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1. Contact the magazine of your choice for an editorial calendar, submission guidelines, and ask to be added to their e-mail list for submission calls (if they have one). The editorial calendar will tell you what type of designs they are looking for and when submissions are due. Keep in mind most magazines work 6 months to a year in advance, so submissions for a summer issue may be due in the middle of winter. Some magazines list the call for submissions or guidelines on their website. The website is also where you will find contact information for each magazine.
2. Prepare your submission.
- A submission should include the following:
- Sketch of proposed design
- Photo (if e-mailing) of swatch or finished item OR actual swatch (if sending by mail)
- Description of the project (v-neck sweater, bobble afghan) that includes construction details and some descriptive text.
- Materials list: what you used for the swatch and a proposed alternative yarn (because the editors will change yarns on you).
- Follow any submission guidelines for that particular magazine.
- A design should only be submitted to one magazine at a time. Do not submit a design to magazine A while it’s still under consideration at magazine B.
- Include all your contact information on every single piece.
- Do not submit a design that you have previously posted online- even if it was just pictures and not the whole pattern.
- If you are e-mailing a file, try to include the pictures in the file with the text unless the guidelines specify otherwise.
3. Send it in. If it’s a hard copy, ask if they require you to send in return postage to get your swatches back.
4. Wait. Now’s the tough part. Don’t e-mail the editor twenty times. You just have to wait. It can take anywhere from 2 days to 6 months to hear back. Many magazines do not contact people if a design sent in via e-mail is rejected. These magazines will generally state in their submission guidelines that “if you do not hear from us within X weeks of the submission deadline, you can assume your design was not accepted.”
If your design was rejected, start the submission process over again. You are now free to submit that design to a different magazine. If it was accepted …. well that’s a whole other blog post. 🙂