How to Sell Your Projects to Creative Jewelry

Jun 22, 2009

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 sbsbeads@interweave.com 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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Comments

on Jun 22, 2009 9:47 AM
I am a beginning "beader" if you can call me that...with that said - I am not sure that juvenile is a "good" word to use. I look for easy projects and some of those that may be considered juvenile I could actually use with my neice and her friends. So I guess my suggestion may be to have a column on your online pages which is geared towards getting young people involved. They have great creativity.... Thanks for listening - Rita
GinnyC@9 wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 10:18 AM
This is amazing "serendipity." I just started a project yesterday that I've had in mind for a while, and I think it's very original. I was wondering as I laid it out how I could make some money with it! (besides selling the one(s) I make.) Once a design is accepted, and you pay the designer for it, does the magazine own it? If it were shown on Beading Daily, as a downloadable PDF, would the designer earn any residuals on that? Thanks for the info - love your daily inspiration. Ginny
on Jun 22, 2009 10:41 AM
Hi Ginny, I'm going to answer just the Beading Daily part of your question. Our projects on Beading Daily are typically ones that the magazine has already paid the designer fee for. You don't get anything extra for being on the website. However, if your project is placed in the store for sale, you will get royalties for that. (That's why we don't always keep projects free forever--we like to give the designers the opportunity to make money, assuming they've signed the royalty contract.) Michelle
Leslee@5 wrote
on Jun 23, 2009 2:27 AM
"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." This preference should have been outlined more clearly in the BeadStar beading contest. I can't say I understand this , whats wrong with beadweaving anyway?
LisaKwaj wrote
on Jun 23, 2009 3:46 AM
Michelle, thank you for this article. I helps a lot to know what a magazine is looking for in submissions. Spelling out what techniques the magazine focuses on is important. I was one of the designers who submitted a woven piece to BeadStar, not realizing that I'd used a technique that was excluded. Obviously, I didn't read the guidelines well enough! Having them spelled out clearly in this article was a great choice. Now my only problem is choosing only 5 projects to submit! ;^)
on Jun 23, 2009 12:30 PM
Leslee, We love bead weaving for Step by Step Beads and Beadwork, but for Creative Jewelry, the projects need to be easy to follow without illustrations or photos. Basic wirework and stringing techniques are better suited for that issue. Thanks for your comment! Jane
IrinaS wrote
on Jun 24, 2009 12:32 AM
this is a wonderfull article! and just what an aspiring designer needs to know. I'm just a bit worried that you don't seem to support international designers: is that an oversite (that is, you do soupport them, only forgot to mention it)? or is it really the case? anticipated thanks, irina
Chaw wrote
on Jun 24, 2009 6:50 AM
I just started getting Beading Daily and it has really got me interested in starting up my beading again. Keep up the good work and interesting projects!
LindaK@61 wrote
on Jun 24, 2009 7:42 AM
If I am not residing in the USA, but I am an American citizen, can I still submit my work to the magazine ? I have relative living in the states.
on Jun 24, 2009 10:59 AM
Hi Adriana and Linda K, We welcome international submissions :) Jane Dickerson Editor, Creative Jewelry
on Jun 24, 2009 12:36 PM
Hi Ginny C! When we agree to publish your project in our magazines, we do not "own" the project in the sense that you can't sell the piece of jewelry or teach it at a bead shop. We do, however, own the photograph and printed instructions we publish and you may not use our printed instructions. We also have the right to re-publish the printed instructions online and in other Interweave products or promotional materials. For more about the online Beading Daily specifics, read Michelle's post above. Thanks for your comment! Jane Dickerson, editor Creative Jewelry
IrinaS wrote
on Jun 24, 2009 11:40 PM
thanks jane! I was pretty sure this is the case, but wanted to make sure. and some other questions occured to me: 1. if my desing is inspired by someone elses? that is, I've seen a design in a book, but changed it considerably (added another string, changed the length of the fringes and the shape of the beads used). Is that enough for it to be considered an original design? 2. Can my design incorporate bits of chain? have fun, adriana
Gyspy Mary wrote
on Jun 26, 2009 10:44 PM
I enjoy all the information. Thanks to everyone! Wow! I am even taking a break from my beading to read the updates every day or two.So much to learn and a tiny mind to absorb it all.(the rest of my mind is absorbed in my next beading project.:)maryb
on Jul 6, 2009 12:47 PM
Hi Adriana, If your design is inspired by someone and you have any doubt about whether it is different enough, send us a photo of your work and the original work that inspired you and we will let you know what we think. We feel very strongly that the original work of an artist be protected and not copied. And yes, you can certainly use chain in your designs. If you look at this issue of Creative Jewelry, you'll see lots of designs using chain. Chain is hot! Cheers, Jane Dickerson, editor Creative Jewelry
SUZANNE67 wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 5:46 PM

how do i get in contact with julie ann smith.... does anyone know...

thanks

suzanne

Dita Basu wrote
on Jan 30, 2012 11:58 PM

Thank you so much for this very informative article.  Some times I do think of submitting my jewelry articles but kind of shy away because I am not sure what is expected really.  This gives me some idea.  Thank you Michelle. Dita

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