Yesterday I spent the day at the American Fork Arts Council Writers' Conference. They hold one of these conferences about every 6 months, but this was my first one. And, it was great!
I enjoyed the workshops and talks by published LDS authors. One of the workshops I went to was about writing non-fiction. It was taught by Caleb Warnock and Annette Lyon. I went expecting to hear about writing non-fiction books and they covered that somewhat, but it really was more about writing magazine articles. Several interesting points were brought out, of which I had been ignorant.
- The market for non-fiction is much more open to new writers than that of fiction.
- The slush pile for non-fiction articles is much smaller, so your chances of getting published is much greater.
- Magazines, including obscure trade magazines, are hungry for clear, cleanly written, well researched articles.
- Unlike fiction, the non-fiction writer doesn't have to create a following or "get their name out there" before making money from their craft.
- Although it is non-fiction writing, the elements of good fiction writing are still applicable, particularly creative, narrative voice and having a beginning, middle and end.
- The turn-around time to get published is much shorter for magazines than for novels, the typical amount of time between submission and publication being about six months.
- You can write non-fiction articles while you're working on more extensive projects. For example, you can write some articles and get some money to pay for Christmas.
Good luck to you and, happy writing!