How To Get A Magazine Article Published

TOBY458

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As some of you may have noted, I have began writing some hunting reports from my last safari. It's always been a dream of mine to write for an outdoor magazine or publication. Does anyone here know the steps it takes to get an article published? Or does anyone have contact info for someone who might could help me.

Thanks!
 

wesheltonj

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First, you file your article with the US Copyright office. Next, you look in the magazine that you are interested in having your article appear in, you should find an address for unsolicited manuscripts to be received. Then, wait for rejection or acceptance letter. If rejection move to the next one.
 

BenKK

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I’ve not filed with the US Copyright Office - hadn’t thought / heard of that. Just keep persisting and honing your writing craft and know that you will get many knock-backs.
 

Red Leg

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Also depends whether or not you want or need to be paid. A good place to start are the DSC and SCI journals. They have paid writers who do their columns, but the typical hunting story is submitted by a member who is compensated through bragging rights. The editorial “staff”, typically one person, will determine if it is printable and will provide editing guidance if necessary. Many other outdoor journals do the same. If you are interested in getting into the professional writing business, then a collection of these would form the basis of a resume’ to provide an editor.
 

mdwest

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I’ve been published a few times in some widely distributed publications (non hunting articles)... happy to help if I can...
 

Tundra Tiger

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If you're unsure of a particular market, the Writer's Market is an annual publication that can help; I used that when I first started to think I'd like to try my hand at writing. When I started I tried to key in on magazines that relied heavily to unsolicited manuscripts relevant to what I was writing about. Money wasn't really a goal or motivating factor, but the few hundred bucks (gun money!) for a purchased article can be a nice little side benefit.
 

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Bear in mind that very few magazines will publish something which has been published or distributed somewhere else first.
 

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PM @Frederik and @Dewald - I know that both of them have had articles published in various magazines.
 

sestoppelman

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I have been down this road as well. There is no need to register any copyright stuff. Its yours. I had about 30 articles published some time ago now. Mostly with Gun World and Small Arms Review, and a couple other yearly mag/books. The thing you have to have is perseverance.
You will be rejected way more than ever accepted, its part of the deal, just have to keep trying. You may get a break somewhere, I did with Gun World. Unfortunately for me, when the editor there retired, and the new guy came on board, it didn't go well. We locked horns almost immediately and that as they say was that.
I got into it just before the digital photo age came in. Hint! Excellent digital photos are a must today. I was still using 35mm when I got into it, and then all the mags went digital and I was lost for a time, but got the hang of it, but when SAR dumped a bunch of my articles waiting to go into print in a box and shipped them home, because they decided they needed me to reshoot all the photos in digital, that sort of tore it for me. I let them know I was not pleased at being treated like some nobody. Never got a reply so figured that was a sort of kiss off.
Hint! Editors don't like any complaints from writers, they see themselves as Gods, and wannabe writers are a dime a dozen.
Getting your name into print is pretty neat, but that glory is fleeting, and know this. If you expect to make a living at it, dream on. They don't pay very well and in order to make any money you would have to have 5 articles a month printed somewhere. Its a tough game to break into and a harder one to stay in.

Good luck!
 

Tundra Tiger

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Like sestoppelman said... you're likely not going to get rich, but there are other good reasons to pursue getting published.

I enjoy writing, as a creative outlet, kind of like others might with painting or drawing. Years ago, when I was still a classroom teacher, I'd use time off in the summer to satisfy that desire, and I had some success with it. It was more to prove to myself I could than anything. I haven't done much lately, largely because I get to do a lot of writing for my current job, so my work duties scratch that itch. The one thing I haven't yet done, and still hope to, is get a piece of outdoor humor published. I am a huge fan of the late Patrick McManus; I used to tell the kids I taught that he was who I wanted to be when I grew up. ;)
 

Scott CWO

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For many of the US based magazines that usually only cover North American species, if you killed a really big trophy, they will fight over it. I am not sure about African species.
 

