Art magazines are not only fun to read—if you’re a writer, they also offer an excellent opportunity to get your name and work in front of an audience of appreciative art enthusiasts.
However. . . writing for publication isn’t easy!
Before even considering it, you’ll need to be a skilled writer who can come up with finished material in a short turn-around. It will also help greatly to have some contacts in the field and know the industry. And of course, writing for an art magazine is no different than writing for any other niche market: you simply have to know your stuff.
Beyond those basics, though, here’s how to get started writing for an art magazine:
1. Know who you are as a writer
You may be an art critic with a more journalistic approach. . . or an art historian who has academic training writing informed articles for publication. . . or a working artist who writes about art from “in the trenches”—or some other type of writer entirely!
What’s important is to realize that who you are defines your “voice” and (in many cases) will indicate the type of publication that you’d be best suited for. There ARE publications for all kinds of writers, so it’s best to simply know who you are, and then run with it!
2. Know your intended audience
Once you know who you are, and the direction you intend to go in the art world—whether you’re a student of art history, an artist, a crafter, or an art journalist—it is important to submit your work to magazines or journals who publish the kind of writing you produce.
This means doing a LOT of research.
First, read all the publications you intend to pitch your work to. Get an idea of the kinds of articles they publish, whether yours is a good fit for them, and whether your writing meets the required standard.
Then, get feedback on your writing from a mentor, academic or journalist. Take their advice; they know the field! After you’ve polished up your writing as much as possible, be sure to read submissions guidelines very carefully for each magazine or journal you intend to approach. If you ignore those guidelines, your submission will be rejected and will be a waste of time for both parties.
3. Write a summary, or proposal, of your article
Most websites, journals or magazines do not want unsolicited articles appearing in their inbox. Be sure to follow the guidelines for each magazine.
Most will require a short pitch for an article (a few paragraphs at the most) of what you intend to write, including why you think it would be suitable for their publication, and why you are the best writer for the job (ie. your experience, previous clips, and examples of your work).
To get you started, here are a few links to the submission requirements for several art magazines:
Threadsmagazine publishes articles on embroidery and home craft. They are willing to accept work by first time authors, but they require a short submitted proposal before acceptance.
ArtistsNetwork seeks only high quality professional artists and freelance writers to submit article proposals. All must be highly proficient with the language of art and subject matter. They do not accept full manuscripts—proposals only.
ArtJewelry Magazine has an excellent downloadable PDF on how to pitch an article or story idea for their magazine. Be sure to read it in detail, as well as the PDF on image submissions. Suitable for new writers.
Hyphen Magazine seeks submissions for feature articles only with a journalistic feel on Asian American diaspora. Submit an article summary only and answer the required questions on the relevance of the topic. They also accept fiction writing submissions.
The links above are just a few examples of art magazines that accept submissions, so be sure to do your own searches (online and off) to find publications that suit you before writing your proposals.
Remember, as with any worthwhile endeavor, the first time may NOT be the charm. . . but keep on submitting and refining your proposals, and you just might end up in the pages of your favorite art magazine!
Good luck, and happy writing!
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