Writing for Academic-Related Publication

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Just as there are numerous genres of professional writing when it comes to literature, there are many ways to go when it comes to academic professional writing. Today, I thought I would provide a list for those who may have educational or professional experiences and background where these types of writing markets may be some avenues to pursue.

1) There are the academic journals in your discipline. Some of these are particularly well-known, overloaded with proposals and are prestigious yet exclusive. It takes tenacity to break into these journals as a writer, especially if you lack a PhD or a cushy tenured position somewhere. There are also, just like with the nation's colleges and universities, level B, C, D etc. journals. These are where many of us get are first in, whether it's a full-article, a book review, or just as a peer reviewer for a couple of articles. In time, with a lot of these on your resume as well as some more oomph to your proposals, you can still get into those higher tier journals. It might only be a book or film review at first, but keep trying!

2) In addition to journals, there are professional newsletters produced by the professional organizations in your discipline. Many of these take volunteers on an on-going basis, so get your resume/CV out there and see who picks you up. First, get to know the expected style guide and restrictions on topic and length, as well as what several issues of the newsletter look like first. I have personally put my name out there for groups in anthropology and the sciences. You never know - you could get a job offer from it down the road, or make contacts with someone who can further your research!

3) You may also want to research non-profit organizations related to your academic interests. Areas of focus like sociology or social work might correlate well with the likes of Habitat. You may find other small publications to write for that while not adding much to your research and publications history still help you gain some experience and learn about what it takes to be a persuasive writer.

4) Blogging on your topic is a huge way to get into writing about your favorite subjects and gaining a little bit of a reputation for knowing your stuff. In fact, I am just finding some in my discipline run by professors who are quite tech-savvy. It's literally a virtual library out there. A lot of my friends got their credentials in politics etc. enhanced by the fact they were running blogs in college, establishing themselves as current on news, insightful in commentary, and highly intelligent and gifted writers.

5) As I recently found, some sites like suite101.com actually are on the lookout for contributing writers and you get to pick what subjects you write about... The idea of teaching others about archaeology etc. is more why I am willing to go and try this out, although it never hurts to get a little cash for your time either!

6) Another way to get into writing in academic type industries is by interning. Check out listserves in your subject areas of interest and get on mailing lists. I currently have one in writing and one in history, and I am getting to keep afloat on trends in my areas of interest.

That said, what types of ways have some of you broken into academic or professional writing?


Anonymous said...

honestly, if you've been in an academic journal, or CAN get into one, you shouldn't bother with Suite 101. It's for beginners and the pay is awful.

yes, someone will write and say how great the pay is if you stick it out, but if you're going to invest hours, invest it in pitching instead. Bigger payoff and much faster.

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