sestoppelman

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Many of the rags have a hunting article every month or so, but Sports Afield is likely the most dedicated to hunting and Africa in particular. Tough to get on board there however... I gave up after several attempts.
I did get my 2007 Namibia hunt with Eden printed in Gun World and I think that's the only actual hunting article I had printed, the others were gun articles of one sort or another.
Probably my worst experience with the editors was when I sent an unsolicited piece to Outdoor Life. I had the devils own time even getting a reply and I ended up calling them on the phone, talked to the editor there at the time, and told me I was a fool for sending in article without having the go ahead first! Needless to say it went no further afterwards.
Funny too, the first gun article I ever sold, was never printed! I sold it to Ken Ramage, then at Gun Digest. Said he liked it, and would print it, but it never happened. I got paid though.
In truth I don't miss it. Lots of time spent shooting other peoples guns, using up my range time, often having to pay out of my end the costs to return borrowed for review guns. Paltry payment amounts, editorial issues, nope. Don't miss it.
 

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I have considerable experience in publishing, and would urge you to not copyright the piece, but to instead find out what magazine's policies are for unsolicited essays and to make sure that your piece complies and to send the piece via email to the editor, or designated person. Make sure that the piece is succinct, evidences word discipline, and has a key point, or story line. All of that may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the stuff that gets sent over. Read a handful of the mags, blogs, etc, and get to understand their style and try to ensure your piece reflects. Good luck.
 

sestoppelman

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wesheltonj

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While, I don't have any hunting articles published, I do have two articles that were published in academic journals. Copyright.

I believe @Red Leg has had a couple published in African Hunting Gazette.
 

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I have had an article published in The Western Hunter Magazine.
I emailed my draft to the editor and he said he'd use it.

It ran some months later...... it was pretty simple
 

Tundra Tiger

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What tedthorn said... They (magazine editors) might like it or not, but the process, in my experience, is not a difficult one.

I hadn't written anything to submit in well over a decade. Over Christmas break 2018 I spent a few lunch breaks cobbling together an article. I sent it to Fur-Fish-Game, whereas I'd had some stuff published by them when I used to write with a bit more frequency. A few weeks after I sent it, the editor contacted me to say he wanted to buy it. Shortly after a check arrived and I signed a contract. The article appeared in the October 2019 issue.

It's always seemed pretty straightforward to me, as long as you have someone lined up to send it to.

On some level I guess I see it like handloading ammo or putting my own arrows together: it's just something else to do tied to what I like to do outdoors (even though I haven't done it much in recent years).

For all who would choose to do this... best of wishes. (y)
 

TOBY458

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For those of you who have been published, here's one of the articles I sent out to several magazines. Never heard anything back from them. Please take a look and let me know what you think of it.

BUFFALO RODEO IN THE KALAHARI

As I write this, it is 4:06 AM EST in Georgia, USA. You could say I am a bit Jet Lagged. I returned from the Kalahari yesterday, and even though the flight home offered very little sleep, somehow I'm still not sleepy.
Part of the reason for my unrest is a scenario that keeps playing in my head. The scenario of a wounded Cape Buffalo, a jammed rifle, and my PH yelling "SHOOT!!! SHOOT!!!!" But let's back up a bit.

The sixth day, of my seven day hunt, started like the previous five days, with a 7am breakfast, and a 7:30 departure. This day was to be my first day hunting Cape Buffalo during this particular hunt.
We started by driving about the 12,000 acre preserve in a Toyota Land Cruiser, looking for Buffalo spoor. For awhile it seemed the buffalo knew we were in pursuit, and didn't care to play along with our game. For not only can they run, they can hide as well. It's amazing how something so big and black, can seemingly dissapear, behind a drought choked thorn bush. However, after a few more trips around the block, the buffalo finally decided to play along, and the chase was on.

We spotted a small heard of Buffalo. A mixture of both hard and soft bossed bulls. And soon we heard the sound of brush breaking, and saw a huge cloud of sand dust, as the heard thundered off into the distance. This was to be a reoccurring theme, due to the swirling wind that brought the dreaded scent of humans to their nostrils.
A hard, fast walk on the spoor, behind my PH and his tracker, soon brought us close to the heard again, but alas, the wind changed and we were off again!
This little cat and mouse game continued for what seems like several hours, until finally we closed in, undetected, from the downwind side. If the wind would just behave, I would get my opportunity...

