Being a media student and aspiring journalist, I’ve whipped up a number of different articles over the past year and a half. Be it for assessment purposes or for my blog, there’s no denying that I love to write and there is nothing that gives me more of a buzz than having something I’ve written published on a platform other than my own blog. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a number of different pieces published since starting my studies in the media, so I thought I’d share a few of my ‘publishing tips’ with you fellow writers.
1) REALISE YOUR ABILITY & POTENTIAL
It took me a while to both realise and admit that I was a good writer. I always did fairly well in my English and Drama essays in school and in my first year of my media studies I never had any problems in my writing for the media or journalism class, but it wasn’t until my second year that I actually realised just how good I was. If friends, family or teachers/lecturers say that they enjoyed your writing and it was good, acknowledge this and believe it! It’s not until you start believing in your work that you’ll gain more confidence in putting it out there for others to see.
2) JUST GO FOR IT
There’s no beating around the bush. If you want something published then you’re going to have to take that first step in contacting publications. Aim for smaller outlets such as student websites. They’re always keen to get new writers on board and most of the pieces I’ve had published have been on these sites. Don’t worry about not being good enough or making mistakes. If the editor wants you to change something, cut down or expand your article then they’ll tell you. 9 times out of 10 editors may make small alterations to punctuation or language but don’t take this as a bad thing. It happens all the time.
If you’re trying to get a specific article published but are having no luck then don’t give up. I’m currently in the process of trying to get all three of my articles for my Graded Unit project published, and I’ve been having a tough time trying to get two of the three out there. However, after about a month I’ve finally found success with a local magazine. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and it also doesn’t hurt to ask other journalists or editors whether they have any contacts. In my experience, they’re always willing to help students out in any way that they can as they’ve been through it themselves.
4) FOLLOW UPS
If you don’t hear back from a publication after a few days, follow it up. Don’t be afraid of appearing pushy. If you’re wanting to work in this industry you can’t tiptoe around these things. Editors can be very busy and sometimes your email can get lost. I’ve also had editors read my work but forget to reply until I send them a second email. You’ve got nothing to lose so follow up!
5) KEEP IN CONTACT
So you’ve succeeded in getting your article published. GREAT! What do you do next? Keep in the loop of course. If you’ve been published on a student site then send them over any other articles that you think might interest them or ask if there’s any specific topics they’d like you to cover. Follow the publications on social media and keep a note of the editors contact details. These people like individuals who are dedicated and if you keep at it, you’ll have a big enough portfolio to show off to future potential employers.