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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2016 > Article writing: Creating opportunities

Article writing: Creating opportunities

In the fi nal part of this series on writing and selling non-fi ction articles, Patrick Forsyth focuses on targeting your approach to editors


It was Thomas Mann who said:

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Actually writing non-fiction may be the easy bit. Doing it in a way that appeals to potential buyers and getting it published is another matter. There are a number of factors to address here, and some hints to help you along the way.

First approaches

You can, of course, write something (articles or books) and then submit them to a likely outlet in the hopes of getting them published, but it is often better to make suggestions first. To an editor you know this may be only a few lines; this (third) article began as three lines in an email to the editor. If you write to someone you don’t know, then you need to deploy a longer argument – an overall pitch. Describe what the article is about and why you believe it suits. Provide information about what will be covered – probably 3-7 lines should suffice. Add something about you that links to the topic – and maybe include an overall hook – for instance, that something is a fit because of a season or anniversary.

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BUMPER ISSUE: Plan your writing year with our definitive guide to festivals, workshops, courses and events for writers in 2016 101 ways to inspire new ideas How to: Market your ebook Write the perfect submission letter Sell your article ideas 'Leave it out!": Create cliché-free crime dialogue Get active! Make the most of your writing retreat AND Get Booked at your local library Star interview with crime writer Louise Welsh, on tackling dark topics with a light touch

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