Just as with a publisher or an agent, do your research first. Know your genre. Use the web and sites like Writer’s Market to map out your options. Figure out how much each one pays, what their criteria are, and if they’re currently open to submissions.
Rank them and figure out who your best option is. Read a few issues to make sure their style is really the best fit for what you write. Talk to other authors who have been published there to see what their experiences were.
When you’re ready to submit, make sure you invest time into honing that cover letter / query letter. That will make or break your attempt to get in – especially in cases where you don’t submit an actual story or essay at the same time.
Be sure to read their contract. Be comfortable with the rights they’re taking to your work.
Usually there’s less at stake with a magazine, because the work you’re submitting will earn far less money and took less time investment to create. Still, this can be a wonderful outlet for writers for a variety of reasons.
Traditional Publishing - main page
Overview of Traditional Publishing
How Copyright Works
Working With A Literary Agent
... My Concerns about Agents
Finding a Publisher
... Writer's Market
Writing a Query Letter
... Query Letter Tips
... Query Letter Issues to Avoid
Getting To a Contract Offer
Negotiating the Contract
Working With the Publisher or Agent
... Publishers and Editing
Submitting to Magazines
Tips for Submitting Short Stories
Getting Your Book Published
Writing Tips and Online Books
Lisa Shea Medieval Romance Novels
Online Literary Magazines
Lisa Shea's Homepage