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Request for help on an article

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by colobiggun, Sep 12, 2011.

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  1. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    I would like to write an article for one of the magazines about my first ISSF World Clay Target Championship events and was hoping to get some feedback from the readers of TS.com on what they would like to know or read about. I would like to address any questions I can in hopes of helping other shooters (young or old) learn more about International trap and the experiences I have enjoyed this past year. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I will try to answer all questions in the article. Thank you in advance.

    Janessa Beaman
     
  2. rhymeswithorange

    rhymeswithorange Member

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    How you trained for the event and prepared yourself mentally.

    Thanks
     
  3. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    After you are sure of proper gun fit, how do you more or less get an instinctive sight picture because you don't have time for anything resembling using the bead or floating the target like we might get away with in ATA Trap ?
     
  4. minnship8

    minnship8 Well-Known Member

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    The odds of you writing an article and then sending it to an editor for publication are very, VERY slim. This is not how the publishing industry works.

    If you would like to publish an article, write the editor(s) with your idea(s). The best chance of publishing something would be to offer him a number of different slants on similar topics. Tell him whether you will support the article with pictures/drawings/illustrations etc. Many articles have sidebars, those hightlighted boxed portions of specific topics that are not part of the body of the article. Tell him your ideas for those. Give him an idea of how long you could make the article (total word count).

    At that point, you will receive your rejection letter (sorry, couldn't help the cynicism of a former free lancer). If the editor likes your idea, he will give you a spec sheet of what to write, how long to make it, what supporting documents he wants, and how many sidebars. Included will be a due date and the amount he is willing to pay (NEVER work for free, you will instantly outcast yourself from other writers who I'm sure you will want to bond with if you want to write any further). All terms are negotiable.

    Good luck,
    Chip
     
  5. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on your excellent performance!

    Some mechanics. What is your foot position; what is your weight distribution; where is your gun point; where are you "looking?"

    What chokes do most of the competitors use?

    Elbow up or down? I've been told by some successful bunker shooters that the elbow should be low...
     
  6. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I think she probably has the "how to" get the article published already covered. She just needs subject. I would think someone of her caliber of a shooter would have magazines wanting to pick her brain. Pretty nice article about her Gold Medal above.


    Some more reading:

    http://www.krieghoff.com/ki/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=243&Itemid=118
     
  7. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Janessa, contact me via the email address above. The publication for which I write, Shotgun Sports Magazine, is always looking for fresh, interesting articles.

    Ed
     
  8. minnship8

    minnship8 Well-Known Member

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    grntitan,
    Like I said, that's not how the publishing industry works. There is a stark difference between being the person who is the subject of an article and expert opinion, vs. the topics to write about and what editors want to publish and the slant with which they want to project.

    Having been a fishing pro, then free lancer, then editor, and eventually a publisher, this topic is in my wheelhouse.

    Chip
     
  9. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    Thank you everyone so far for the ideas. These are great and exactly what I am looking for.

    Chip, I really do appreciate the advice. I have written and been published before (see articles "On the Road with Janessa Beaman" in Trapshooting USA), so feel confident they may be interested in an article from a competitors point of view of the World Championships, but if not, all I am out is some time writing about what I love to do. Although I would do it for free, they always insist on paying, which is always helpful. I sincerely appreciate the advice on writing/getting published, and hope I can be as helpful with answering shooting related questions.

    Ed, thank you for the interest. I will be happy to send you a copy of my article and listen to any advice you may have. I just want to share my experiences in International shooting thus far and know there must be questions people wonder about that I hope I can answer.

    To everyone else, thank you so much for the questions (keep them coming) and support. I will be training (a lot) this coming week, as the first step of Olympic tryouts start the 22nd and I want to be ready, but want to write this soon while everything is still fresh. Thank you again!
     
  10. minnship8

    minnship8 Well-Known Member

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    Janessa,
    My best advice would be, behave like a writer, not a shooter, if you want to get published.

    There are two aspects of the subject matter here, very distinct from one another. The first is the subject matter and the ability to express it in an entertaining and educational format. The second, is the expertise that formulates the opinions on which the subject matter gets its base.

    Having worked in the outdoors media for decades, these are usually two very distinct and separate groups of people...the experts and the writers. Usually writers aren't the experts/leaders and the experts/leaders aren't good communicators. It is a rare bird who is both, and very much in demand.

    I'll give a great example. Probably the best all time tournament bass fisherman that ever lived (up until the recent emergence of Kevin VanDam) is Rick Clunn. Rick is a magician on the water. Ever see an article, book, seminar, or TV show written by or starring Rick? Probably not. The reason is, Rick doesn't even know what makes Rick good...to him, he just is. Many a great writer has spent days and weeks with Rick trying to mine the gold inside him and share it with the masses...to little or no avail. Clunn simply doesn't express himself well.

