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When editors look at samples of your work, they are primarilyinterested in your writing style and mastery of the craft, rather than where the sample was published or how much youwere paid. Therefore valuable first clips can result fromoffering to write for an organizational newsletter, yourcommunity newspaper or any other small-circulation publicationthat is desperate for decent work.
Even if you've never been published before, you have achance to catch the attention of a major magazine if you canprovide something more experienced writers can't: yourpersonal experience; access to inside information about asubject of interest to the magazine's readers; professionalexpertise that you can communicate at the readers' level; alocal story that the national press hasn't covered; or aunique voice or quirky perspective on ordinary events.