Friday, February 10, 2012

Writing for Writers, C. Hope Clark

 With permission, I am sharing C. Hope Clark's editorial from her recent Funds for Writers newsletter.

Editor: C. Hope Clark


Read newsletter online at:
Read past issues at:



It's daring to write for writers. We don't often think so,
because we are amongst our own. We understand each other.
On the other hand, however, I think we are throwing ourselves
to the wolves when we do. After all, to write for writers,
shouldn't we profess to have a degree of expertise and
history at the craft before claiming we have answers? When
we write about the one time we published or the rejection
letter that opened our eyes or how to overcome writer's block
when we have no publishing credentials, we tend to embarrass
ourselves and show our ignorance. Of course those stories
don't make the big magazines, but they find their way to
many online locales.

Maybe I'm being brash, but it never ceases to amaze me at
how new writers think they can start writing by submitting
to writing magazines when, in actuality, they should be
reading and digesting them instead. It's like a teacher
fresh out of college, before she spends two months in the
classroom, writing for Teacher's World. Who does she think
she is?

There are exceptions, however. When you claim expert status
you can write for a writer's magazine. If you are an editor,
or as I broke into Writer's Digest, a grant expert, or a
teacher. You might not be a writer, but you're thick in
the writing world. Or maybe there's an essay section that
asks for personal experiences so that everyone struggling
can learn without making the same mistakes.

But if you are writing an article, with the idea that you'll
publish it in a writing publication, stop and think. Look at
the readership. Are you in the right stage of your career to
be advising others? Again, I'm not chastising. I'm trying to
keep you from making an error.

Bylines in writing magazines give us more credibility
as writers. To feel like one of the fold. To be more of a
professional. To feel worthy. Go ahead and write that piece,
but before you submit it, stop and ask yourself if you'd be
willing to get up before a writers' crowd at a conference
and preach what you just wrote. Are you that solid in your
material that you can stand unabashedly before a roomful
of experience and teach those ideas?

Just doing a reality check here. I want you to publish. I want
you to speak. I want you to gain credibility. But I don't want
you to leap too soon. For whatever stage you are in your writing
life, here are a few markets for your writing articles. Good luck!

Writer's Digest

The Writer Magazine

Canadian Writer's Journal

New Letters

The Writer's Chronicle

Poetry Magazine

Writers' Journal

Writing That Works



Copyright 2000-2011, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Hope. Thanks for the writing tips and the links.