    My point is, that getting published, especially regularly, means acting like a professional writer. You may pitch a great idea to an editor, and if he doesn't think you can express it in a meaningful, entertaining and enjoyable way, he'll take your idea, give it to a professional writer and tell the writer to use you as the source and give you the byline, not lead authorship. However, if you behave like a professional writer, submit your story ideas with a multitude of slants, offer ideas for sidebars, etc, the editor will take your ideas seriously, and you as a serious writer. Meet the deadlines, (a pet peeve of editors, and something that will get you on the out list faster than anything), do good work, be responsive with rewrites, and suddenly you'll be a go to writer and one the editor looks forward to hearing from and working with.

    Writing on spec (writing the article and then sending it in without an editorial assignment), leaves an editor with the perception that you are an amateur writer and could be problematic (editors like pros, if you were an editor, you would too).

    That's why my advice is, approach it as a professional writer, and you'll be perceived as a pro and get a warmer and more open reception when pitching your ideas. Even a simple phone call to an editor, let them know you have some ideas, chat and then asking him how he would like the ideas submitted, will go a long way to establishing a working relationship.

    Best of luck,
    Chip
     
  11. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    So with all that said Chip, do you have any specific subject matter or topics you would suggest I cover? I know in the brief time I have been back I have already been asked countless times "Are the medals real gold?" or "What was the country like?" or "Did you win any money?" or "Why did you quit ATA and start shooting International trap". After hearing these questions it made me wonder just how many people do have questions and wonder but never have the opportunity to ask or see them addressed, which inspired me to want to write an article in hopes it may help even one other person. So far the questions listed above are excellent, as I wouldn't have thought to address them and hope I can answer them in a manner that makes sense? I am really hoping for more, as I don't want to write about things people already know or don't care about. I don't have the delusion that I know the answers to all of them, but am confident I can at least share what I do, even if it's wrong or not the popular answer. I am hoping that someone with experience like yourself or Ed Clapper can help lead me to write an article that may be interesting, informative and enjoyable to read that is not strictly a "how to" or results report. That is why I asked for help on TS.com, and thus far have not been disappointed. Any guidance is truly appreciated, and all questions are welcomed.
     
  12. minnship8

    minnship8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a suggestion for a topic for you...however, the topics you are considering and the questions you have about how interesting or how much appeal they might have, are exactly the reason for conversations with editors. They are the experts in what trips the triggers of their audience.

    Along those lines, think outside the shooting sports. You have this wealth of knowledge about...

    International Sports Competition,
    Competing in traditionally male dominated sport,
    Representing your country,
    Winning Internationally,
    Rigors of training and how that relates to international travel and scheduling
    etc.

    Just the topics I've listed give you outlets in...
    Mainstream Sports Magazines,
    Womens Magazines,
    Travel Magazines,
    Patriotic/Political Tabloids,
    Athletic Training Magazines,

    You have an opportunity to reach a much larger audience than just shooters, if you wish, and promote your sport subliminally.

    You will find that the more people you reach, the more in demand your services will become. Not only for writing, but for product endorsement, sponsorship, speaking engagements, etc. People have carved out whole careers by doing just that.

    Chip
     
  13. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    Wow!! Now that's some good advice!! Thank you so much!!
     
  14. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    That was some good info and knowledge Chip. I'm sure she can and will apply alot of what you have offered. I learned something anyway...........Thanks
     
  15. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with everything Chip has said. The worst thing you can do is try to write like a writer. The ability to write professionally takes both training and talent. What you have to offer is knowledge and accomplishment in your sport. Write like you're talking to a friend or fellow shooter, and make your readers feel like they're part of your inner circle. I gave this advice to an All American Sporting Clays shooter and she took it to heart.

    Speciality magazines like Trap and Field, Trapshooting USA, etc. are
    desperate for good articles. They appreciate timely submitted articles with
    photographs in the proper format. As far as editing, sidebars, etc. they will
    do a lot of that to fit the available space.

    As you know, payment varies from little to none.

    The most important thing is to be interesting, informative and entertaining. I'm sure you have all the tools to do that.

    I wrote for several magazines on a regular basis, and was commissioned to
    write a book by a major publisher. Still, if I had been in it for the money, I would have done better mowing lawns.

    You probably won't make it to Sports Illustrated or Time magazine. That's pretty much a closed shop, Chip is right about that.

    Some of the best writing ever done on this forum has been by someone who
    has the worst spelling, grammar and composition I have ever seen. Ask the people here how they liked the stories by Senior Smoke.
     
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