Minutes: March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

Lewis County Writers’ Guild

Meeting Notes

—— Thanks to LeeAnn for taking notes and writing this post.


  • Confirmed:  Dues are now $2/meeting
  • New attendees:  Irene, Don and Wayne
    • Wayne is from Napavine
    • Don and Wayne are co-authoring a history book commemorating the centennial of Napavine
    • Upcoming Speaker Series
      • April – poetry
      • May – scriptwriting


Doyle McKim – A published magazine feature writer for such magazines as Sail, Sailing, Cruising World and others.  He was published in the 80’s, 90’s and is now focused on writing novels

Subject:  getting published in magazines

  • Writing for magazines is a confidence builder
    • Paid writing job
    • Readers – people making a choice to read your stuff
    • Start with newsletters or local magazines
    • All magazines have rules or guidelines about submissions
      • Contact the magazine and request the guidelines
      • Check the magazine’s website
      • Stick to their guidelines
      • Attend writers’ conferences
        • Talk with other writers
        • Common guidelines
          • Double space – this rule is absolute
          • Upper left hand corner – About you
            • Your contact information – name, address, email, phone number and social security number (necessary for payment if you article is published)
  • Upper right hand corner – story information
    • Copywrite ©
    • Date you wrote the article
    • Type of work
      • Personal experience, article, etc.
      • Include word count
      • Include “first rights” or “first North American rights”
  • 1 ¼ inch margins all the way around
  • Title – 22 pt font
  • Pen name under the title
  • No page number on first page
  • Other pages should have page number in the upper right hand corner – just the number.  No Page or PG
  • Other pages should have name in the upper left corner
  • Indent paragraphs
  • Do not put additional spacing between paragraphs
  • Do not align – Justified
  • At the end of the article, type -30-  (signifying the end)
  • Never staple the pages or bind them together in anyway
  • “Writers’ Market” is a good book to use as a resource  http://www.writersmarket.com/
  • Follow all formatting rules – check the magazine’s website for more information
  • Brush up on your grammar, use correct grammar (except in dialog, poor grammar is ok)
  • Pick a magazine you know
    • Write what you know
    • Investigate your magazine
    • Read the last 6 issues to gauge the magazine’s style
    • Look at the ads to gauge the audience/readership style
  • Know the correct editor to contact with your article
    • Check a current masthead for this info – editors change often
    • Don’t send to the position – send to a name
  • Check number of words for the article – 2500-3500 words
    • Stay just under the word count
    • Advertising has priority
    • Word count/length of article is important — because they will cut your piece or shorten it to make room for the ad size
  • Send a query letter
    • Check for interest on their part
    • With a short story – send the whole manuscript/no query letter
  • Seasonal piece – give them time
    • If you it’s a piece for Christmas — send at least six month prior
  • Always include a SASE for a reply
    • Send a regular #10 envelope
    • Ask them to shred your manuscript if rejected
  • Novels/Screenplays – register your manuscript with the Writers’ Guild of America, West http://www.wgaw.org/
    • Cost is $20
    • Receive a registration number
    • Protects your work
    • Or you can mail a copy to yourself, do not open it, post mark is your proof
  • BE PATIENT – you’ll have to wait for a response
  • If rejected, don’t despair
    • It doesn’t mean that your writing is poor
    • A similar article may have run recently – that’s another reason to check recent issues
    • May not be just what they are looking for now
    • If rejected, look for a handwritten note – this is positive – it means they actually took the time to look at your submission
  • Write well, be active – show, don’t tell
  • Keep submitting articles
  • Getting paid
    • You may only get paid with issues – You can use these as an example of your work
    • Pay can be $100 – $1000, average is probably around $250-$300
    • Some pay by the word – $0.10/word is high
  • Fiction is harder to sell – not that many magazine publish fiction
  • Or — publish as a “personal experience”
    • You may have to prove it
    • They could ask for verification (not usually dates)
    • They don’t usually want you to use real names – or they’d have to ask for a signed release
  • “Less is More” – use fewer words that make an impact
  • Don’t submit photographs – magazines use their own photographers
    • They won’t reject a piece because of photos
    • Again, check guidelines relating to photo submissions




  • Holly asked the group — Think about what you know!
    • Write down 5 things you can write an article about
    • What magazine could you submit it to?
    • Group suggestions
    • Group sharing and discussion
    • Brainstorm Session – Regarding types of publishing available
      • Traditional
      • Independent
        • Self publish
        • Authors Co-Op – group publishing
        • Amazon (Kindle, CreateSpace)
        • Lulu
        • Vanity Press
        • Gorham (local printer)
  • Internet
    • Fan fiction
    • Archive of our own
    • Fanfiction.net
  • Blogs
    • WordPress




  • New art in the Matrix
    • Check out the dragon
    • Holly wanted to get Amy as a speaker, but was unable to get her.  But you can check out her photo blog:  http://longbeachpeninsuladailyphoto.wordpress.com/
    • Check out new website for the Guild
      • Pat Thompson is the new administrator
      • Doyle will be contributing writing tips
      • Possible critique corner
      • Pat will talk more at the next meeting about submissions
      • Check out the Facebook page, too
        • Holly is the administrator
          • Drama improve group is forming at the Matrix
            • Workshop with drama coach Toni Lawrence
            • April 6th – see Matrix website for more details
  • Pacific NW Writers’ Conference in Seattle is July 25-28, 2013  http://www.pnwa.org/




Freelance Writing:  http://www.freelancewriting.com/


Glimmer Train Press:  http://www.glimmertrain.com/


Lulu:  http://www.lulu.com/


Create Space:  https://www.createspace.com/


Gorham Printing, Centralia, WA:  http://www.gorhamprinting.com/index.html






About P.A.Thompson

Retired and doing new things: Setting up a business. Writing. Learning to play guitar.
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