Posted by: nancyisanders | October 4, 2010

Periodical Challenge

It’s here, once again. It’s October and it’s time to take the Periodical Challenge!

Join us this October for an exciting challenge! Target the magazine publisher of your dreams, write a manuscript that’s dovetailed to fit their pages, and submit it as soon as it’s polished to perfection.

Take the challenge! Join the fun! Write and submit an article to the biggest magazine you like. We officially start the Periodical Challenge each year in October. Follow these steps, and go for the gold!

Browse through your writers’ market guide. Find the most prestigious or highest paying periodical for which you’d like to write. Make sure it takes unsolicited submissions or queries.

Read 5 current issues of the magazine. Search for copies of the magazine in libraries, used book stores, or thrift stores. Or go online to view sample issues.

Type out 5 similar articles of the kind you’d like to write.

Write your article, following the writers’ guidelines for the magazine.

Take your manuscript to at least 1 critique group. Edit, polish, and revise.

Submit your manuscript.

Celebrate! You did it! You took the Periodical Challenge!


  1. As soon as I read your post, I was charged! – AND I knew the very magazine I wanted to target.
    Your challenges keep me encouraged. Thanks for this Monday morning motivation.

    • Hip, hip, hooray Mitzi for hopping on board. Let’s goooooo! -Nancy

  2. I accept the challenge, after some rejections this week I needed to be jump started again. Thanks for the encouragement to do just that. Write again.

  3. You always do such fun things to encourage writers, Nancy! Thanks for your inspiration and for sharing techniques and strategies.

    • Ev, thanks for your encouraging note! It’s fun to take the challenge together. -Nancy

  4. I am ready to do the challenge and have chosen the magazine. I have several copies of it as well to compare the writing styles.

    Just have one question about the guideline that I would like you to clarify…Type out 5 similar articles of the kind you’d like to write. What is the reasoning behind 5 articles instead of just one?

    I am currently reading, Yes! You can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career. I will blog my reaction and results. If you would like to hear about the results in action, here is where you can read more…

    • That’s so exciting, Chris! And to answer your question, it’s good to do this 5 times because this is the biggest magazine of your dreams and this exercise helps train our brains to really follow the format our periodical likes to follow. The more we can give our brains opportunity to familiarize itself with a new format, the stronger our writing will be. Kind of like riding a bike. The first ride is a little wobbly. But by the fifth time we get on that new bike, we’re a pro! -Nancy

  5. I have had 3 rejections from Highlights and have written another I haven’t had the guts to send. I will take the challenge and type out 5 articles as you suggested. From the editor’s note on the last rejection, I think that is what I need to do.

    • Linda, I’m glad to hear you’re going to take this challenge again! Maybe this year is the year we’ll both get published in Highlights. Smile.

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