PWM Query Guidelines

FreelanceArticleSnapI’m often asked if we accept unsolicited queries. We do. We just haven’t had the submission guidelines posted on the web site for the last couple of years – and now we do.

Every issue includes at least a couple of articles from freelance writers, many of which started out as unsolicited queries. In fact, we rarely assign projects or techniques to freelancers;  we’d much rather have folks tell us about what they’re interested in writing, rather than trying to tell them in what they ought to be interested. A personal connection to the subject comes through on the page – and that usually makes for a better read.

And we’d love to get some new “voices” into our pages. And a contemporary project or three.

So if you have an query you’ve been eager to submit, take a look at the submission guidelines (where you’ll also find a sample query).

But first, a few hints (also known as a look at my pet peeves as an editor):

• I beg you – before submitting your work to us for consideration – read the last couple of issues (at least) of PWM. Use what you see and read therein to honestly assess whether your project or technique is right for us. Do you have the best-ever “How to Design & Build the Perfect Backyard Deck” article? Congratulations (and I’d love to be invited to your barbecue party) – but I don’t care if it indeed achieves the platonic ideal of “deck”; we’re highly unlikely to consider it. Have you built “The Ultimate Router Table?” (So has everyone else. In every woodworking magazine.) If it is indeed the ne plus ultra of router tables, it’s possible we might route it amongst the editors for consideration…but that is a slim possibility indeed. And I don’t care if you’ve achieved the very apogee of wooden yard art – we are not going to consider it for publication (though it might amuse me).

• In addition to reading the last couple of issues, give an at least cursory glance to the contents from the last two years’ worth of issues (you’ll find that information on the Online Extras pages: popularwoodworking.com/feb13 … /apr13 … /oct13 … etc). Do you notice a published article that seems an awful lot like your idea? If so, we’re unlikely to consider yours.

• Also take a look at the other woodworking magazines (I understand there are one or two). If you see a similar build or technique article in the last year therein, we’re unlikely to consider your query. (It could happen…but your approach/design would have to be in some way significantly better.)

• Actually follow the submission guidelines. Unless you and your work are incredibly well-known, we need the information requested in the guidelines to make an informed decision.

• Do not spell my name incorrectly. Do not spell Glen’s name incorrectly. The title of the magazine is Popular Woodworking, not Poplar Woodworking. And, for the love of cheese, do not use a different magazine’s title in your query. (Note that we may be inclined to overlook these types of errors if your query is otherwise stellar, but you’re not helping your case.)

The above reads a lot like one of my old composition syllabi. (#sorry/not sorry)

So, with the many persnickety caveats above in mind, we truly do welcome your queries.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. You’ll find a permanent link to the Submission Guidelines in the footer on every page of the site.

9 thoughts on “PWM Query Guidelines

  1. lastwordsmith

    Gee, that reads a little like my current freshman composition syllabus. I’ll be sure to tell my students that people in the real world really do appreciate it when writers stick to the assignment and proofread their work.

  2. robert

    “Do you notice a published article that seems an awful lot like your idea?”

    Unless it’s about a tool box/cabinet or workbench, then we’ll definitely publish it. You can never have too many of those.

  3. bbrown

    Deer Meaghan and Kris,

    I make really nice scroll saw cut outs but am having trouble sellning them. I can make 3 (different) gun cut-outs and I even make people cut outs. They are te best quality and very nice but maybe if you feature me in ‘Modern Woodworking’ ( which I have been reading for 36 years) I will get the recognition I think I deserve and “be discovered”, so to speak. As per your strict instructions, I hereby make this my official entry, and be aware that I have not seen any of these in those other magazines like ‘Final Woodworking’ or ‘Poplar Woodworking’. I do not ever read these, BTW.

    I don’t have pictures yet, but my neighbor has a camera, so let me know if you really need them. I hope I have piqued your interest in my creative work and craftsmanlikeship. If you need any more information please do not hesitate to write me. I’d like to make the February or March issue please. I think my ornamants and decorations will make a great series of articles for you.

    –William Brown

  4. Jim S

    Very Much off topic

    Hi Megan

    I was listening to this song in my shop and I recalled someone said your preferred drink was whisky and I also remembered you joked that you were going for an Emmylou Harris look. If that is the case perhaps you are on the lookout for a classic C&W theme song to go with the new look like this Laura Cantrell tune (although it is not Shakespeare):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8HEAI2y-VY

    Well, the whiskey makes you sweeter than you are.
    If I’d quit drinkin’ sooner, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone that far.
    Now the haze has lifted I can see.
    That the whiskey makes you sweeter than you could ever really be.

    I started slow and steady,
    I went from cola to a beer.
    I made a resolution:
    From the liquor I’d steer clear.
    When I saw you there,
    Somethin’ inside of me switched off.
    And when I switched to the whiskey,
    Then I knew that I was gone.

    ‘Cause the whiskey makes you sweeter than you are.
    If I’d quit drinkin’ sooner, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone that far.
    Now the haze has lifted I can see.
    That the whiskey makes you sweeter than you could ever really be.

    Instrumental Break.

    “Sweets for a sweetheart.”
    That is what you said to me,
    As you handed me a shot glass,
    And drank down hungrily.
    I was lost in dreams of sweet things,
    Runnin’ through my head.
    If it wasn’t for the whiskey,
    Well, I’d have run away instead.

    ‘Cause the whiskey makes you sweeter than you are.
    If I’d quit drinkin’ sooner, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone that far.
    Now the haze has lifted I can see.
    That the whiskey makes you sweeter than you could ever really be.

    Oh yeas, the whiskey makes you sweeter than you could ever be to me

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