Tips for Getting Published

Hanging on the bulletin board in my craft room is an article I tore out from the October 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes by Dorathy Gilchrist entitled "10 Tips to Get Published in Creating Keepsakes."  She shows two sample layouts, with helpful arrows pointing out what these layouts have that got them published. 

I've made no secret of the fact that I'd like to be published in a print magazine this year.  For the first time ever, I made a layout intentionally trying to hit as many of the "10 Tips" as possible.  Here's what I made:

According to Dorathy Gilchrist, a layout published in Creating Keepsakes should have the following characteristics:

  • 8.5x11 or 12x12, multi-photo, two-page layout
  • There is a focal photo, which is engaging, has good lighting and color balance, and the subject is in focus and looking toward the camera.
Check! ... maybe. Perhaps the main photo of Trevor in the top left isn't quite big enough to be a true focal photo?
  • Most of the photos are 4x6 and in color. Any other photos on the page are common print sizes, such as wallet or 5x7.
Check... sort of. All the photos started out as wallet, but I trimmed a few to make them fit better. But most of the pictures are a common size.
  • The title is easily identifiable and stands out from the background and other elements on the page. The words on the title are grouped together for easy reading.
  • Journaling is free from spelling and grammatical errors.
Check! And I have nice handwriting too! :)
  • Commonly used techniques are executed in innovative ways.
HONK. Nothing especially innovative here.
  • The layout design is clean and balanced.
  • The layout is beautiful and inspiring.
Well, *I* think it is beautiful. But while I know some people really like my style, others think it is WAY too plain. This layout might not be very inspiring, as there's nothing especially innovative or creative. It looks simple (intentionally, because that is my style) but that's not necessarily what CK wants to show.
  • The product used on the layout is still available in stores.
Check! The background papers are from Doodlebug. While they're several years old, they are still available. Plus, they don't look dated since they're neutral. The letter and number stickers are from Bella Blvd and they're only about a year old. I believe the American Crafts ribbon is also about a year old. But perhaps anything that old, even if it's still available in stores, is too old for publication.
  • Printed or handwritten journaling is 12 point font or larger and is legible.
Check! Usually my handwriting is tiny (though still legible) so that I can squeeze in as much journaling as possible. On this layout, I kept the story short and the writing large.

Unfortunately, I submitted it well over two months ago and haven't heard anything, so I'm guessing it's not innovative, inspiring, or beautiful enough.  Oh well!  Here is the sketch I used to make it.  It's my Sketch #3.

I like how the sketch turned out.  I may have to use it again.... in a more innovative way next time.  :)


  1. I hear ya girl... I submitted 2 over a month ago and haven't heard... but seen peeps on FB announcing they got emails... so better luck next time for both of us!!! I loveeeeeee the tips and love love love your lo!!!

  2. Well I think it's beautiful, inspiring and wonderful. I'd never get published. I really do like your layout; so attractive and organized.

  3. It's a wonderful layout. Perfectly perfect. :)

  4. It's an AWEsome layout! Love all the pics :) Keep on trying!!!

  5. I've submitted a bunch too. I'm going to keep trying and you should definitely keep going. We can't succeed if we give up!

  6. Not all the published layouts in CK are particularly outstanding...but it does seem like once you get something picked up, you belong to the "inner" circle and get invited to contribute themed layouts. Keep trying!

    I do think that using the latest products will help though.

    P/s: Stick to your CAS-style..don't sell out! ;)

  7. Cindy,

    I just saw "part 2" of this post and came to read this one so I would have the whole story. I am one of the people who like your style! CAS always looks nice in a scrapbook and the story and pictures don't get lost because of all of the "stuff" you are busy looking at instead. I agree with the comment above - don't give up. You have made a lot of great pages in the past and I know that with perseverance you will get published; and more than once! I don't know if you have a Hobby Lobby close by, but it seems to me that the magazine they sell in their store might be a good one to try for a first-time publication. The only catch with them, is you have to use products that are sold in their store. With your CAS style, that wouldn't be real hard. I know that Judy #5798 has been published in their Magazine many times and she said it was pretty simple. At least it would be a start. If you don't have a HL close to you, I could send you one of their Magazines, so you could look it over and you can shop on-line. You may already have a lot of the products in your stash that they carry and not actually have to buy all of them. Just an idea...

    1. I've never been to a Hobby Lobby, as there aren't any near me. Though one opened about 75 miles away recently- eventually I'll make it there to check it out!


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