Every home-owner complains about the amount of junk mail they receive each week. I know we do Chez Houghton. Himself is threatening to buy one of those paper briquette makers (seen in the Lakeland catalogue - itself unwanted mail) to turn it into cheap fuel...except we have an electric fire so maybe not such a good idea after all.
It's only Wednesday and already Postie has delivered: 1 shoe catalogue, 4 offers to update my fascias, 2 offers on Pizzas, 2 charity leaflets and a holiday brochure for luxury cruises. Annoying.
Why did I start this post?...Oh yes, community magazines. Before you confine them to the bin as junk mail, think again. Not only are they useful for 'what's On' ask yourself if they're a possible outlet for your articles/short stories?
I've seen a few community mags come and go in my area. Most carried info on church fetes, school football league tables and a plethora of adverts for double glazing and plumbing services. Not much chance of placing my work, albeit for free.
Then a copy of Worksop Life dropped through my door. Of course it carries adverts and lots of them - it wouldn't be viable without them - but it seemed a bit more 'grown up'. The August issue (A5 and glossy colour by the way) has book reviews, an article on E-Readers, computer advice, puzzles, a fashion page, even a recipe for BBQ bananas and...a short story by me!
All it took was a brief email to the editors to ask if they were interested and hey presto...a couple of weeks later I get a double spread of 800 words plus pic and bio. Before you writers out there hold up your hands in horror at the 'write for free' ethic, this was a story that had come Highly Commended in a recent on-line writing competition but didn't seem to 'fit' anywhere else and I hate to see a story languish on the hard-drive. IMO, better to showcase it for free than not at all. Plus, I enjoyed taking part in something close to home and if it raises my profile locally, then that's all to the good.
In case you were wondering - I submitted A Bit Of A Do to My Weekly and though they liked the humour the editor didn't want the mother dead at the end...um, that was the whole point of the twist so I declined to change it - something I wouldn't normally do.
Worksop Life - Community magazine and business directory is delivered free in Bassetlaw every month. Edited by Leanne Lodge and Julian Broadhead. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01472881104