How to Sell Your Projects to Creative Jewelry

I'll never forget the first time I heard back from a magazine editor that she wanted to buy one of my designs.  Luckily, the acceptance came by e-mail, not phone, so the editor's hearing wasn't permanently damaged by my shriek of joy.  I had no inside connections, no prior publications or jewelry sales–I was just someone who loved making jewelry and wanted to share some of my work.  If I can do it, you can do it.  With that in mind, I invited the editor of Creative Jewelry, Jane Dickerson, to tell us how you can submit your best jewelry designs for this annual special-issue magazine.–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

Michelle: What kind of jewelry are you looking for?  
Jane: We strive to balance the types of projects with roughly 35 earrings, 70+ necklaces, and 30 bracelets. The techniques used should be basic stringing and crimping, easy multistrand stringing, and basic wireworking (wire-wrapped loops, simple loops, coils, spirals, and briolette loops). We do not accept beadwork projects such as bead stitching and bead weaving. All styles are welcome: contemporary, funky, romantic, urban/edgy, classic, and steampunk . . . we will consider everything. Creative Jewelry presents a wide variety of styles with a broad range of appeal.
Michelle: Can you give me an example of a favorite piece from the issue and explain why it caught your eye?
Jane: One of my favorite pieces is the Honey Bee bracelet by Kerri Fuhr. This project uses basic wireworking (wire-wrapped loops) to connect the pieces.  All the beautiful glass bee beads are handmade by the artist and the silver bee charms are a wonderful embellishment. Even though this bracelet uses one-of-a-kind beads, you can see how easy it would be to substitute other beads and charms if you wanted to––if bees aren't your thing. Plus, it's always a bonus to introduce readers to new artisans, so if they'd like to purchase the exact beads shown, they can. The magazine includes a complete list of resources and contact information for every project.  
Michelle: What are some common reasons that pieces don't get selected for the magazine?
Jane: We are looking for original, well-made, stylish designs using interesting materials. We don't accept projects that are too complicated or too juvenile. Above all, we do not accept projects that are copies of another artist's work. We accept projects incorporating special components, but only if the components can be easily obtained by the reader. We take into consideration the design, style, colors, craftsmanship, and use of materials. If all of these aspects come together, we've usually got a winner. 
Michelle: What's the maximum number of pieces I can submit?
Jane: You may submit up to 5 projects.    

Michelle: What do I need to submit?  Can I submit a photo or do I need to send the actual piece?
Jane: To submit a project for consideration, we need only a clear, close-up JPG of your work on a neutral backround (without props).  It should be a minimum of 4" x 4" at 300dpi and no greater than 1MB. E-mail the JPG to with "Creative Jewelry" in the subject line. If your project is accepted, we will request that the complete written instructions (we will send you submission guidelines) and the piece of jewelry be shipped to our office. We will keep the jewelry until the magazine goes to press in July 2010, then it will be returned.

Michelle: What if you've never written instructions before?  Do you have any tips or advice?
Jane: The best advice I can give to a new contributor is to read Creative Jewelry. Learn how the projects are constructed step-by-step and the language used to describe all the different techniques used.

Michelle: Do you pay for submissions?
Jane: Our payments range from $25-60, with earrings at the low range and necklaces at the high range.

Michelle: If I want to design for Creative Jewelry next year, what should I do?  When will you be accepting submissions? After I submit, when can I expect to hear back from you?
Jane: We accept submissions for next year's Creative Jewelry from July 1–December 1, 2009. Once you have submitted a project, you will usually hear back via e-mail within 3 weeks (often sooner). All contributors will be notified no later than December 15th if their work has been accepted or declined. If accepted and approved, all projects, written materials, and finished pieces of jewelry should be in our office by January 1, 2010. Note: Once your accepted submission is received, we will be holding on to your jewelry until the magazine is published, often up to a year. Getting your projects in early is a good thing!

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