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Location: Connecticut
Joined: 07/13/2005
Posts: 61
being an outdoor writer

Does any body know any thing on how to get a job as an outdoor writer for like a hunting magazine such as Bow Hunting or field and stream. What should i major in college?

saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
being an outdoor writer

There is no sure fire way to beoming a successful outdoor writer. As for what you "should take" in college, a journalism/english degree would be an assett, but ultimately what you need is some form of credibility...and to get a paying, salaried job with a big name outdoors magazine we're not talking about the Milo Hanson kind of credibility (no offence to Mr Hanson). You need to KNOW what you're talking about; you need to be able to prove that you know your stuff (consistent success in your field of expertise) and you need to be able to express it in an articulate, entertaining and informative manner.

Lots of folks can cover 1 or 2 of the above prerequisites. Very few can cover all three.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
being an outdoor writer

Saskie is right, but I would put the ability to write well at the top of the list. I have never really earned my living by writing, but I have been getting published consistently, and making a little money at it, for 15 years now. I have more than once had an editor ask me to write an article about a subject that I really didn't know well. When I suggest that someone else might be better suited to the particular subject, the editors have always said, "I can get you the information you need. I would rather have the article written by a good writer who is not an expert in the subject than by an expert in the subject who is not a good writer."

Now, I don't wish to offend, but let's just take a look at the posting above. Incorrect grammar, incorrect words, improper capitalization--this is not a posting written by someone who cares about writing well. If you ever expect to make a living as a writer, that has to change.

I know, I know. You're going to say, "it's just an internet posting, i [sic] wasn't trying to write well!"

That's exactly the point. People who make a living at writing are people who CARE about their writing, and about communicating with others through the written word. They ALWAYS write as well as they can, because... well, just because. Go to some of the writing forums out there and you'll see two kinds of postings. First will be postings like yours above; poorly written and asking how to become a writer. Second will be postings from people who are already writers (whether they've ever actually been published or not) and those will have few if any misspellings, few if any grammar errors, and in general will be easier to read. The very first thing you need to do is join that second group.

After that it is a matter of writing constantly and sending out letters offering your work to editors. Check out "Writers Digest" magazine, or any of the many books out there, to learn how to query an editor. Start sending out your stuff. Look for opportunities to get published.

But don't fall for the scams. Remember that the money flows towards the writer. You should NEVER pay someone up-front money to get your work published (the possible exception is contest entry fees, but that is a whole different subject). I would also suggest that you never work for free, unless you are writing for a non-profit organization that you wish to support.

Good luck.

Offline
Location: Connecticut
Joined: 07/13/2005
Posts: 61
being an outdoor writer

I am 15 and will be 16 shortly will a magezine realy take my writing seriously and publish it? I have alot of article ideas that I was saving for the future and can write quite a bit on those topics should I bother even sending them in only to be denied do to my lack in age?

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
being an outdoor writer

Just give it a try. What do you have to loose?

saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
being an outdoor writer

Have you looked here :

http://www.biggamehunt.net/write_for_bgh.html

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
being an outdoor writer
Scotty E wrote:
I am 15 and will be 16 shortly will a magezine realy take my writing seriously and publish it?

Age doesn't make any difference when it comes to writing and being published. No editor has ever asked me how old I am, and there is no reason to volunteer the information. If you can write well enough you can be published no matter how old you are.

But it's "magazine" not "magezine," and it's "really" not "realy," and I won't even bother with all the other errors in your posting. Your age will not prevent an editor from taking you seriously, but writing like this most certainly will. You need to put some effort into your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, or forget about becoming a writer.

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
being an outdoor writer

ScottyE to get an idea of the types of articles this website purchases, you can review the index here:

http://www.biggamehunt.net/articles/featured_articles.html

We receive many submissions and have never asked for someone's age. The only criteria is that the author knows his subject matter and can write about it. However we receive many articles that are not fit to be published. At times we've worked with authors and coached them about punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc., but its tiresome and annoying to coach someone for something they wish to be paid for.

Many authors start out by writing small pieces for their local newspaper or other local publication. You might also want to consider joining an organization such as the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
http://www.owaa.org/
We have been contacted by many writers that are members of this organization.

Good Luck!

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Location: Connecticut
Joined: 07/13/2005
Posts: 61
being an outdoor writer

spelling and grammar are not my strengths but it is something to work at i appreciate all your help. may be you'll see one of my articles some day and say," hay i know him he owes me big time." Big smile thanks guys

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
being an outdoor writer

Scotty E:
Like Donmillion, I've never made a living at writing but have managed to get published occasionally. If you want to be a writer, the best piece of advice I can give is to WRITE. I know I was pretty far from perfect when I was your age, and practice makes perfect.

Well, actually, practice makes better -- no matter how many times I work an article over before publication, I'll read it after it's published and wish I'd done something better.

But to be a writer you have to love it. If you enjoy writing, you'll want to do it well and will find joy in it. Things like mechanics and spelling can be learned, and love of the work will inspire you to strive for perfection in those areas to avoid diminishing your message.

Reading is another good way to develop your skills. Find authors you admire and read. Eventually it gets in your blood and they'll help you find your own voice. The voice part is particularly important -- you'll never get there by imitating someone else. Find your own voice and develop it.

And of course, do well in school. You've got to learn what the tools are and how to use them before you can carve a rock into a piece of art.

If you do all that, you'll face the real challenge -- getting published. That's an art in itself, and I don't know if anyone has an easy answer for that!

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