I’ve been trying for a few years to get started in a second (or 3rd) career as a writer/photographer. I’ve been reading International Living magazine for a long time now (decades). I usually glance over the ads, but eventually I was tempted to sign on for their travel writing course.

I did it and over the years since, I’ve taken a few other courses through IL and what is now called GEP (Great Escape Publishing). I started this blog at the Boston workshop they put on back in August 2013. I figured the blog would be a good way to get my work out to the public without having to go through an editor. I was getting so frustrated at having my photos rejected and I couldn’t even understand what they were telling me when they told me WHY they rejected them.

All along the way, I’ve still been trying to come up with something that I could sell to someone. I do enjoy writing and photography, but I am also really looking for some way to earn an income without having to be out on a ship so much of the time. I really want to find a way to travel more and spend more time doing the things I want to do instead of what other people want me to be doing. 😉

I have somehow managed to have a couple of articles published online (here, here, and here), but that came about only because someone happened to see my blog and liked what I had written on here. I had never been able to get up the nerve to actually send in a formal query to a real magazine editor.

Until last trip home. I FINALLY got around to sending in an article to International Living! I had high hopes. I was really anxious too. I had written a short article (they say short is much better to start with), but I had written it about Singapore. Singapore is not one of the countries IL usually features. I thought they might like it since it was about how to eat cheap there. They DO like articles about how to save money. 🙂

I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I HOPE they willl let me know something one way or another. In the meantime, I’ve been working on trying again to get my photographs accepted on some of the stock photo sites. I’m happy to say, I’ve managed to get some accepted!

I still don’t really understand why they accept some and they refuse others. I do understand what they’re telling me now, I just don’t SEE what they’re telling me about in the photos I’ve sent. So far, my acceptance level is 40% at Bigstock, 0% at Canstock and Fotolia. I’m getting better, at first my acceptance level was only 26%. 🙂

Here are 2 of the photos I submitted. Can you tell which ones they accepted? The first one is of a temple on a lake in Bali, Indonesia. The second one is of the beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Which one do YOU like best? Why?

0 thoughts on “Accepted!

    • They turned down the Cancun one. They say they have issues with “artificing”. I thought it was the better picture. I didn’t change my header, but when I click on ‘featured photo’ when I make a post, it will use that picture as a header on that specific post. That’s all I did.

  1. I bet you felt great with the acceptance of some of your images! Practice all the time and just keep doing what you are doing, it will come together! I remember how ecstatic I was when I opened those emails and I feel the same way today, a few years later. Keep us posted on your article too, I am glad you submitted one to IL.

    • Hi Theresa,
      Yeah, it felt fantastic to finally get accepted on Bigstock! I am still trying with the others, no luck anywhere else yet. I don’t have much time to work on it out here on the ship. Working here in Africa is MUCH busier than in the Gulf of Mexico. We’re drilling shallow water wells and moving about once a week. In the Gulf, we’re drilling in very deep water and so a well will take 6 months or more.
      I still haven’t heard anything from IL. I guess they didn’t like it. I’ll try again when I have something else for them. I’m thinking maybe it’s because I wrote about Singapore and not one of their regular places?

  2. I like them both, but the Cancun one has the edge for me. Most scenes of beaches are full of bronzed bodies, but this one emphasizes the white sand and blue water, enhanced by empty blue and white loungers.

    • Thanks, it’s nice to hear you like both of them. I do too, but the Cancun one is my favorite. I do think it would be a better selling photo. I did look at it blown up and I really am not seeing the problem they do see with it.

  3. I’m going with Cancun, too. It’s very graphic and simple in nature while suggesting peace, tranquility and the “Oh I want to go there” theme. Blue is a very calming color and it has great composition. Congrats on your acceptance!

    • Thanks Terri! You think the way I do. 🙂
      Unfortunately, that is the one they turned down. They tell me it has ‘artificing issues’. I zoomed in on it pretty hard and I still don’t see what they’re talking about.

  4. Hi Jill. I read this post with particular interest as I’ve just completed a five week online travel writing course with the Australian Writers’ Centre and found it immensely useful. This course was not so much about the actual writing (although it did cover how to write specifically for travel publications) but focussed much more on how to pitch to an editor and to identify the right publication for your article. Anyhow, I’ve included the link here if you’re interested:

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