Magazine Madness Part 11: November

In November I wrote to: Pick Me Up! ‘What’s On TV’, Writers Forum, Grazia and Dog’s Monthly.

Yes – I wrote to 5 this month instead of my usual 4 – because I suddenly realised that 4 x 12 is only 48 therefore I was going to be off my target of ‘one a week’ (which is actually 52, of course). So I have a bit of catching up to do. Phew, it’s all very difficult for someone whose strength is not ‘numbers’!

1. Pick Me Up! (70p weekly)

Whenever I see an exclamation mark at the end of the name of a magazine, I worry.

Pick Me Up! Is one of those ‘tabloid-type’ women’s weeklies that makes me wince when I read it (see what I go through for you!).

There’s no ‘letters page’ as such but they do pay for photos with a few lines of explanation (and, most importantly – all names and AGES!) on their ‘You’re Having A Laugh’ page (eg: ‘Here’s a picture of my daughter Aimee, 16, getting ready for her prom’… ‘This cool little dude is my 3-year old son, Barney….’ – that kind of thing), so if you’ve got a funny or cute photo that you don’t mind sending to them (they won’t return it but you do have the option of emailing it or sending it via their webpage) and earning yourself a quick £25, then Pick Me Up! Might be the mag for you.

They also pay £25 for tips with a photo on their ‘Share The Genius’ and ‘Mums’ Tips’ page (and I’ve had a couple of tips printed this year so it’s not that difficult).

The magazine mostly consists of puzzles and competitions and ‘real life stories’ (for which they’ll pay up to £500).

These range from the ‘happy’ (‘I lost eight stone and found a life’) to the horrible (‘I broke my back on our honeymoon’) to the downright disgusting. And don’t ask me about the ‘Readers Confession’ page at the back! (they pay £100 for that and promise that you can remain anonymous but .. ahem, I’m not prudish but really! It was top-shelf stuff!)

Email: pickmeup@ipcmedia.com or send letters/tips via their website: http://www.pickmeupmagazine.co.uk or write to: Pick Me Up! IPC Media, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU.

2. Whats On TV (49p weekly)

This is a weekly TV listings magazine and it has a full page of readers’ letters at the back (‘Have Your Say’). They pay £10 for each one printed and £25 for the ‘star letter’, which, in the issue I read, was a piece about a recent BBC Documentary ‘Sam & Evan: From Girls To Men’ (about a sex-change couple). It’s the usual thing – just write in about programmes you like or dislike, with reasons why.

They also pay £15 for your opinion on shows on the TV, (‘What Do You Think About Merlin?’ was the question posed in my magazine and they’d printed a couple of reader’s opinions). You have to send them a clear photo, together with your name, address and telephone number and if they use your view and photo, you’ll get £15.

I wrote about Downton Abbey, as the last episode had just been aired the night before (remember what I told you about being ‘quick off the mark’!?) and I’d found it hilarious (I think it was supposed to be sad, poignant but it was just funny). [Update: they printed it last week!]

If you want to drop them a few lines about a TV programme that you love or hate, email: wotv_postbag@ipcmedia.com (include your full name and address) or write to: Have Your Say, What’s On TV, 6th Floor, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU.

Or you can text YOURSAY followed by a space and your comment to 80088 (max 160 characters). Texts cost 25p plus your standard network rate.

3. Writers Forum (£3.60 Monthly)

Writers Forum has a double-page spread of readers’ letters each month on their ‘Writers Circle’ page and they give a Moleskin notebook (worth £9.95) for each one they print. So, you’re not going to get rich by writing to Writers Forum but I reckon, if you write something interesting, on a writing subject or in response to an article you’ve read in an earlier issue, you’ve a good chance of being published.

Email: letters@writers-forum.com and don’t forget to include your full name and address.

I wrote on a subject very close to my heart: Facebook-judged writing competitions (ie: if you’ve got the most friends, you win and it has nothing to do with writing skill). It was a bit controversial and asked for other readers’ opinions (Editors usually like that kind of thing).

Possibly an even better kind of ‘filler’ to send Writers Forum though (which, if you’re chosen, will get you a year’s subscription to the magazine, worth much more than a moleskin notebook, lovely though those are), is to send something to ‘Newsfront’.

They want newsworthy items between 100 – 200 words (but they prefer nearer to 100) on anything to do with writing or that might be of interest to other writers. You have to include a link to the website that you found the item on and obviously don’t copy directly – write it up in your own words.

