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Theme List: A Publisher's Gift
A Valuable Gift:
The publishers are offering you a special gift. This is a gift that will take you a step closer to getting your work published. This gift is called a theme list. Take this gift and use it to help you make your next sale.
What is a Theme List?
Why bother to send for a theme list? How can this list be a valuable writing tool?
Importance of a Theme List:
With my very first submission, (which was sent out after much encouragement from my writing instructor) I received a rejection. Of course, I knew it was more a possibility to receive a rejection than an acceptance. After all it was my first time out in the real world of submissions. I was not upset with the rejection. I was upset because of timing I missed a good chance of being published. I received a handwritten note from the editor saying,
“We regret we don’t have an opening for your manuscript. It would have fit in with our doll theme issue, but it is full. Thank you for submitting.”
If I had taken the time to write the publisher first and request the theme list, I would have known when to send in my doll article. I would have known I didn’t have a chance because of the issue time. In short, the truth is, I did not do my homework.
To increase your chance of making a sale:
1. Take the time to research your market.
Two years later, I noticed the same magazine (Hopscotch) that rejected my doll article had once again posted “Dolls” as a theme for their February 2007 issue. I quickly wrote my cover letter stating the issue I was targeting, and sent the same doll article I had sent two year before. This time it was accepted in less than two weeks. I made the sale!
You may be thinking: Who wants to waste all that time for a magazine years away? Don’t look at it as a waste of time. You will have a wonderful credit to add to your cover letter while you are waiting for your work to be published.
Too many writers write first then think of markets. Why not turn that process around? Think of how successful you could be by knowing the market and the subject before you start writing.
Submitting for a Theme:
A theme list is the next best thing to having your mom in the publishing business.
Marilyn Freeman is married (40 years), a mom to two daughters and has nine grandchildren. She has completed both the basic and advance writing course at the Institute of Children's Literature. She prints a critiquing newsletter From Dolly's Desk for other children's writers designed to share and critique stories and articles. Her work has appeared in Once Upon A Time, Wee Ones, Wee Parents, ICL Web site, Simple Joy and Rainy Day Corner. She will be published in the future by Writer's Digest Writer's Forum Publication and Hopscotch.