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Submission Guidelines

Founded in 1887, The Writer is dedicated to expanding and supporting the work of professional and aspiring writers with a straightforward presentation of industry information, writing instruction and professional and personal motivation. In the pages of our magazine, writers share experiences, expertise, struggles, advice, successes, and suggestions.

Our editors are interested in query letters on concrete topics written by emerging and experienced writers in all genres. We are looking for clear takeaway for our readers: What can they learn to improve their writing or advance their careers? What specific how-to tips and strategies will accomplish this?

In addition to a fleshed-out outline of your story idea and an estimated word count, queries should include a brief description of your background. We are interested in how-to stories, reported pieces, narrative essays, and profiles of writers and others in the field.

We are not interested in pieces that have been previously published online or in print. For personal essays, we prefer writers to attach or paste the finished piece in their query email. 

Queries should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] All queries sent to any other address will be deleted. Please include your name and a short bio.

Please feel free to send us simultaneous submissions. Unfortunately, we receive hundreds of pitches every week and cannot respond to all of them. If you’re unfamiliar with our magazine, we recommend reading a few issues, subscribing, or signing up for our newsletter to get a feel for the kind of work we publish.

Article lengths vary widely from 300 to 4,000 words. On occasion, longer articles and excerpts also appear in the magazine.

We recommend writers ask themselves the following questions before querying. It isn’t necessary to include them in your query, but we find it’s a good way to help us understand how your piece best fits in our pages:

  • How specifically will this story idea help our readers become more informed writers? What takeaway will it provide?
  • Why is this particular idea timely or relevant?
  • Why are you the perfect person to write this piece?
  • What kind of sidebars or other creative elements can you include to make your idea more multifaceted?

The Writer‘s editorial lineup includes:

Breakthrough: Formatted first-person articles about a writer’s experience in “breaking through” to publication (with an article, screenplay, book, etc.). Breakthrough queries must describe the “breakthrough,” advice to readers and lessons learned. 1,000 words.

Writing Essentials: Articles that focus on the basics of the craft of writing, such as using flashbacks effectively. 1,000 – 1,400 words.

Freelance Success: Any topic that might be helpful for freelance writers.

Market Focus: Reports on specific market areas such as trade journals, alumni magazines, parenting, sports, and travel. 1,000 – 1,400 words, including sidebar of markets, resources, or tips.

Off the Cuff: Personal essays on a particular aspect of writing or the writing life. 1,000 – 1,400 words.

Poet to Poet: Specific aspects of writing poetry, such as imagery, revision or poetic forms. 500-750 words. 

Writer at Work: Articles on any aspect of the professional writing life, such as tax tips for authors. 1,000 – 1,400 words.


We also have special issues throughout the year that focus on a particular theme.

January: Writing for Young Adult or Middle Grade (YA and MG) Readers; Picture Books; Self-improvement in Craft and Career

February: Romance; Creativity & Inspiration; Writing Prompts

March: Marketing; Social Media; Promoting Your Work; Mysteries

April: Narrative Nonfiction; Poetry; Journalism; Science Fiction & Fantasy

May: Screenwriting; Playwriting; Radio & Podcast Writing; Audiobooks 

June: Conferences, Festivals, & Retreats; Virtual Writing Events; Thrillers 

July: The Publishing Industry; Agents; Summer Book Preview

August: Memoir; Research; Historical Fiction

September: The Novel; Short Stories; Revision

October: Self-Publishing; Promoting Your Book; Horror

November: Editors; Online Writing & Resources; Fall Book Preview, Food Writing

December: Education; Freelance Writing; Grammar


We prefer electronic queries. Please do not mail queries.

All contributors to The Writer are paid for their work. Payment is based on the length of the finished work.

Thank you for considering a submission to The Writer magazine, the voice of imagination, creation, and publication since 1887.