I’ve won this once and I’m trying to win it again as my subscription has now run out! [Update: they printed two of my Newsfront items in the latest issue of Writers Forum but I didn’t win the subscription. *Sighs* I will have to try again]

Send Newsfront items to: news@writers-forum.com

4. Grazia (£1.95 weekly)

Grazia is very much aimed at fashionistas (not me! I wouldn’t know a Louis Vuitton handbag if it hit me in the face). It’s full of fashion pages *yawns* and celebrity stuff.

The letters page just has one prize – for the star letter of the week but it’s a good one, like £150 of hair care products – if you like that kind of thing, obviously!

Email: feedback@graziamagazine.co.uk or you can post your comments on their website: http://www.graziadaily.co.uk (‘Where you can also get your fix of all things Grazia’). You can get a reasonable idea of the articles in each week’s magazine from the website, so if you don’t want to splash out and actually buy it, you could try that.

I wrote a letter about the breakdown of Kim Kardashian’s shortlived marriage. Yes, I know – who is she?? I had to research that one.

5. Dogs Monthly

“Why?” I hear you growl (or bark?) “Is she writing to ‘Dogs’ Monthly’?” Well, a few reasons: thought it was about time I spread my wings away from the women’s magazines, plus I’m getting a dog soon – once we’ve moved house and got settled – and plus, I’ve been to the Guide Dog training centre in Leamington recently and I thought they might want to hear about that.

There’s only one prize – for the writer of the Star Letter – and in the issue I bought, it was a doggy bed worth about £50.

If you want to write to Dogs Monthly, the address is: Readers’ Letters, Dogs Monthly, 61 Great Whyte, Ramsey, Huntingdon PE26 1HJ or email: gill.s@dogsmonthly.co.uk

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11 Responses to Magazine Madness Part 11: November

  1. Prue says:

    I think you should be given a medal at the end of the year.

  2. Thanks for these tips Helen, I could knit you a medal if you like:))

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    What an excellent objective – to target all these magazines over a year. Will you summarise your success at the end of the 2011? Would be good to know how many hits you got. Just read your letter in What’s on TV – totally agreed with your hilarious comments on Downton Abbey. Having only just discovered Twilight saga I’d thought the same about poor Matthew’s complexion! Maybe that’s the theme for the much hyped Xmas special ….

    • Tracy Yes, I am planning to summarise my year of Magazine Madness! I might have to wait a bit though because of course some of the monthlies that I’ve written to might still publish a letter from me in the weeks to come! It’s been fun – but I feel like I can’t read a magazine now without flicking through to the letters page and trying to think of something to send them!

      ________________________________

      • Maggie May says:

        That’s why you’re a writer Helen. I read your newsworthy item in Writers Forum and thought you should have won for your efforts. It all goes to prove that if you churn enough stuff out, some of it will hit the fan!

  4. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks for doing this and so glad you’re getting success for all the effort.
    You’ve done a great job and really inspired me. I hadn’t considered magazines before apart from the ones that still do print fiction but because of your inspiration I submitted 3 articles to magazines and have had 2 published and have one that a mag liked and hope to print (which reminds me I must chase that one up). I earnt £240 for the printed ones and also got £10 in vouchers for a letter to ‘Yours’. Amazing – my first money ever earnt because of you so thanks so much again.
    Have you got a new project for 2012?

    • That’s fantastic news, Stephanie – well done – you’ve inspired me now to try to send some more articles off to magazines!! Which could be my new project for 2012… except that I’m thinking along other lines – but I’ll let you know once I’ve decided! Keep up the good work and let me know when (not if!) you have more writing successes!

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  5. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks. I’m just writing another article for the mag that took my first two. Will let you know.
    Can’t wait to hear your new plans.
    What I liked about the mag idea was it could be as broad as you wanted. Much as I’d love to get stories published there is such a lot of competition that it’s good to have something else to aim for. Also, as a very very new (dare I say it!) writer I need as much experience as I can get – a little bit of success helps too.

  6. Stephanie – I agree. As much as I like writing stories for the women’s magazines, it’s a very competitive (and small – and getting smaller!) market and there is DEFINITELY more scope for getting published if you’re writing non-fiction! Have you checked out Alex Gazzola’s blog ‘Mistakes Writers Make’, for lots of article-writing tips and advice? The link to his blog is on my blog – just scroll down. It’s well worth a look!

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