We lined ourselves up, watching a long, narrow opening in the brush, in anticipation for the heard to cross. This would take several minutes, that seemed like an eternity.
One soft bull, then another, then another, crossed the path. Still we could hear more coming. With my 375 H&H on the sticks, I was ready for action. I was loaded with 300 grain Barnes TSX bullets, so I knew I had enough gun in hand to take care of business, but a small voice in my head kept questioning why I chose to leave my 416 back at camp.
Then finally a large, hard bossed bull stepped out in a cloud of dust, while only giving me a quick, glaring stair, before turning and offering me a very steep angling shot at his vitals. In hind sight I wish I had held my shot, but in a split second decision, I fired.
Dust flew off the side of the bull's huge ribcage, about halfway up his body, and midway back of his chest, angling forward into his lung. And the word "lung" not "lungs" is where the rodeo began.

Soon another PH showed up for what would be a 6 mile tracking excursion, filled with buffalo blood, thorns, my blood, more thorns, sometimes anger, sometimes pure exhilaration, and the eminent thought of either losing my buffalo, or losing my life. For this was no longer just a story in the pages of a Ruark book, I was really on the track of a wounded Cape Buffalo, in the thick bush of Africa. I was alive. My dream had became reality. But there was work to do...

The tracks and blood trail seemed to go on forever. How could an animal lose so much blood and keep going? Sometimes circling us, keeping only a small, brush filled distance between him and us. Still we pushed ahead. Then finally, we caught a glimpse of black, and heard the thundering of hooves once again. He was alone, not able to keep up with his compadres, but still somehow full of life.
Would we ever catch up to him? Off we go again.
A couple more miles and the song remains the same. More blood, more sweat, and more fear. Fear of losing an animal that I wounded, and fear of him enacting his revenge on us. Either was unacceptable in my mind.

My PH turned to me and asked if I was still alright, after several miles of hard, fast walking. I mentioned that a drink of water would be nice, but other than that, I was no worse for wear. He agreed, and called for a truck to meet us on the road we were about to cross in the next half mile or so. With the water, the truck brought a savior. A savior of what would become one of the most memorable days of my life. "Ruger" was the savior's name. A small terrier, with the heart of a Lion and the courage of a Hyena. My PH attached a leash to his collar, and we were on the trail again.
Once we regained the spoor, Ruger was set free.
A very small time later, we heard the yipping of the bayed terrier, and the chase began. As we got closer, I readied my rifle, PH Johan readied his CZ 458 Lott, and my other PH, Seun, checked the chambers of his Merkel 470 double.
We were well armed. At least that's what I thought.... For it would turn out that only they were well armed.
As we approached the wounded buffalo, my sweating palms were wrapped tightly around the stock of my Sako 85 Kodiak, 375 H&H rifle. Once the bull was spotted behind a curtain of thorn bushes, I could only see the outline of his massive body. But the devil is in the details. I could see the blood in his nostrils, but not his head. I could see his whole body, but not his shoulder. Seun and Johan yelled out SHOOT HIM! So I did. The bull showed only a small interest in my deflected shot to his brisket, so I re......
DAMNIT!!!! MY RIFLE IS JAMMED!!!!
I was aware of the fact that this Sako rifle had done this very same thing on a previous buffalo hunt in Australia, but I thought I would remember to take the needed precautions to prevent it from happening again. The empty 375 H&H case had hit the turret of the Leupold scope and fell back into the loading port of the rifle. Not knowing what had happened, I slammed the bolt forward, causing the empty shell casing to lodge itself tightly against the loaded cartridge in the action.
Now we had a wounded buffalo in front of us. A small terrier doing his best to keep him at bay, and both of my PH's screaming SHOOT!!! SHOOT!!!
But...I could not shoot. All I could do was cuss. Cuss myself for not following my own instincts. Cuss the questionable shot I took to begin this whole affair. Cuss this God Damned rifle for letting me down. Cuss the fact that my PH was going to have to kill this buffalo for me. Then the inevitable happened... The 470 Merkel sent a 500 grain solid through the bull's massive boss.
My hunt was over.
Lesson learned.....
 

perttime

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For those of you who have been published, here's one of the articles I sent out to several magazines. Never heard anything back from them. Please take a look and let me know what you think of it.

....
A couple of things jump at me immediately. You reveal how it is going to end, and WHY, at the very beginning. The suspense is gone. You cast doubt on one, or possibly two, brand(s) that the publisher will not want to be offended.
 
 

 

 

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