Calling Our Shots: A New Way to Label Markets

One of the missions of the The Aiming Circle is to help our fellow practitioners locate and target potential "markets"—publications and venues where they might aim to get their military-themed writing in front of editors and readers.

In recent months, we've struggled how best to present that information in clear, concise formats. We want our exclusive lists of potential markets to be punchy punch-lists of top targets, so that you can fire off submissions and get on with the business of writing.

One ongoing challenge, of course, is the wide ranges of interests and expertise included under our umbrella of "military writing." The term is an imperfect one, we know, but … "you go to war with the words you've got." For us, anyone who is focused on generating quality content that focuses on military themes and topics is potential participant or ally. It doesn't matter whether you write pulp fiction, policy memoranda, or battlefront poetry—or all of the above. To us, it's all "military writing."

To better reflect conditions on the ground, we've decided we need to offer our practitioners more precision. That's because different types of markets may require not only different content, but also different methods of submission, editing techniques, or research and formatting requirements.

So we're dividing our future coverage into six categories. A few caveats, however: These definitions are a work in progress. Best not to regard them as hard-and-fast categories. There is likely some overlap. To continue within our usual artillery idiom, we'll continue to bracket-fire and improve our accuracy as we go.

Starting today, we're going to start tagging our coverage of new markets with the following keywords:

Journalistic markets include those which feature first-person reporting, as well as factual reporting on technology, current events. Given the need for timeliness, journalistic markets often require "pitching" an idea to an editor, prior to a writer doing any other work. That way, editors can help shape the topic, approach, and even the word-count on the final project—before the writer even writes the first word.

Literary markets feature non-fiction, creative non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, and/or reviews of literary and other types of artistic work. Literary markets may have limited windows during which they will accept submissions. Literary markets will typically consider only finished and previously unpublished work, although there are exceptions. Any work submitted should be complete and polished.

Professional markets feature non-fiction works written in third- and first-person, for readers comprising one or more community of interest pertaining to military affairs, international relations, political strategies, national security, etc. These communities may be informal or formal (the latter likely organized around membership, subscription, or association). Works must often include citations (footnotes or endnotes) to specific references.

Scholarly markets feature well-researched and comprehensive third-person essays and literature reviews on specialized fields of study. Work nearly always includes citations (footnotes or endnotes) to specific references.

Consumer markets are geared toward general audiences and informal communities of interest. Editorial content that does not require a high level of technical familiarity or expertise. Unlike other markets, they may be readily and widely available to the public via newsstand sales, postal ann/or on-line subscription.

Op-Ed/Opinion markets feature short essays on timely topics. These works may be argumentative or analytical, and are likely intended for general audiences. Topics may include current events, historical anniversaries, and similar "news pegs."

We hope this new technique will provide our patrons information they can more readily use to direct their submissions. In addition to adding tags to future coverage, we'll be generating for our patrons exclusive target lists of top markets in each category. These will each likely to be similar to our recurring patron-exclusive target lists, which has traditionally focused on literary markets.

Bottom line: Pick your targets. Don't feel limited to just one category. If you're a writer of fiction or poetry, for example, you're likely to find most of your potential targets under "literary" markets. If you're a writer on military history topics, however, you might find potential targets under "consumer," "professional," "scholarly," and even "consumer" markets.

There's a wide world of military writing out there, however you choose to define it. Time to take your best shots!

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Want to receive exclusive early-bird notice of military-themed writing opportunities, events, and markets? Want to view insider ratings and recommendations on prospective journals, anthologies, and contests? Want to gain members-only access to an on-line Facebook forum of enthusiastic, motivated, and focused practitioners, just like you?

Join our Aiming Circle community of practice for as little as $1 a month! Details here: www.patreon.com/aimingcircle.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Marines assigned to Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), shoot a table 5 modification course aboard the amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21). Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, with embarked 26th MEU, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region. Photo by U.S Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Patricia A. Morris


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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 108 exclusive posts
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Writings