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Magazine article publishing

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB7QPS, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just saw a Facebook posting from the ARRL asking for article submissions for QST.

    I recall I did that a few years ago. Had what I thought would be an interesting topic. Sat down, spent 10-15 hours writing it, and submitted it. After a few weeks, I received a form letter informing me that my article was not chosen.

    Honestly, I am not sure why anyone would want to write an article after that? I don't have a lot of free time and would rather spend it on something where the product of my work is noticed. I can write an article and publish it here on QRZ forums and it'll get published here. I'm bound to get at least or two comments and probably a lot more will eventually see the article through Google searches.

    This isn't a complaint about QST or the ARRl or anything like that...just shows me that in this day and age, I really expect my time to be spend doing something productive. Spending 1/3 of a workweek on something that gets promptly deleted just doesn't make sense to me.
    K1OIK and K8BZ like this.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    They certainly aren't under any obligation to print articles just because they solicited them. Maybe it didn't fit what they wanted to present or whatever. Editorial choice. 180 degrees different from posting on the web.
    WU8Y and WF7A like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Better yet, write it up and publish it on your own website, and then just post links to it when people ask questions in the forums related to the article you wrote. Being able to control your own sitemap will help you get search engines to pick it up.

    Either way, posting something on the 'net gets your work out in public instantly, vs. QST which has a turn-around of several months.
    If it took you that many hours to write, it was probably too technically advanced for QST.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly - and there's more!

    Besides editorial choice, most publishers proofread and fact-check/review submitted articles. No publisher is perfect in this regard; some real doozies get into print. But a lot of stuff that's just stopped by the editorial process.

    Online, it's rare for such a process to exist. All sorts of nonsense gets its space. (Just look at some of the trivia questions here.)

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    N2SR, K8BZ and WU8Y like this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ARRL pays for articles they publish. IIRC, the rate for technical articles in QST is $100 per page. So if you spent 10 hours writing a 3 page article, it works out to $30 per hour.

    What was your article about?

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  6. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    QRP-ARCI is always looking for articles related to QRP operations, gear building, reviews....they don't pay but they do publish.

    Send any questions to
    KU4X and KK5JY like this.
  7. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Over the years I have had, between QST and CQ, a half dozen articles published. But for everyone published there were probably 2 that were not. So don't give up. QST has an annual "gameplan" for its issues. One issue may be devoted to DX, another to antennas, another to emergency communications. Sure they publish other things but if what you write does not fit into their gameplan (this is not a criticism of you or the ARRL) then it will likely not be accepted.

    I wrote a monthly column for WorldRadio when it was in print and I have also written monthly columns in journals devoted to my former profession. That is another thing altogether. Getting to that point is based on "track record" as monthly columns from established columnists would have to be pretty out of line to be rejected.
    W1BR and N2EY like this.
  8. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    QST pays $65 per page. Mine would have been a 1 page article, so if it had been published my hourly compensation would have been $4 to $6.50 per hour. I wasn't doing it for the money.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, I'm sorry, but that is the way it goes. Yes, I know they are asking for submissions, but what you are basically doing is still submitting an unsolicited MS. What might you do differently? Instead of spending 10 - 15 hours on an article, shoot an editor an email, "Do you think you might be interested in something about XXX?"

    Now, this assumes that you are capable of producing near publication-ready prose. Even it it's a good idea for an article, it may be rejected because it would be too much work to fix (I'm not saying you can't write professional prose; I'm just saying). Never submit something without having someone you trust look at it.

    I've been writing for magazines (science magazines are my beat) for about three decades, and I will tell you I've never sold an article "cold." I've always made a suggestion for a piece that some editor liked (or been assigned a topic).

    Best way to break in to the magazine business whether it's via QST, CQ, or something else? Yes, do lots of writing for QRZ and other websites. Lots. If you are good you will get noticed.

    Good luck! :)
    WA8FOZ, WU8Y and N2EY like this.
  10. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're not alone: I once wrote and submitted an article to QST depicting of an easier, shorthand way of copying code and they turned it down as well. Disappointing, yes, but like an employer interviewing candidates for a job, they have their criteria; think of it as a matter of selection, not rejection.

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