If you’re familiar with my blog you’ll know that I’ve been making steps to getting published in travel, scuba diving and adventure related publications. My photojournalist coach, Brendan O’Brien, has been nudging me in directions that could help me get off the ground. Well, I took on some assignments from him, which you can read about on Brendan’s site.
My first steps with Lonely Planet were a couple of entries to their readers’ section, where the magazine gives punters a chance to get their tales and photographs in print. Not a bad way of getting noticed – they must get thousands of emails from people crashing straight in there and asking to be a freelance contributor. Well they’ll probably get one from me eventually, but this could be a way of getting my name in print faster. And hopefully they’ll remember my name for the future.
I sent in my pitch to review a hotel – if you inspire them enough, they’ll pay for you to stay in a hotel for up to £150 a night and send in your experiences for a one page spread. I also sent in my bid for featuring in their ‘Postcards’ section. This is a chance to send in an eye-catching photograph along with a few words to tell the tale behind it. Well… within just one day, I received an email back from an Editorial Assistant at Lonely Planet. Here’s what he said:
Thank you for getting in touch – it’s great to hear from you and to see your photograph from Bali. Everyone on my desk was very curious about these ***!
We are always looking for contributions from readers for our Postcards section so the art team will be sure to get in contact if we are able to use your photograph in an upcoming issue.
We will also let you know if we are able to send you to write a review of the ***.
In the meantime, why not join our Lonely Planet Magazine reader panel? It’s a great way of keeping in touch with us and telling us what features you’d like to see in the magazine. Simply log on to panel.bbcmagazines.com and fill in the short survey.
Sorry about censoring the details, but if it makes it to the magazine I want to keep my ideas a surprise! If I’m still expectantly checking my emails in six months, I think I can safely put them on here…
But the fact that I received an email back within a day, in fact at all, from Lonely Planet was huge encouragement. My coach said it was ‘nice going’ and I must have given them something to pique their interest.
I’m also really pleased that the back scratching is going both ways with Brendan. He emailed me to say thanks for getting him back in the game, so to speak:
Just wanted to thank you for providing the catalyst for getting back into running workshops and keeping my blog updated.
SPICE are keen to do a day long workshop sometime in the future. Out of the evening I was also approached by a chap from a photographic society to run a magazine photography workshop as well as a journalist who runs seminars on feature and news writing who wants to form a partnership with me.
Well that does make me smile. I’m really pleased Brendan’s career is getting a kick up the bum too. I just hope I can provide a spectacular finale to his coaching series on his site by actually getting published somewhere.
My next port of call to achieving this is DIVER magazine. It’s time for me to write up all my experiences with dry suits and submit them for the Deep Breath column, which is a space for readers to write about diving experiences, analysis, opinions and lessons to learn. Now that I’m getting my head down on preparing for my bid to be included in these well-respected pages, I dug up some interesting nuggets of information.
I’m a member of the Yorkshire Diver’s forum, as you may remember from my ‘Get wet or go dry?’ dilemma. Reading back through some of the comments at the time, I worked out that no other than the Technical Editor of DIVER magazine, John Bantin, had been contributing his pearls of wisdom too. In one of his posts he said he’d read my blog. I’ve only just realised that a senior member of the editorial team of DIVER has been reading my articles. It’s fantastic that I’m getting my blog read by people in the right places. But oh shame of shame, after he posted a picture of himself in a dry suit (telling me how good they can look if they’re your size), I replied with ‘FIT’. I told a 50-odd year old respected dive photojournalist and editor that he was fit. There goes my career…
But I’m burying that blunder and cracking on with getting my name in print. Ooh the cheek.