I’m really starting to enjoy writing my letters to the magazines. The more I do, the more I realise there’s a knack to it (I had one published last week in the Sun’s ‘Buzz’ magazine, but it wasn’t the star letter unfortunately, so no prize there!).
Just like any kind of writing, you do have to try to find an ‘angle’ and something interesting to say! But timing is important too as these magazines are being worked on weeks or months in advance, so I hope I’m not leaving some of my letters too late.
By the way, if you feel a bit self-conscious flicking through them in ‘Smiths, you can find out quite a lot about a magazine’s style and content by looking at the websites.
These are the 4 magazines I’ve written to this month:
Sainsbury’s Magazine (£1.60, monthly, in store), invites you to ‘share your thoughts’ if you’ve been ‘inspired (or annoyed) by anything you’ve read in the magazine’. There’s a prize for the ‘star letter’ of the month, which in February was a posh kettle and toaster worth £180.
I sent my email in response to a statistic they published in the Feb. Magazine. Apparently Astral skincare have carried out a recent survey in which 46% of people couldn’t remember their mum’s birthday! I found that amazing (who on earth were they asking?! I did a quick straw poll amongst friends and colleagues, including men and every single one of them knew their mother’s birthday!) and wrote to say so!
But then, while flicking through the magazine again, I read a really funny article about bad manners in children and I had to write something in response to that too (it’s also given me an idea for a short story – thank you Sainsburys!). Sooo, two letters to Sainsburys magazine (but it still only counts as one!)
Write to: Sainsbury’s Magazine, Seven Publishing Group Ltd, 3-7 Herbal Hill, London EC1R 5EJ
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Woman & Home (£3.70 monthly) has a letters page ‘We’ve Got Mail’ which, in the March issue at least, only published 3 letters but each writer received an ‘Aspinal Eaton Purse’ worth £110 and promised that next month’s winning letter writers will each receive a pearl bracelet worth £98.
All three letters published in the March issue related to articles in previous issues of the magazine.
Actress Helen Mirren was on the front cover and there was an interview with her inside the magazine, so I wrote an email complimenting both.
Write to: woman&home, The Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 OSU or email: email@example.com
Ideal Home magazine (which, rather strangely, they have in my library – sorry, forgot to check the price but probably £3 – £4), asks readers to write in with ‘household’ and ‘decorating’ questions. Although these are not ‘letters’ as such, they do give a ‘star prize’ for one of each, worth around £100 (in the March issue, they awarded a £150 DAB radio and a £90 set of saucepans).
Or write to: Ideal Home, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU
I wrote about problems I’d had painting my lounge wall with metallic paint! (it went all ‘globule-y’, if you know what I mean) and asking for advice on how to avoid that next time. (Shhh… not that there will ever be a next time! I am done with decorating!)
Lady Golfer (£2.90 monthly)
Yes, this one was a bit of a surprise for me too – especially as I don’t play golf! I found the magazine in our local golf club where we sometimes treat ourselves to an egg and bacon sandwich and I was pleased to see that they have a letters page which offers a golf stick/club thingy as the star letter prize (there’s always Ebay, if I win one…!)
The thing I like best, to be honest, about ladies’ golf is (this is really girly…), the CLOTHES they wear (nice diamond Pringle tops and matching shorts, for example), but I didn’t think they’d want a letter about that. So, in the end, I made up something about having just taken up the sport and how similar it is to tennis! (That’s not as silly as it sounds, by the way! Tim Henman is a scratch golfer and lots of people move from tennis to golf as they get older, as it’s not quite so hard on the joints but the swing of a backstroke, for example, is very similar to a golf swing!).
If you have something more intelligent than that to say about golf, why not give it a go?
Write to: Lady Golfer, 1st Floor, 18-22 Market Street, Cleckheaton, BD19 5AJ