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Questions about submitting to Cobblestone

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There are a couple subjects in the new Cobblestone Magazines' theme lists that are right up my alley, and I have some great ideas for.  However, the query due dates are quite a ways away (like at least six months).  Should I hold off on sending the query until the due date is over, or send it whenever I have it done?  Does it matter?

Also, I'm a little worries about the writing sample.  I have nothing published, so I don't know what will impress yet.  Is it totally in bad taste to send a sample of the article I am querying?

Thanks for your help!
#1 - June 30, 2012, 07:53 AM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)

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I've written for several of the Cobblestone mags, and I generally submit my queries a few weeks before the due date. I'm sure it's not a problem to send it way in advance, but you definitely won't hear back for a while. Also, I think they tend to be most impressed with subject matter expertise and a well-researched query/outline (rather than previous pub credits, although that certainly doesn't hurt), so take your time and really make your query/outline shine. Oh, and make sure your list of references for the article includes current books for both adults and children. I often include a link or two for some online resources, but I also research books way in advance and make sure I can come up with enough interesting information.

Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions!
#2 - June 30, 2012, 10:53 AM

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Be sure that your sources include genuinely scholarly/academic material, not just books and articles for the general readership. Many people who write for them (including me) have graduate degrees in the subject matter, though that's by no means required. Good research skills are what really count, I think.

They are great magazines to write for. Good luck!
#3 - June 30, 2012, 11:22 AM

Thanks guys, I will definitely take my time and find some good books.  I wasn't going to submit tomorrow, but the one I'm most interested in is due in February, and I could probably be ready by September, but I will probably wait just a bit longer.  I majored in chemistry in college, so seeing a topic titled "Marie and Pierre Curie" has really got my mind pumping out neat ideas.  Yay!
#4 - June 30, 2012, 02:12 PM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)

I just have to second that having expertise is really important to them. I've only done one article for them, but I know I got the assignment because I had a degree in the topic.  :) If you have a Chemistry degree, that's definitely in your favor.
#5 - June 30, 2012, 08:57 PM

Generally, it's most important to have serious sources and/or credentials for ODYSSEY and DIG magazines, but I emphasize that for all the magazines you should have good sources, up to date and no encyclopedias or Wikipedia (I know, but you'd be amazed how many of those we get...) I'd also like to mention that most of the editors here simply keep a folder for upcoming queries, so even if you send it early, they'll just put it in the folder until they're ready to go through it won't get lost or misplaced. The exceptions are CALLIOPE and DIG: she works well ahead of schedule, so I'd definitely get those queries in well before the query due date.

(assistant editor for Cobblestone Publishing)
#6 - July 02, 2012, 05:23 AM
Author of over 100 nonfiction books and 500 magazine articles for young readers

Thank you so much Marcia!  One more reason why the Blue Boards are awesome!
#7 - July 02, 2012, 09:11 AM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)


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