Beyond the Guidelines: Calendars, Calls, and More Material for Writing Success By Erika Dreifus

Thou shalt check the Submission Guidelines. We all know this basic commandment of freelancing; we learn it very early in our writing careers. These days, we often find those guidelines online, too. Less frequently do we need to request that guidelines be mailed back to us in the self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASE’s) that we’ve provided.

The wisdom that rests behind checking a publication’s guidelines is self-evident. One is more likely to encounter success by following a publication’s stated rules and meeting its declared requirements than not. Sending a completed manuscript by e-mail attachment when the guidelines clearly state that only postal queries are welcome is an excellent strategy – if your goal is to dramatically reduce your chances of freelance success.

But clicking onto a publication’s guidelines page can reap additional benefits. Sometimes you’ll find editorial calendars outlining the topics the publication hopes to cover for the entire next year’s worth of issues. Sometimes you’ll find calls for submissions seeking work for specific “theme” issues. And sometimes you’ll discover that the publication runs newsletters or mailing lists specifically for those who want to receive editorial “announcements.”

All this knowledge assists writers in multiple ways. Editorial calendars help us plan ahead, too. Calls for submissions can serve as useful “prompts” or inspiration for new work when we find our own idea banks running a little low. What better way to come up with an article or story idea – one even more likely to match an editor’s exact needs – than to tailor it to an issue’s theme?

For examples of publications that include such tips and tools online, check the following:

Appleseeds Magazine
140 E. 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
Submission Guidelines and Theme List for 2005-06
(Click on “About Us,” then “Submission Guidelines,” then “Appleseeds”)

This multidisciplinary nonfiction social studies magazine is geared for children ages 8 and up (mainly for those in grades 3 and 4). Upcoming themes include “Founding Mothers,” “Thomas Jefferson,” “Coming to America: Immigrant Stories,” and “Laura Ingalls Wilder.” Payment is approximately $50/page, assuming 150 words/page. Note: this magazine buys all rights.

Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical
207-100 Arthur Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 1H3
Submission Guidelines
Upcoming Issues

This Canadian journal is published 4 times each year. Seeks poetry (pays $20/poem); interviews ($50-$75, depending on length); articles ($50-$75, depending on length); essays ($40-$75, depending on length); reviews ($20-$40, depending on length).

Editorial Department
Cobblestone Publishing
Attn: Meg Chorlian
30 Grove Street, Suite C
Peterborough, NH 03458
Submission Guidelines and Theme List for 2005-06
(Click on “About Us,” then “Submission Guidelines,” then “Cobblestone”)

Geared for young people (ages 8-14), this magazine focuses on American history. Upcoming themes include “1776 and the Declaration of Independence” and “Women of World War I.” The magazine includes both nonfiction articles and fiction (pays $.20-$.25/printed word) and poetry, activities, and puzzles/games (these pay “on an individual basis”). Note that the magazine purchases all rights.

The Country Connection Magazine
PO Box 100
Boulter ON K0L 1G0
Writers’ Guidelines

Ontario’s “magazine of choice for history, heritage, nostalgia, nature, environment, green travel and the arts.” Published four times each year, the magazine details its editorial calendar in its writer’s guidelines and suggests dates for submissions. This Canadian magazine offers payment at $.07-$.10/published words, and $20/short poem.

Editorial Department
Cobblestone Publishing
Attn: Elizabeth Crooker Carpentiere
30 Grove Street, Suite C
Peterborough, NH 03458
Submission Guidelines and Theme List for 2005-06
(Click on “About Us,” then “Submission Guidelines,” then “Faces”

A magazine for children ages 9-14, focusing on world cultures and geography, “Faces” also publishes a theme list. Upcoming themes include “Nelson Mandela,” “Afghanistan,” and “Child Labor.” The magazine publishes nonfiction feature articles, supplemental nonfiction, and fiction ($.20-$.25/published word), plus poetry, activities, and puzzles and games (which pay on an individual basis). Note that the magazine buys all rights.

Learning Through History
Information for Freelance Writers

A bimonthly publication intended for those 7-14 years of age, “Learning Through History” provides regular e-mail updates on upcoming topics and deadlines for writers every two months, too. Upcoming themes include “Colonial America” and “The French Revolution.” Pays $50 per nonfiction article, $75 per literature study guide, $25 per arts and crafts project, and $50 per 800-900 word Early Learning Unit Section. Note: this publication buys all rights.

(different postal addresses for US/Canadian submissions)
Contributor Information

This general interest magazine describes itself as “intelligent, eclectic, slightly eccentric, cross-border and international in content.” Sign up for the Maisonneuve Memos “that detail ideas we’d like to usher into print, articles or visuals in search of an author, and themes we’re working toward in upcoming issues. If you’d like to become a contributor, this is a pretty good way.” Standard pay rate is $.10/word (Canadian funds) but “there are exceptions where we will pay more.”

My Friend: The Catholic Magazine for Kids
50 Saint Pauls Avenue
Boston, MA 02130-3491
Writer’s Guidelines, Theme List, and Special Needs

This magazine, intended for boys and girls 7 to 12 years of age, welcomes fiction