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For most publications you can go to their website to see what they are accepting for upcoming editions, what they require, and how they want you to send it in. It helps to know vaguely what type of publication you want to write for ie: I write for library, history, and anthropology publications. It pays to write what you know. For the stuff I do I usually send in an abstract. A 250 word synopsis of what I will write. And a bio (why you should be the one writing this and not someone else). For books you usually need to send in an abstract, a table of contents, and a couple of other things (it depends on the publisher). I suggest you start with small startup publications. They won't pay you in real money but the exposure is what you are after when you first get started and they are usually hungry for articles. I hope that is helpful. If you need more info please let me know.

unmitigated me

Isn't Michele awesome? Also, go to the library and ask for a reference book that I think is called Writer's Market? I may be wrong about that, it's been awhile. And it's probably online now, so skip the library. Tell you what...talk to Michele.


If you want to write a freelance article for a magazine or online publication, you need to pitch them your story idea. Checkout the magazine's masthead for the section editors. Call and ask about submission guidelines and then have at it.

The same goes for getting a parenting column online. You are going to have to sell yourself. Find a bunch of places you want to write, and start pitching yourself as a columnist. You have a good hook, being a later-in-life mom. That is becoming more and more of a trend these days. You write about it all the time on your blog.

Sarah at themommylogues

Wow. Look at all these motivated people.

Before I started my blog, back when I had one child in 2004, I started writing in hopes of a kind of essay-style book. And then lo and behold, blogs!

And now I'm lucky if I write once a week. But it's one of my resolutions.

Best of luck!


You have to be a Dooce/Pioneer Woman to have them come knocking at your door, yes.

However, since I decided to write a cookbook I've been researching how to get published and Michele and Jenni's tips are perfect. I also bought reference books for my endeavor - "Will Write for Food" and "How to Write a Cookbook and Get It Published" have been invaluable.

I've also been going through my blog and picking out what I feel are great pieces of food writing (not just my usual ramblings followed by "Oh, by the way, here's a nice recipe") to submit to various local publications to see if that won't help me get some momentum going.

Erica@Pines Lake Redhead

All of the above sound like excellent tips. But then again, I don't know anything about getting started in the writing business either. I agree that your hook is being a leter in life mom. On top of that you're brilliant and funny! Go get them and we can all say that we read you when!

Sprite's Keeper

I don't think I can say much that hasn't been said before. And brilliantly, I might add..


Keep writing. Keep blogging.
Check out http://caitdangowest.squarespace.com/, the blog started by our friend Caitlin Shetterly. She was a contributor to NPR, reading from her blog, so you can search for and listen to her there. Her blog turned into a book, out this Spring. It's a timely personal reflection of the impact of the recession on her new marriage, child, and move to L.A. and then back home to Maine.


My Mom bought me the Writer's Market (Canadian version) last year and I haven't even cracked it. Sigh. I wish someone would just come along and 'recruit' me, too.

Of course there is always the option of an agent as a writer, too - but I think you need a few published items under your belt before a good one will consider you. I could be totally wrong though!


Writer's Market - a must!


Second to everything said so far re: know what you want to write, get a book or two on doing it, get writer's market (yes, online, though I still like the printed version), have at it.

AND, especially second to what someone said about local/regional print. Your key (just like anything) is to get your first gig. Once you have even one clipping, other people will be more willing to talk to you. So network and/or pitch and do your first thing for free if you have to. Choose a local magazine or niche market magazine, read some back issues from the library and come up with some ideas to pitch to them. It helps if you can find someone who knows someone at one of these tiny little publications who will give you a shot, but it's not at all necessary.

Good luck!



Excellent advice above. I think the blog market is saturated now so it's really difficult to break through and get noticed. I have 2 friends who actually do seminars on writing - one is a successful freelancer/ghost writer and another is a comedian/blogger who concentrates on comedy. She also used to write for TV so could probably help on that front. Let me know if you're interested and I'll get you their info.

Other than that, I'm right there with you figuring out next steps. Do I write another feature? Work on a TV script? Start doing stand up about how crazy my kids are? So many choices, so little money!

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