Writing for Sew News
What to Know Before Submitting Story Proposals
Sew News welcomes article and project ideas from you. Before you send a query, please read these guidelines to help ensure your success.
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Who We Are
Sew News magazine is a monthly publication devoted to the enthusiastic and creative people who wants to sew. We provide them with accurate, helpful, step-by-step information for personalizing ready-to-wear and creating original fashions, accessories, gifts and home décor that express her personal style.
What We Want
Articles should teach a specific technique, inspire the reader to try a project, introduce the reader to a new product or company related to sewing, or inform the reader about current fashion and sewing trends. Sew News' primary focus is garment sewing for women, but we also include stories on sewing for men, children and specialty groups like senior citizens, plus sizes, petites and the handicapped. We also cover home décor, soft crafts, machine embroidery, and various fabric embellishment methods, such as stamping, painting, beading and stenciling. Emphasis should always involve sewing, fabrics or notions in some way. Sew News does not normally cover areas like hand weaving, hand needlecrafts, crochet, knitting or macramé. When glue is used in place of sewing, the glue technique should only be a tip or sidebar–not the intended method of construction.
We will contact you and let you know if we are interested (or not) in your query. Please let us know if you would like your query returned to you. When an article is accepted, you'll be sent an assignment sheet detailing what is expected of you for the assignment and the intended payment (from $50 to $500, new writers generally $50 to $150, depending on the length and complexity of the subject, and the garment(s), samples, photography, illustrations or sources to be supplied). After you receive the assignment, please sign and return it within 10 days. If you're unable to meet a deadline for any reason, please inform Sew News immediately. Failure to do so will void assignment.
All articles, including those specifically assigned, are written "on speculation". All payments will be made upon publication. To receive the full payment suggested in the assignment sheet, the article must be submitted by the specified deadline, include all elements detailed in the assignment sheet, and be of acceptable quality (to be determined by the Sew News editorial staff).
Payment may be decreased for late arrival, missing elements or poor quality. Sew News reserves the right to return articles for rewriting or clarification of information, return samples for redo/corrections and, in extreme cases, to return them without payment.
In all cases, Sew News reserves the right to edit, rewrite and cut articles where necessary.
Writing expenses, such as fabric, notions, travel, telephone bills, etc., will be reimbursed only by previous agreement between you and Sew News. If you wish to keep the project and have it returned (after the issue goes to print), Sew News will not reimburse supply expenses. If you have questions, please contact the editor who assigned the story to make other arrangements.
Deadlines are established when a story is assigned. If you're unable to meet the deadline for any reason, please inform Sew News immediately to request an extension. Extensions will result in a reduced payment. Repeated extensions will not be given. Writers who repeatedly request extensions will no longer receive assignments.
Sew News requires original unpublished content and gives first consideration to those authors. Sew News, as part of Creative Craft Groups, requires an "All Rights" contract to be signed before publication of any article. "All Rights" means Sew News purchases complete rights to the manuscript, art and specific project covered in the contract and that the submitted items may not be used in conjunction with any other article in another publication.
These rights apply to specific projects, but not to individual techniques. For example, when a writer signs a Sew News "All Rights" contract for an article on a machine-embroidered jacket, he/she may not allow the particulars of that project to be published anywhere else. However, he/she may publish another article on machine embroidery, including an article on a machine-embroidered jacket, as long as it's neither the same jacket nor the same embroidery designs. For questions please contact the editor on your assignment sheet.
How to Submit Story Queries
We have a small staff. Therefore, we request you query by letter or e-mail; do not send finished manuscripts. Your query should consist of a brief outline of the article, a sketch or photo of the intended project, a list of the illustrations or photographs you envision with it, an explanation of why your proposed article would be of interest to the Sew News reader, and why you are qualified to write it. Keep in mind the season and timeliness of your suggestions, remembering that Sew News works on a six-month lead time. Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or Sew News Editor, 741 Corporate Circle, Ste. A., Golden, CO 80401.
The Sew News staff considers queries and makes story assignments continuously. All queries are considered and, within a reasonable amount of time, you'll either receive an assignment, a request to hold the query for further consideration, or a rejection. If more than three months have passed without a reply to your query, feel free to e-mail requesting its status. Direct e-mail questions regarding assignments to email@example.com.