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Genealogy Writing Markets

Insights for those experienced in genealogy who might be interested in writing.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Alan Smith
Word Count: 731 (approx.)
Labels: Publishing 
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As a freelance writer I am always on the hunt for more niche markets to write for. It has never been an easy task. I have found many different niches with similar publishing histories. There are a lot of online, print and other media outlets for any market, but far fewer which financially compensate the writer, and of them, far fewer whom are in need of material.

Though, the subject of genealogy has remained the bread and butter of what is otherwise a trickle of income for me, nevertheless I have discovered I have strong competition from thousands of other writers. I enjoy writing fiction, especially science fiction and have several blogs and social network sites to promote my books. The interest for my family history books and related topics has so far out weighed the other genres by tenfold. I have one blog on writing, one blog on science fiction, one on whimsical and funny sidelines and yet my blog about genealogy far exceeds all other interests.

Recently at a convention, I tried to discover how other writers found the markets they wrote for, and each seem to relate the same story where they were in the right place at the right time and just happened to meet or knew the right people. It seems to be the same pattern concerning the entire industry which takes in queries, submissions and story ideas and sends out a steady stream of rejection letters.

But, I would be remiss, if I did not add that writing and submitting articles or stories for publication has rewards other than financial. In genealogy I am always eager to write about some new resource I discovered, a methodology which was successful, or some surprising outcome from research. As a result of my writing I have discover others whom share the same interests, the same passions, accomplishments, and even similar failures. Writing for a quarterly journal or newsletter of a local or distant historical society is often as rewarding as receiving a check in the mail. Okay, almost as much.

Each year I plod through books, pamphlets, online websites and other publications for various possible writing markets. I continue to add them to my PGE Writing Market report. Last year I published over 530 various markets which is most likely a drop in the bucket of what is out there. In genealogy I have found about 28 of the most popular publications, of which only 7, including Genweekly.com, financially reimburse writers for submissions.

Below, I have provided a list of the most prominent and the largest of the genealogical publications. Keep in mind, almost every library and local historical society has some sort of membership newsletter which may take submissions. If one is interested in any of the publications listed, you can Google them and visit their sites for more information concerning what they want in stories and how they want them. An asterisk (*) next to the publication, indicates it pays for submissions. Payment averages from $25 to $55 for each story. It is not a lucrative market, especially when you factor in the time spent researching and writing the article.

Genealogy Publications

American Genealogist; *American Heritage Magazine; Ancestor News; *Ancestry Magazine; Annals of Genealogical Research; Avotaynu: The International Review; Bishan Hill Books; Eastman's Online Newsletter; Everton Publishers; *Family Chronicle; Family History Monthly; *Family Tree Magazine; Genealogy Today; *Genweekly.com; Global Gazette; Heritage Quest Magazine; *History Magazine; *Internet Genealogy; Ireland's Genealogical Gazette; Je Me Souviens; Journal of Online Genealogy; National Genealogical Society Quarterly; New England Historical & Genealogical Register; New York Genealogical and Biographical Record; Our State North Carolina Magazine; Practical Family History; Smithsonian Magazine; Somos Primos, Hispanic Genealogy E-Magazine.

Summary

A writer often does his or her best work for genres or subjects which the writer enjoys or has the greatest experience with. With the expanding Internet, even the smallest of niches or topics previously considered to be trivia can find an audience. All topics and genres need writers who are on the cutting edge of the subject written about. Genealogy has a wonderful distinction as a subject, because it also gives tools to the reader to rejoin families, reclaim personal history, and make surprising discoveries and life altering connections. The activities launched by an article in genealogy may have the greatest ending, one that is greater than any ending a writer could write.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2009.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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