For most gardeners, winter is the time to pore over seed catalogs and plot (figuratively, at least) next year’s garden. It’s a time to both assess the past and plan for the future.
Writing gardeners can do the same. Since it’s too cold in many parts of the country to be outside playing in the dirt, now is the perfect time to dig up new writer’s guidelines and craft succulent queries. And assignments landed now will lead to articles published during the all important sowing, growing and harvesting seasons, when any gardener worth his or her salt would rather be outside, anyway.
Don’t forget timing when sending queries to these markets; remember that print magazines typically operate with 4-9 months lead time. Now would be a perfect time to pitch an article on, say, the importance of early summer weeding techniques, but not a great time to query for a piece on winter composting.
Remember, too, that gardening magazines are tightly focused and highly specialized; each one caters to a different demographic and requires a specific knowledge and slant. For example, some are more down-home in style while others are quite high-brow. Some magazines are looking for essays, some want how-to articles and some are more farm-related than urban-based. Take the time to become familiar with each market before querying.
The eight markets below will give you a head start and, with a little luck, and some savvy researching and writing on your part, your work will be blooming on the shelves of your
American Gardener, The
Market listing: http://www.writersweekly.com/markets/theamericangardener.html
This market runs relatively few how-to articles, instead focusing on articles that bring knowledge and information to experienced, amateur gardeners. Topics include in-depth profiles of plant groups and prominent gardeners, and descriptions of innovative projects
and plant breeding.
Pays: $300-$500 for features; $50-$250 for departments
This magazine focuses on self-sufficiency, and its subject matter encompasses livestock, construction, gardening and more. Accepts queries or articles written in first person and based on actual experience.
Pays: $35/printed page, extra for photographs
Canadian Gardening wants “appealing, reader-friendly” writing, and each issue includes a variety of short pieces and full-length articles.
Pays: From $125 for shorts to $350 and up for features
GreenPrints is a unique gardening magazine that focuses on the human side of gardening;
from the joys and triumphs to the frustrations and pitfalls. The magazine is looking
for the “best, personal garden writing.” Strong endings are key. World length averages under 2,000 words.
Pays: Up to $100 per story
Growing Edge, The
Market listing: http://www.writersweekly.com/markets/thegrowingedgemagazine.html
Providing information on innovative growing techniques, this magazine focuses on hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics and greenhouse growing. Their readers include commercial growers, hobbyists and researchers.
Pays: $0.20/word and $25 -$75 for photographs
A quarterly, regional publication, Iowa Gardening focuses on gardens of all sizes, including public and private, rural and suburban. They also feature information on farmers’ markets, nurseries, wholesalers and design.
Old Farmer’s Almanac, The
Covering a wide variety of topics, including tide tables, forecasts, farming and gardening, this magazine uses an eclectic mix of articles for each issue. They encourage humor and prefer queries first.
Pays: On acceptance – “rates vary”
Accepts queries for how-to articles that describe home-gardening projects. Pieces for Garden Guide run 150-300 words, one page stories are 450-500 words. Accuracy, thorough research and fact-checking are essential.
Payment: “…will be made upon acceptance of the text with submission of an invoice in the amount specified in the contract.”
Kelly Kyrik is a successful freelancer and her credits include Writer’s Digest, the Chicago Tribune, LowCarb Energy, Cat Fancy and many more. She also designs websites for both writers and small businesses. She can be reached at kyrik (at) comcast.net.