Ever read a craft or sewing magazine and thought “I could do that?” You are probably right. You can!
Last year I worked with Homespun magazine and produced a quilt for their April 2014 issue. I am currently working on another project (it’s a secret until it’s published!) for their December 2015 issue.
Today some of my favourite bloggers who are also regular magazine contributors are sharing their tips and tricks of how you can successfully pitch to an editor and get your original sewing project into print!
From my experiences working with magazines, here are my top tips.
Know your magazines. With titles that suit your style of sewing and your aesthetic. This may also depend on the publications available where you live. Australia, UK and USA all have a variety of different publications across a wide range of creative hobbies.
Once you find one or more titles that you think would suit your style of sewing, find out whether they take contributors. Some advertise directly – the current issue of Down Under Quilts has a large ad calling for submissions. Otherwise you can email the editor and ask. Before you make contact, I strongly recommend you…
Prepare Your Pitch. You need to tell the editor why you would be a good fit for their publication. Having a well formed idea of one or more possible projects, photos of something you’ve started or similar already competed.
Work To A Deadline. This is critical. Magazines adhere to strict timelines as your project will need to go through other processes once you’ve submitted, like professional photography, editing, graphic design and layout. For the December issue of Homespun, my project must be completed and delivered by June.
Be confident. Why not you? It’s easy for us to say “my work isn’t good enough” or “why would they want little old me?”. Don’t stifle a goal or dream with negative self talk. Pull up your big girl panties and GET IT DONE. The worst worst worst thing that could happen is an editor saying “no thanks” to your pitch. You’ve lost nothing.
Anorina from Samelia’s Mum has contributed many projects to a variety of publications including Patchwork & Stitching, Down Under Quilts and Handmade. Here is her advice to potential contributors.
Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane has a beautiful style that translates well to magazine work and she is a prolific contributor to Homespun Magazine. She says:
“As a designer with 6 magazine projects under my belt over the last 2 years, here are my suggestions:
Have a clear concept that is developed as much as possible – ideally you should be able to send a picture of a finished product (or one very similar e.g. using the same technique) and/or a pattern so the editor gets a clear idea of the end-product they would be getting. You can also pitch multiple ideas, so if one of them doesn’t fit what they are looking for, another one may.
If you have a blog featuring free tutorials/patterns, it’s useful to send a link to the editor as it gives them an idea of how you write the step-by-step instructions for a project. Whilst the quality and uniqueness of the end-product is paramount, the ability of the designer to translate that into easy to follow instructions for a reader is also very important.
|Image courtesy of Down Grapevine Lane|
|Wavelength Quilt sewn by Ms Midge|