White space, numbers, asterisks or some other keyboard symbol separating sections of a work.
chronological time
Incidents or events described in a manuscript in the same order as they happened in real life.
closed ending
The last paragraph of a manuscript that summarizes information or action and leaves the audience with a sense of satisfaction or mission.
A short citation — facts, quotations, excerpts from published works —that usually appears between the title and byline of a manuscript.
A moment of clarity in which the writer comprehends a universal truth.
A passage in a work that refers to the past and momentarily violates the order of incidents or events as they happened in real life or chronological time.
A passage in a work that refers to the future and momentarily violates the order of incidents or events as they happened in real life or chronological time.
A phrase, sentence, or passage-usually related to theme-that suggests or hints at a related event or truth coming up later in a work (see thematic statement).
grammatical time
Verb usage including past, present, future, and pushed present tenses.
Basic information the reader needs to understand the topic of a work.
implied author
The writer as he or she exists at the keyboard, generating what almost always is considered a lapse in voice.
implied setting
A scene or place-never mentioned in a work-in which the writer imagines himself or herself, simply to generate an appropriate voice for the audience.
The opening paragraph(s) of a work (also known as the lead or lede).
A writing mistake indicating an uneven, unsustained voice or faulty moment of narration.
moment of narration
The point in time that a writer decides to enter a work, close to the action as if it is happening in chronological time; removed from the action, with no reference to events happening in real time; or somewhere in between (also known as literary time.)
The author uses the first-person pronoun I; thus, aspects of voice are associated with personality traits of the writer of a work.
occasion or narration
An event or Circumstance, often associated iii with the topic of a work, that helps generate the introduction or that [, adds another level of meaning.
open ending
The last paragraph of a manuscript that leaves the audience with a lingering sense of scene or milieu.
peak experience
A moment of clarity in which the writer’s body a senses a universal truth.
The author uses a third-person pronoun — he, she, it, or they — throughout an entire piece, without employing the first-person I; thus, aspects of voice are not associated with the writer of the work but with some unseen character or storyteller.
pushed present tense
A verb form affecting grammatical time, changing the past tense to the present and the present tense to the future, thereby adding a sense of immediacy and tension to a work.
Another layer of meaning in a work, aligned with the perceived needs of the target audience.
A person interviewed in a work.
A small title or headline in the body of a work that introduces new aspects of a topic and sections of a manuscript.
A line, phrase, sentence, or even a paragraph that works in tandem with a title, either clarifying it or foreshadowing topic and/or theme.
target audience
Readers of a specific publication (also known as target market).
thematic statement
A phrase, sentence, or paragraph that develops t e theme of a work.
Another level of meaning in a work, developed via foreshadowing, epiphany or peak experience (see slant).
A word, phrase or sentence that serves as a contract with the reader, identifying the content of a work (also known as headline or hed).
The person, place, issue, incident, or thing that is the primary focus of a work.
A phrase or sentence that propels a work logically and smoothly from one paragraph to another.
Aspects or elements of a work that meets the perceived needs of the target audience (also called take-away value).
The world as seen through the eyes of the author or a specific source in a work.
The sound a reader “hears” on the magazine page.
working title
A title that helps the writer focus on the topic or theme during the writing process but that will be changed later.

