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Puzzles - submit or query?

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(Sorry for posting so many questions, but fair warning, I may not be done!)

Reading older threads on puzzles, it sounds like most people just submit them rather than going through a query process for them. And I've already submitted one to Highlights! But I have a word puzzle for Cobblestone, and their guidelines don't say anything about puzzles being any different from any of their other categories. And the general feeling I've gotten from how people talk about them is that they're fairly picky about this sort of thing.

Should I send them a query about it? Or just send the puzzle? If I send a query do I need to include the other things they ask for for article queries - and outline wouldn't make sense, but a bibliography? Writing samples (sample puzzles)?
#1 - February 25, 2018, 10:27 AM

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Brandy, I'm sorry. For some reason I didn't see your post originally. You've probably already figured out the best thing to do or have gotten good advice from someone else, but I'll go ahead and share my thoughts.

They probably will want the words in the puzzle to tie in with the content in the articles in that particular issue, so I would not send them a puzzle you're hoping they'll publish in that issue. I would send them a sample puzzle of the type you want to create for them. Tell them that you can tailor the puzzle to reflect the content of the articles in the issue, if they want to give you the words to incorporate into the puzzle or if they want to give you the articles to read first. (When I used to create puzzles for Appleseeds, the editor would send me the articles, I'd read them, give my suggestions for the puzzle to her, and then she'd okay them before I created the puzzle.)

I would not worry about sending a bibliography or writing samples.

Best wishes to you!
#2 - May 01, 2018, 01:51 PM

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Brandy, I missed this too. But thank goodness our puzzle-meister Ev replied. I've sold puzzles to the non-themed magazines by submitting them, but for the themed ones Ev's right on the money. Good luck.
#3 - May 01, 2018, 03:54 PM
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Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Thanks so much for your responses!

That's sort of what I wound up doing with Cobblestone - I did include a full puzzle, but mentioned that I could customize the content to match the issue. I'll try to keep things even more fluid in the future for magazines like that.
#4 - May 02, 2018, 11:03 AM

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