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26 May 2014

How to write for magazines … in one weekend
Diana Cambridge
Canal Street Publishing Ltd
Publication Date
Writing guide


Diana Cambridge, Writers News' agony aunt, shares her secrets in this book.
It will change your writing life! Whether you want to get a reader's letter
printed, a travel article, or a feature for a women's magazine, Diana shows
you how, step by step in just one weekend.What's stopped many writers from
seeing their work in print is NOT rejection letters, Diana says. It's the
fact that they never finish their articles or send them out. You, maybe?
But Diana understands - and she can help.
My Review

I just love to read books / guides on 'How to write' . I can't remember who, but  one famous writer once said 'If you need a guide book on how to be a writer than you will never be one, it has to come naturally.' Ok fair enough, maybe that's why I'm not a bestselling author :) However, my favourite author Stephen King said, and I paraphrase: "The only way to write is… to write." 
And this craft also need to be learned and polished. 

The magazine market in the UK is huge - just go to any large newsagent and the shelves are filled with a large amount of magazines catering for everything from the popular one's like beauty, sport etc to more obscure like little known hobbies, collecting etc. If there is a hobby there is a magazine. And all those magazines need to be filled with articles. So, if you like to write, and like magazines, than this book will provide you with excellence guidance on how to write to magazines from start to finish.

The author recommends you take 48 hrs - start on a Friday night - no interruptions - and work through the book. By the end, not only should you be well aware of how to write for magazines, what to look out for etc, but should also have your first written submission ready to go. Of course, taking 48 hrs out is easier for some of us than others (I haven't managed yet - anyone want a husband, 3 children, a dog and 5 cats for 48 hrs :), but the idea is good and it will work, I'm sure of it. 

You will work through the book and cover the following:

  • first steps
  • what do magazines want
  • letter to the editor …how/what
  • what type of magazines i.e. travel, women's, hobbies, food
  • take yourself to the market
  • moving on
There is a lot of brilliant ideas and infos incl. top tips, and many examples to make everything clear. The writing is very easy to understand for someone not in the publishing industry. For a beginner, this is a great guide if you want to get into writing for magazines, maybe starting small with a few submissions and build up on it. Of course, many magazines also pay for submissions. 

Of all the writing guide books I have, this was one of the easiest to understand and a very 'hands-on' step-by-step guide if you like this kind of writing. If you are already an established writer and maybe had a few submissions paid for, than most of it in this book is probably less use to you.