releases, book editing, magazine editing, ghost writing and books.

Would anyone like to share how they make money – in a niche or by being diversified?