It was about two years ago at this time that I was working on my first piece that was ever published in a magazine. At the time, I didn't have plans to submit it, I just thought it was cool and I liked it and I knew that it was pretty easy to make.
Boy am I ever glad that I decided to send that e-mail and put my work out there!
It opened a whole world of opportunities that I didn't even know existed for someone creating jewelry.
I want to take a moment today to help you seize the opportunity as well. I know you've heard these tips before, but I'm gonna give you my take on what I think works for submission to a magazine.
(And lest you think that I've got magazines beating down my doors for a chance at my work, I will tell you that that same year I ran into quite a few "no's" along with the "yes's", which is, consequently, how I figured out what to do and what NOT to do.)
Okay, let's get started.
1. KNOW THE MAGAZINE:This is the most important. It seems kind of obvious that a magazine like Stringing wouldn't accept an intricate beadwoven cuff, but I'm talking about the subtle differences.
For example, when I think of Beadwork Magazine, I tend to think of more modern takes on beadwoven jewelry with projects that produce great results in less time. Bead and Button for me, tends to invite work that takes a little longer and is more elegant and styled.
2. KNOW THE THEMES:
Magazines editors don't release submission guidelines on their websites because they're bored with nothing to do. Those guidelines are there because the editors have sat down and come up with themes and trends that they want reflected in the next issues. If you can create within those trends and themes, you'll be right on track with the editors, and stand a much better chance of getting published. For example, last year when Beadwork put out a call for Miriam Haskell inspired jewelry, I immediately went to their website for inspiration and created my Winter Solstice bracelet from what I saw there.
3. KNOW THE FORMAT:
Wanna know a secret? I don't own a subscription to every beading magazine that I submit to. I can't, I just don't have the dinero right now, but whenever I get a few extra minutes in the Barnes and Noble, I choose to spend it with my nose buried in the bead magazines that I don't own subscriptions to. I study how they write directions and make note of the kinds of materials that are being used in the magazine and yes, I'll buy the magazine if it's something that I want to research further. (If you really want to keep digging, think about buying back issues, they tend to be $1 or $2 cheaper than the current issue)
4. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES
There are a couple of beading magazines that I've never submitted to. Why? I simply know that my work is not ready for that platform. But, it gives me something to shoot for. For example, Belle Armoire Jewelry is one of my favorite beading magazines (It's usually the one that I buy off the stands) and I'm constantly inspired by the work within. However, I know that what I do is just not exactly what that magazine is looking for. So, I'll challenge myself to look at my work from the perspective of a Belle Armoire reader and think....what could I offer that reader?
Also, having said that, think about stretching your boundaries. For example, there are some great magazines published abroad that are constantly looking for new designers at home or overseas.
5. KNOW YOUR WORK:
This one may be the most important of them all. What is unique about your piece that you've never seen before? What do you have to offer to a group of beaders, stringers, weavers, embroiderers that are already pretty much inundated with jewelery projects? How are you going to convey that in the one or two photos that you get to send to an editor? (Photos are so important. Unless otherwise noted, send in at least two, a whole-piece shot, and a detail shot, of the most interesting or unique part of the piece) Be confident and write with confidence about your piece, it's yours after all!
Okay, I hope some of this info helps and here I'm leaving you with some links to guidelines for different mags and their current upcoming deadlines. These are in no particular order:
Stringing - June 3 (Winter Issue)
Beadwork - April 11 (Dec/Jan Issue)
Step by Step Wire Jewelry - Ongoing
Bead and Button - Ongoing
BeadStyle - Ongoing
Bead Trends - April 25thBelle Armoire Jewelry - April 15th
Jewelry Affaire - May 15th
Bead Magazine (from the U.K.)
Alright, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I do hope that you'll check out at least a few of these links! (I want the editors to wonder why they're inboxes are suddenly loaded with amazing and inspiring pieces from brand new designers!)Good luck, y'all!