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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Where to Publish Your Non-Scholarly Non-Fiction Articles

Prepared for a Workshop on February 26, 2021

Where to Publish Your Non-Scholarly Non-Fiction Articles

Nonfiction writing includes personal essays, call to action, reviews, humor, memoir, history, commentary, journalism, travel writing, food writing, biography, politics, and other general topics found in non-scholarly outlets.

 

Finding the right place to publish requires you to answer these GAPS questions:

Genre - What type of nonfiction do you want to write? What are the features of that genre?

Audience - Who are you writing for? Who gets your insights: your hometown or industry leaders?

Purpose - What are you trying to achieve in the text? Persuade, argue, advise, or inform?

Style - Is the text formal or informal? Relaxed or serious in tone? Simple or complex?

Outlet

Control

Visibility

Effort

Career

Money

Newspapers

2

4

3

3

2

Trade

4

2

4

5

4

Popular

3

5

2

4

5

Blogs

5

3

5

2

1

1-negative       5- positive

 

 

Scholarly Journals

Trade Publications (Industry Magazines) or Blogs

  Popular Magazines or Newspapers or Social Media

   Appearance   (Cover)

scholarly journal cover New England Journal of Medicine

Plain

 trade magazine cover Foodservice Equipment and Supplies  

Exciting industry-specific scenes

popular magazine cover People

Flashy

   Appearance   (Inside)

 Black and white with few pictures

Colorful with pictures

 Colorful with many pictures

Purpose

To report research findings and build on the academic literature

To help professionals keep up with changes in their field (new products and trends)

To inform, entertain and grab your interest

Audience

Researchers and professionals

Professionals

Regular people

Author

Researchers, usually associated with a university

Professionals in a field (dentists, law enforcement officers and HVAC professionals)

Journalists

 

Title

Sounds “academic” and usually includes the word “journal”

- New England Journal of Medicine

- Journal of Clinical Child Psychology

Sounds “professional”.  May include the word “journal” in the title but does not look like a journal.

- Massage Today

- Community College Journal

- Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

Short title that usually sounds general or “fun”. 

- New York Times (newspaper)

- Washington Post (newspaper)

- People (magazine)

- Time (magazine)

 Advertisements

None

Industry-specific ads (kitchen equipment, massage tables and dental hygiene instruments)

Flashy ads for products that would interest most people (cars, food and clothes)

Editing Process

Peer Review

Basic editing

Basic editing

Pros

Reliable, high-quality academic research

Easier to read and more current than scholarly journals

Newspapers are printed daily and magazines usually monthly

Cons

Peer review process takes time, so articles may take months to publish

Written by professionals in the field but does not go through an extensive editing process

Not very reliable and could include opinions.  Some newspapers and magazines are better than others (Wall Street Journal and National Enquirer)

Read the Author Instructions or Submissions

  1. Get familiar with the source for tone and style.  Find back issues in libraries.
  2. READ author instructions
  3. If no author instructions. Reach out to editors with your idea by writing a "one-page" query letter. (Editor's name, idea/synopsis, sample, contact info), Add at least a 2-week deadline for them to respond before you send it out again.
  4. READ the contract (everything is negotiable, copyrights, fees, etc.).
  5. Keep a record of all permissions and research.
  6. When it comes out, promote to friends and family.

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