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How to get your article in HSM

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  • How to get your article in HSM

    Recent posts on this board discuss the quality and content of HSM and other magazines. Since this is a bit of a tangent, I thought it best to start a new thread.

    I’ve been writing magazine articles and teaching in a journalism department for 30 years so I thought I’d offer some suggestions on how to get your article in print:

    First, do NOT just write up an article and send it in. Send a query letter first. If your article duplicates several the editor already has in his or her file, you’ve wasted your time as well as the editor’s. A short query letter is a much better, and more professional, approach.

    Second, be sure to check at least a dozen back issues before sending your query. Editors do try to balance content and are unlikely to want something similar to what’s just been run.

    Third, keep in mind that magazines run on glacial time. Production cycles usually run three issues ahead and content planning often goes beyond that.

    Several years ago I put up some web pages with a step-by-step guide for magazine writing. You’ll find them at:

    http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~gregl/a.../magazine.html

    While the Web has been a challenge for the print publishing world, there’s something about seeing your byline and work in print that’s a buzz. I think it’s fun; I recommend you try it.

  • #2
    Most readers won't submit an article. Its a lot easier to complain.

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    • #3
      Thanx for that Greg, Let's hope it lights some fires under some of us to get out there and make the magazines better rather than sit around and bitch about it.

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      • #4
        Greg -

        That's a fine piece on magazine writing and subnission! I can offer only one small addition, and it's really more about the photos.

        Whenever photographing your work for publication, always try to have your hands in the photo - holding the part, cranking a nut, measuring, whatever. It really adds life and interest as well as scale to the picture.

        Boring:


        Lively:


        I've shot thousands of pictures of my work processes, and always try to keep the hands in there whenever possible. It's a bit of a problem when showing machining, because hands are generally not supposed to be right in there where the action is. That's why I take extra pains to get hands in the pictures where they are appropriate.
        Cheers,

        Frank Ford
        HomeShopTech

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        • #5
          Well written! The only additions I would make is that in my experience, unless you are writing a review, it can take from 1-3 years for VP to publish an article.
          They don't seem to mind blind submissions, and if you do contact them about writing an article, it can take them a very long time to get back to you. So often it's better to just mail off an article after reading the writer's guidelines they have.
          Largest resource on the web for Taig lathes and milling machines, www.cartertools.com

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          • #6
            Try writing for MEW.
            They have a far faster turnround and with the way the £ to $ are you get paid twice as much ..

            .
            .

            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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            • #7
              any hope?

              I must have slid further down this slope than I thought - I looked at Frank's first picture and was really intrigued by the finish and the knurling. Then I looked at the second picture and thought, "Pity those fingers are in the way, I can't see the other end!"
              Obviously there's no hope, must be a machinist of some stripe...
              Richard in Los Angeles

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