Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting Published

The October meeting of the Toronto Bead Society featured a panel discussing the topic of "Selling Your Designs for Publication". The panel consisted of Maria Rypan (, Marilyn Gardiner ( and Carla Canonico, the editor of Needle Pulling Thread magazine ( (BTW, I hadn't read this magazine before but I won a copy at the meeting and quite enjoyed it. Mostly focused on needlework and quilting - the photos are beautiful - but they do have a couple of beading designs as well.)

Maria had her first design published in Bead & Button magazine in 2003 and has been featured in several publications since then. She is currently appearing in the October/November 2009 issue of Beadwork magazine with a design call "scythian gold" (must be a typo, should be "Cynthia's Gold", don't you think?!!! Actually, "the name relates to one of the original habitants of the Ukraine, the Scythians, and draws inspiration from troves of ancient gold jewelry excavated in the country's royal burial mounds", according to the write up.) Her comments on the panel were very informative from a designer's perspective.

Carla, as an actual editor of a magazine, gave pointers from the perspective of the people who receive submissions from artists and consider them for inclusion in their magazine.

Marilyn is a jewellery designer and teacher who has done quite a bit of self-publication, mostly of her own patterns and designs.

It was an interesting discussion covering a variety of topics, from the importance of good photographs to send with your submissions to the need to be multi-tasking (teaching, designing, operating a website, blogging) and networking all the time in order to keep your product (i.e., you) in the public eye to the necessity of creating instructions that are easy to follow. It was interesting to hear that your design doesn't have to be complicated to be chosen but it does need to be unique. It is very important to read the submission guidelines for each magazine (often found on their website) but often, it just boils down to the fact that you happen to submit something at a certain point in time that matches the criteria of what the editors are looking for at that time.

Some of the key tips were: don't submit the same piece to more than one magazine at a time, don't be discouraged if your piece isn't accepted (it doesn't mean it's not fabulous, it's just not what they need right then), submit work that is different, unique, innovative and well put together, play with designs and always, make pieces you truly believe in instead of just something you think will "sell".

Speaking of being published, I am incredibly excited to advise that I am featured in the latest issue (Winter 2010) of Bead Unique magazine. A photo of yours truly making glass beads at the torch (taken by Dwyn Tomlinson) appears on page 41 of the magazine, as part of an article written by Jennifer Keil about one of my favourite beading stores, Beadfx in Toronto, as the topic of their regular column, "I Could Just Live Here!". I look a bit like a bug with my protective didymium glasses but as Marg Yamanaka, owner of Beadfx, describes it, I am grinning like a cheshire cat, obviously happy to be making beads!!

As far as being published in a beading magazine, hey, a girl's got to start somewhere!! :)

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