Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Convert Research Into Published Articles

by Elva Cobb Martin 10/2/13 

As you research or blog on your historic topics think about publishing some of them as articles in local newspapers or magazines. Most newspapers and magazines have spots for carefully researched historical pieces. They may be welcome in a Views section, Local Color, Around the State, Travel or History section. Sunday, September 29, 2013, our local Anderson, South Carolina, newspaper, accepted and published one of my blogging topics in its entirety and with pictures. Surprisingly, they gave it a full page. Most importantly, they gave me a good byline with my photo.

Did you guess which research ended up published in our local newspaper? I combined my below blogs on Blackbeard and polished rather quickly into an acceptable article. Below is a picture of BB's final capture.

Here’s how I made my contacts.

I did know one writer at the newspaper fairly well. She attended one of our writers’ workshops. I gave her a call and asked if she thought the newspaper might be interested in a freelance article on Blackbeard. I thought it likely since I had a ghostly legend in the article and we are entering the Halloween season. She gave me the name of the editor to whom I should submit the article. I emailed the submission with some pirate pictures from my file and with a note asking the editor to see if my submission had any merit.

That editor contacted me the next day and said they wanted to use it in Sunday’s edition. She asked for my research sources and a photo of me to go with the byline that I also wrote.

They printed the article in the Views section with very little change and with one of my pirate pictures. They quoted all my resources. There was no pay but they gave me a great byline I’ve pasted in below this blog and they included my photo.

Be assured, there can be money in these type historical pieces. The first one I had published sometime back for another publication drew a welcome check of $150. Because of the good byline given the above article, I’ve been contacted by an apparently wealthy local individual, 81 years old, but sharp as the proverbial tack, who wants me to take a look at a historical mss he’s put together on his life and covering a lot of local history. He’s offering to pay me to help him get the mss together, emphasizing his Christian faith. Who knows what will come of this? I love local color, and I’ve agreed to meet with him next week.

Have you turned any of your research into an article for a publication?

I’ll be glad to help any way I can, if it’s only to take a look and make a suggestion. Contact me through my web site listed below and then we’ll email back.

Thanks for dropping by!

Elva Cobb Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is a freelance writer and president of the Upstate SC American Christian Writers' Chapter. She is currently helping form a new South Carolina ACFW Chapter. Her research for this article was collected for an inspirational novel she has just completed set in the Colonial/Pirate era of Charleston. She has been published in The State Magazine, Decision, and Charisma. She blogs on the Golden Age of Piracy and other topics at She lives in Anderson with her family. She can be reached through her web site or the chapter web site