Sunday, March 20, 2011

Write in ?

Taking the official photoA frequent lament of model railway society magazine editors is, "Why is no one writing articles for the mag ?"

Now an obvious answer is that it's because they don't pay for them. Submitting articles is part of being a member of the society which is all about sharing information and if they started paying members to do stuff, where would it end ?

The thing is that it's never been easier to produce a piece for one of these publications. We all have wordy processors to save us from the "joys" of producing out text in longhand. This can be e-mailed to the long suffering editor to save him or her the chore of typing it all in again. Digital cameras, even cheap ones, can give more than adequate results - no more collecting a packet of snaps from the camera shop and hoping they have come out OK.

And yet while it is easier, less and less people are getting into print. When I say print, I mean something that involves ink on paper. Spewing forth your opinions on an Interweb forum does not count.
Any thoughts ?


Matt Dawson said...

It takes too much time, maybe?

I mean, lets face it: a few lines on a forum is certainly a lot less than a page or so in a in-club magazine.

And without wishing to sound harsh, I neither have the time or much inclination to write articles. My blog is more than enough for people to follow me up on!

Andy from Workshopshed said...

I don't belong to a club but I have to agree that writing magazine articles is a time consuming activity. Most of my blog posts are short but even the long ones I write are still short for a magazine article.

CF said...

I don't think it's the cash. Writers will fall into two loose camps: the confident who are happy to submit stuff to the nationals and the less confident who may pen a short piece for a society mag. I maybe repeating myself here, but what society mag editors don't seem to do is get back to people and say, 'liked your last piece how about one on those coaches in the background.' Just saying 'Please send articles' is a bit scatter-gun. Society writers need a little personal push. There are those who feel it is beneath them to send 'free' articles in, and they need a hot poker ...

Anonymous said...

I wrote an article from a beginners perspective for a particular scale society mag. It wasn't shakespeare but it was okay and not too long.(And different as there is very little for the beginner in this area)
The Editor who frequently bemoans the lack of material, chose not to give it the time of day.
Maybe some publications can end up being becoming very limited in scope, because they are the results of the hard work of one or two individuals and tend to reflect their own interests?