Monday, April 6, 2009

Reader Question #2 - Mag Tricks of the Trade

Stay tuned later this week (looking at my schedule, probably Friday) for fun posts on the economy's silver lining (really) and five things to do before you hire an editor to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Now on to the question of the day!
There are so many writers magazines out there. Which ones do you subscribe to? (Publishing and otherwise?)
There's that softball I was looking for!
Great question though - there are at least a dozen magazines for writers to choose from. My advice is to go to a Barnes and Noble, buy yourself one of those amazing frozen latte drinks, and page through each of them. I think it's entirely a matter of personal preference - some people adore Writer's Digest because they keep it simple and provide monthly inspiration - others swear by the more serious Poets & Writers.
Personally, I'm a fan of Poets & Writers. Sure, it can be a bit pretentious, but I honestly learn something new in each issue. It keeps me thinking in new ways about the material I'm working on, the authors I'm working with, and this crazy industry of publishing. 
Truth be told, that's the only publishing rag I get by mail anymore. I have subscriptions to MediaBistro and Publishers Marketplace, but they're online only.
Other magazines?
Cooking Light, Gourmet, and Eating Well. I'm a total foodie, and I LOVE to cook - it keeps me sane (for the most part). For the record, I never actually have enough time to cook anything from Gourmet - but I like to look at the pictures and dream of hosting big, complicated dinner parties.
Psychology Today. For when the cooking isn't enough to keep me from going off the deep end. Actually, I think this is an often overlooked resource for writers - bringing characters to life is the writer's job - and this magazine can actually give you insight into aspects of your characters you never knew they had.
Real Simple. I am a WASP. I can't help it. Also, my home will never look as clean as the ones in this rag. But a woman can dream...
People. Yeah, again? This is hereditary. Every woman in my family - Grandmother on down - has a subscription to this magazine. It gives us something to talk about at family gatherings. (Who am I kidding - People, a cup of coffee, and a muffin on the porch on a nice summer Saturday morning? Perfect.)
NYT Book Review. This doesn't really count as a magazine, I suppose - it's actually the book review from the Sunday Times, delivered by its lonesome every Tuesday. When I was in college, one of my most impressive (and imposing) professors told me that if I ever wanted to be a serious writer or editor, I had to read this each and every week. And I have ever since.
There's one more...but I'm going to keep that one between the mailman and me. An editor has to have a little mystery about her.
So that's my mailbox. And yours? Anyone have any magazines they live for?
Thanks again for the question, Mindy!
If you have a question you'd like answered, please e-mail me at editor at murdockediting dot com.

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