Taking Another Look By Diane Stark

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Like all of you, I’ve been following Angela’s recent battles against people who’ve been illegally printing her writing markets in their own publications. As I read what she was going through, I felt sympathy, as well as anger on her behalf.

But reading about her struggles made me realize something else. (And maybe the rest of you already knew this, so please bear with me.) The markets in WritersWeekly.com are generated based on a recent interview with the publication’s editor. The markets give a detailed description of exactly what kind of submissions that editor is seeking right now. This makes them far more valuable than the markets we find in Writer’s Market and other books, as these guidelines are months old by the time the book even reaches publication. And we all know how often editors change publications and how often publications change their editorial focus.

This information led me to two conclusions. The first is that the readers of WritersWeekly owe Angela a debt of gratitude for all of her hard work on behalf of writers everywhere. (Thanks, Ang!) And secondly, I realized these guidelines are worth more time than I was giving them.

Each week when I see the WritersWeekly newsletter in my inbox, I open it anxiously, peruse the interesting articles, and then cut right to the chase: the markets. But more often than not, I dismiss them as “not up my alley” and “not my type of writing.” I see that a trade publication is looking for articles, but since I am not involved in that particular trade, I barely give the publication a second thought.

But now that I know these markets came directly – and recently – from that editor’s desk, that he or she is hoping that a WritersWeekly reader will submit that exact type of story, I pay closer attention. I really try to stretch myself. I think about who I know and how I might find the information needed to write for a given publication.

I recently spent a few hours in the WritersWeekly archives. I found several market listings I’d pretty much ignored the first time around, but after giving them more time, I found ideas for queries. Since this session in the archives, I’ve submitted to five second-chance (for me, at least) publications. And, already, three of the five have accepted my submission.

I believe this success is directly related to the timeliness and detail of the information I’ve received – thanks to WritersWeekly.

Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Her work has been featured in seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She loves to write about the important things in life: her family and her faith. She is the author of Teacher’s Devotions to Go.

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