A brief letter to one of your favourite magazines could earn you a pretty good return for about ten to twenty minutes of work.
All publications need feedback on how they're doing with they're readers. Whether it's good or bad...they want and need to know what we think. This makes us - the reader VITAL. So vital in fact that these publications are prepared to pay good money, whether in actual cash, or enticing monetary equivalents.
But, the trick is to not write just any old letter. It does require a bit of thought.
Do some quick research.
No, this doesn't involve months of scouring the internet, or being cocooned in the corner of a toasty, warm library. Although that isn't a bad idea! Take a look at the style of other reader's letters.
- The subjects they cover ( invariably they relate to the articles published in the magazine ).
- A rough word count of the letters. They don't have room for your beautifully penned War and Peace!
- The style of the writing.
Do they have a prize on offer that you could use? Ladies, could you really use that fishing rod? Oh - you fish! Cool! Guys, do you want that day at the health spa? The woman in your life will love it though and you - for at least a week afterwards!
Get the thing written.
These days you don't even have to put pen to paper. Just tap away on your computer, laptop, phone, tablet, or on a quaint typewriter. Does anyone still use typewriters? Let us know.
Write the letter however you like.
Email makes life so much easier and cheaper doesn't it? And there's the added excitement that you may get an email back.
Do remember to spell and grammar check your work: and of course, write properly like what you does normally!
Editors are not idiots, nor teachers and they aren't there to correct their readers!
Let's think positive and assume that your letter is just what your favourite publication needs and it's going to be published... great! It's even been awarded the Star Letter accolade.
You're published! However, sometimes changes will be made to your carefully crafted masterpiece. If this happens, take it in your stride. It really isn't worth having a screaming hissy fit about it. Just think about the money/ beauty set/ paint/ tool kit, model sports car winging its way to you.
Once you've seen your name in print, you'll want more.
Be warned...letter writing can be addictive.
One you've had the thrill of seeing your letter in print and have received a year's free supply of cough medicine, you will be hooked. You'll be chomping at the bit to get another five pounds, or something else for free and see your name in lights again! Okay... not quite in lights, but published - just the same.
Over the years I've received money, garden centre vouchers, extremely posh notebooks, dog beds and dog sweaters, for a few minutes of writing.
Go on, write your letter and press that SEND button now.
More importantly, once you've had a letter published it gives you the confidence to try again, and again. Letters become reviews and then you get really cocky and above yourself and try out a pitch on some poor, unsuspecting editor; for an article idea that you know they will just have to commission!
Sometimes, it actually works!
Just how do you progress from letters to reviews and articles?
I'll be back to spill the beans on how I found my way into some of the publications I've been published in. Hard work, brilliant editors and a lot of luck helped me. I'm by no means a big-time writer and I have loads to learn. Don't we all?
In the meantime...get writing those letters. And feel free to share your successes with us, either on here or on my blog, Write Dorne .
Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you want to join me on my blog Write Dorne you'd be most welcome. .
Until the next time.
Published by Dorne Whale