I have always wanted to be an author. I started writing when was a kid and majored in English with a minor in Writing in college.
In fact, I had every intention of writing fiction, but yarn was just too much fun.
But when you decide you want to start publishing patterns, you can’t just fall into it like a manhole in the sidewalk. It helps to have some direction.
Publishing with magazines gets you great experience and teaches you how this business really works.
This post will tell you how to get started submitting patterns to magazines as a freelance crochet designer.
I’m going to make the assumption that you have ideas and you have made things yourself without a pattern so this post doesn’t end up on the how-to-write tangent.
How to Submit Patterns for Publication
Step 1: Read the magazines!
This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you don’t know anything about crochet magazines, it will be hard to write for one. It’s like trying to write a novel if you can’t read!
If you don’t subscribe to any, I can recommend several.
Most craft stores also carry a selection of magazines. Grab a popular one and flip through the pages. Look for a variety of difficulties and try several!
Make some of the things in the magazine and learn how to read complex written patterns. Just like writing a novel, you need to learn to read in the “language” you are going to write.
Step 2: Have a social media presence.
One of the things most magazines want to see is more of your work. Make sure you have a Facebook page (not your personal one) that shows off your work or an Instagram account.
If you have an Etsy shop, make sure it displays your best work with clear photos.
Step 3: Find Submission Calls
Several magazines post their submission calls on their websites.
Search “submission call” on Ravelry.com forums as well.
Others ask that you email the editor and request an editorial calendar.
To find these contacts, search the web site for “designer guidelines” or “submission calls.”
Getting on these lists is the best thing you can do for your freelance design career. These are a regular reminder of what magazines are looking for and the deadlines you have to work with.
Step 4: Stick to the Submission Call
Whether a print magazine or a digital one, all magazines set up themes for each issue. When they put out a submission call, they are looking for patterns to fit a specific theme and color scheme.
MAKE SURE your pattern will fit into the issue to which you submit it!
Patterns that don’t fit the mold will be looked over. Period. If it’s a summer issue with a beach theme, don’t submit your winter blanket pattern. Save that pattern for another submission call.
Step 5: Keep a submission journal
When you submit something to a magazine, they often take several weeks (yes, I said weeks) to hear back from the editor. Most of them have monthly meetings to discuss submissions, so they leave a wide response window.
A lot of magazines do not have time to respond with a “no.”
If you don’t hear back from them by the time that window expires, it means they do not want your pattern at this time. This also means you are free to submit it elsewhere.
Step 6: Don’t Give Up
In college, when I was submitting short stories to magazines to try to get published, my professor told me to keep my rejection letters. He said it may take 20 rejections for every acceptance, and to remember that every rejection gets you one submission closer to an acceptance.
When something isn’t accepted, don’t give up on it!
Submit it to another magazine that is looking for something similar. Keep a log of patterns you have that have not found homes, and who knows! Maybe that next submission call will need that exact pattern.
And never give up!
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.