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Get your work featured in an industry-leading magazine

When it comes to self-promo, being featured in an industry-leading magazine offers a great way to get your work out there and start making a name for yourself in your particular community. 

At Creative Bloq, we represent a number of amazing design and creative magazines, including Computer Arts, net, ImagineFX, 3D World, and Web Designer. Each of them represents a different creative specialism or community, from graphic design and illustration to 3D art and web design. And they all appreciate the talent and expertise from their community of readers. 

If you think you have what it takes to have your work featured in a magazine – or show off your expertise by writing an article or tutorial – there are a few steps you need to follow. In this article, we'll run through some general advice for pitching to a magazine, then on page two we'll go through the specifics of getting in touch with each magazine.

Pitching: Designers and artists

Make it clear which part of the magazine you envisage your work being featured in. Often, this will be in a showcase section – most of our sister magazines have a section dedicated to showing off the work of the community it represents. Flick through and see if your work fits the bill.

When you're contacting the team (click through to page two to find out how), a link to your website is ideal so they can quickly get an idea of what you're about. If you don't have one, a link to your Behance page, DeviantArt profile or even Instagram page is absolutely fine – whatever best shows your recent work. If you're submitting a specific piece of work, attach it to the email. 

Pitching: Writers

Want to write for a mag? The more specific you can be, the better. Saying you're happy to write anything will result in your email being immediately forgotten. Look through the magazine and see where you'll fit in.

Think through what you want to cover in your article. You don't need to send in a full draft (although if you have one, you certainly can), but a suggestion of the headline and a short synopsis is very helpful. 

Magazines don't feature articles that are already available – so if you've published the work on your medium channel, for instance, there's no point pitching it to the magazine. However, if you have a specialist interest, it's no problem to point out a different article on a similar topic you've written.

If you have them, include hyperlinks to previous published, your website or your Medium account. If you haven't been published before, that's not a problem. Everyone has to start somewhere! If this is the case, it's probably a good idea to send in a draft so the team can see your writing ability.

How to submit files

There are a few guidelines that make everyone's life easier when you're actually submitting work. Here's your basic checklist (you can find more detail below):

  • Supply images as hi-res as possible (aim for 300dpi at full page)
  • JPG or PNG is best for images
  • Don't embed images in a text doc
  • If a copyright credit is required, include a note with the image caption
  • For text, use a plain text doc (not Pages, not PDF)
  • Use WeTransfer or Dropbox to send large files
  • Avoid RAR compression

It's worth thinking a little about what you name your files and folders. For artwork, the title of the piece is your best bet. Definitely include your name in the folder title (and possibly in the individual file titles too) to avoid any confusion if the files get mixed up. Titles like 'Computer Arts submission' may make sense to you, but they're not at all helpful for the person receiving the file.

Generally, we want your images as hi-res as possible. Aim for 300dpi at full page (222mm x 300mm if portrait, 444mm x 300mm going over two pages). If you're sending large images, zip them up in a folder and send them all at once (avoid using RAR compression as not everyone can open these). Dropbox and WeTransfer are useful for avoiding having to send multiple emails. 

For text-based documents, use plain text files. Avoid Pages documents, as not everyone can open these. PDFs are also no good, because someone will need to edit your work. 

Don't embed images in your article, because someone will need to strip them out and rename them before they can be used. If you're writing an article or tutorial, much more helpful is if you indicate where in your copy the image should be included – a note such as //image// paintbrushes.jpg makes it clear what you mean.

Next page: Submission notes for specific magazines

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton is associate editor of Creative Bloq, and former acting editor of net magazine. She has also worked on Creative Bloq's sister publication, Computer Arts.