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Insider Tips for Submitting Art Work to Print Publications

There are some insider tips artists can use to help increase their chances of getting images of their art published in print publications. As a former arts editor for a large arts and entertainment newspaper, I have seen the best and worst ways to approach print publications.
Here are the insider tips to successfully publishing your art in a local print publication.

1. Find out the editor’s name.

It takes very little effort to find the name of the arts and entertainment editor at a local print publication. Either find the most recent copy of the publication and look for the “Masthead” in the first couple of pages. The name of the arts editor will be listed, sometimes it will even include their direct email address or phone extension.

When no recent copy of the paper is available, or you live outside the distribution zone, find the information on their web site or call the paper and ask the receptionist the name of the arts editor.

While addressing an artistic submission to a more generic “Arts Editor” will not get your submission rejected outright, it is more polite and more professional to use the right person’s name.

2. Follow the submission guidelines.

Editors are sticklers to rules for a reason. Working in print, there are many time and technical constraints that effect content. If they request certain information with the submissions, be sure to follow those rules. Not following submission guidelines will get your work dismissed.

3. Check the deadline.

If you are submitting a piece of art with a winter theme, do not expect to submit it in January for a February publication. Print publications plan out their art covers and art pieces months in advance. It is necessary to think ahead. Obtain the “editorial calendar” from any print publication that you are interested in. You may be working on Halloween themes in May, but that is the nature of print publications.
Do not expect to be paid for artwork that you submit for a cover. Your payment comes in the form of exposure.

4. Do not expect payment.

Print publications, especially local arts and entertainment newspapers do not have large budgets for freelance artists. The expectation is that you will allow them to print your art for free, and in turn, you will gain exposure for your art.

5. Include documentation.

When submitting artwork to a print publication, you also need to include information about yourself, the artist. Include an artist’s statement, a list of exhibits, or if those don’t apply, simply type up a small biography. Be sure to include information about where the editors can contact you, including a phone number and or emailaddress.

Approach a print publication professionally, and you will be more successful in getting your work published.