Freelance Terms

A letter from an editor offering to publish a work and/or a formal document specifying terms and conditions.
anecdotal approach
A work that begins with a first-person anecdote and then expands to include experiences of or information from other sources.
A magazine work longer than 2,000 words.
A work solicited by an editor of a magazine.
The author’s name.
Photocopies of an author’s previously published works, often sent to editors with query letters.
A work between 750 and 1,000 words, usually employing a narrator and taking a personal experience approach.
contract agreement
A document stating that a publication is buying rights to a work.
contributor’s notes
Data about the author of a work (also known as bio notes).
Ownership of a work.
cover letter
A business letter to an editor that introduces an enclosed manuscript.
A marketing book listing addresses and phone numbers of magazines and describing editorial policies and-requirements.
A formal or informal work by an author describing a personal experience or presenting an argument, often literary in tone with heavy thematic emphasis.
An investigative work.
A magazine work between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
A typeset work, sent to a writer for proofreading before publication.
how-to piece
A work that presents practical, step-by-step information to readers (also known as a service piece).
informational approach
A work that conveys data or research to an audience via a persona.
interview format
A work that begins with background about a source and then switches to questions and answers.
kill fee
Money, usually percent of the typical pay rate, that a writer receives if an editor makes an assignment and then, for one reason or another, cannot use the work.
Informal bookkeeping listing where a writer has sent a manuscript and documenting other pertinent information (date sent, editor’s decision, etc.).
A work of magazine nonfiction typed or printed double-spaced on white paper (abbreviated ms.).
multiple submission
Sending two or more works to the same editor.
on acceptance
Payment to a writer when he or she signs a contract agreement or otherwise is informed of an acceptance.
on publication
Payment to a writer when an accepted work appears in the magazine.
opinion piece
Commentary by an author about a political, social, cultural, or moral issue.
pay rates
The fee paid to a writer, often associated with the word or page count, as in “cents per word” or “$ per page.”
personal experience approach
A work employing a narrator relating an extraordinarily dramatic or unusual occurrence.
profile piece
A work that focuses on the life or accomplishments of a source.
query letter
A business letter that describes the topic, theme, and approach of a work and that asks the editor for permission to send it to the magazine.
A slip of paper or letter informing a writer that a work is unsuitable for the target audience.
Facts garnered from books, periodicals, or databases (library research) or from on-site visits and interviews (field research).
response time
The average number of weeks or months needed by an editor to read a manuscript and report back to the writer.
What an editor buys to publish a work. Typically, an editor purchases first rights (also known as first serial rights or North American rights) to ensure that his or her publication will be the first to publish a work on the continent. An editor can also buy reprint rights for a work whose first rights already have been sold. Sometimes an editor purchases all rights, which essentially transfers ownership of a work to the magazine. Both first and reprint rights can be secured via personal correspondence between editor and writer; however, all rights can be secured only via a contract agreement that specifies terms and conditions and that is signed by the author and the editor.
sample issue
An issue of a magazine that a writer purchases or requests from an editor, to study the target audience (also known as back issue).
An abbreviation for self-addressed stamped envelope, enclosed so that an editor can return a manuscript or report on a query letter.
A work, usually between 100 and 500 words (although longer lengths are permissible, depending on content), that provides additional information to accompany an article.
simultaneous submission
Sending the same work to two or more publications.
An editor’s offer to consider a work without any kill fee or promise to publish.
The progress a submission has made while under consideration at a magazine.
A manuscript or query letter sent with a SASE to an editor.
A submission that an editor did not request but that still may be considered, depending on editorial policies.
writer’s guidelines
A sheet or document describing the target audience and detailing editorial policies, submission requirements, and other pertinent freelance information.

Magazine Terms

audience profile
A description of a magazine’s readers and their perceived needs, determined by advertisements, cover subtitle, contents and letters pages, editor’s introduction, and other data.
back-of-the-book essay
A work (usually a column) that appears near tile end of a magazine and often on the last page.
Dark type — like this.
The magazine itself. Thus an essay on the last page is at the back of the book.
A slogan or idea that encapsulates the perceived needs of the target audience.
contents page
Place reserved for information listing departments, articles, features, fillers, and other works appearing in a magazine.
cover subtitle
A phrase or slogan on the cover of a magazine, heralding its concept.
cover title
The name of a magazine.
Facts, figures, and other identifying characteristics (gender, age, household income, etc.) that depict the target audience.
A section of a magazine, such as beauty, health, fashion, lifestyle and so on.
editor’s introduction
A place where the editor previews or otherwise sets the tone of the current issue of a magazine (also known as editor’s preface or foreword).
A short work, 25 to 250 words.
flush left
Copy aligned with the left margin of the typeset column or type area.
flush right
Copy aligned with the right margin of the typeset column or type area.
An assortment of type in one style, identified by name, such as Times New Roman or Courier New.
Slanted type, like this.
letters page
Place reserved to publish correspondence by readers about contents of previous issues.
A box listing the names and titles of a magazine’s staff, along with data about advertising and editorial departments.
media kit
An advertising packet with pertinent information about a magazine’s audience, including demographics and psychographics.
mission statement
The stated purpose of a magazine and its relationship with its audience, also included in the media kit.
The lifestyle characteristics of readers, including such information as their buying habits, political affiliations, outdoor hobbies, craft interests, and so on.
Upright, unslanted type like this.
standing title
A title that appears in each issue to identify a regular column or section of a magazine.


INSTRUCTOR: Michael O’Donnell | | 651-962-5281