Notes by Christen: Getting Noticed

Tips, Tricks & Hints on Getting Published

With all of our previous posts about the amount of artwork we receive daily at Stampington & Company, I’m sure there are a number of you out there thinking that the odds simply aren’t on your side. That’s definitely not the case, as we do look at each and every piece that we receive. However, there are ways to make your submissions stand out and get noticed by an editor.

• Make sure you spell an editor’s name correctly when you send them a letter with your submission. It sounds silly, but it does help. Likewise, make sure you address the letter to the correct company. We’ve received many submissions with the wrong company name on the letter. We know you’re probably submitting to competing magazines, and that’s OK. Just make sure you take the time to change the names on the cover letter. It’s common courtesy.
• Understand that editors can receive hundreds of emails each day. I, personally, may take up to a week to answer an email. If you feel that enough time has passed, send a gentle reminder to the editor, or if it is urgent, mark it so.
• Be mindful of the emails you do send. Large image files can actually “clog” an inbox and block all incoming emails while that particular file is coming through. If you’re going to send large files, consider using DropBox, YouSendIt, or even Flickr to share the images.
• Decorate the box or envelope you send your submission in. When an incoming package catches our eye because it’s been painted, stamped, etc., we all get excited and want to open it up right away. And did you know we often publish mail art?
• An artful presentation can help too. If your cover letter has been embellished with a scrap of vintage text, or a bit of fabric, we notice that. Oftentimes we’re so blown away by some of the presentations we see that we publish those ideas as well.

All of this being said, it’s not mandatory to do any of this. Good artwork is good artwork and is handled as such. We will never discount any submission because it’s not in a pretty package or our name is misspelled. These are just a few tips and tricks on standing out from the crowd and establishing a good relationship with a magazine’s editor.

Christen Olivarez is Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and Editor-in-Chief of Somerset Studio, the top-ranked magazine for mixed-media and paper artists. Her blog posts appear on every other Tuesday.

Get more inside scoop into the world of Stampington submissions in this blog post by Ricë Freeman-Zachery.


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One Response to Notes by Christen: Getting Noticed

  1. As an artist who’s tried to submit work several times to Somerset publications, I’m going to be brave here and say it’s a bit trickier for those of us over in Europe. When I go to the calls and submissions page of the site, it’s not listed who the editors are for each specific publication. I’ve called and gotten that information (from an incredibly polite and friendly woman on the phone), but needless to say it’s just another cost for us to incur in addition to expensive international shipping rates. The next problem is if English is your second language the risk for spelling errors is higher over the phone because you cannot visually see the name.
    Most of us over here have very few magazines, and although they’re treasured, the editorial info is likely outdated. It’s not so easy for us to pop into the local craft store and just look it up.
    I’m not complaining by any means here, I’m just putting this out there because maybe nobody has ever brought it up!
    Best wishes from germany,