For a lot of cosplayers, being featured in a cosplay magazine would be a dream come true! But it can sometimes seem unachievable, with so many skilled cosplayers out there – how can you give yourself the best chance of being featured? There’s not one exact method of success, given that there are so many magazines out there, and all of them want something slight different, but there’s some things you can do to give yourself a better chance of being accepted.
I’ve been featured in a variety of cosplay magazines, including Cosplay Realm Magazine, Creative Cosplay Magazine, and CosplayZine, and at this point I feel like I’ve gotten a good grasp of how to apply to cosplay magazines, and know what they’re looking for! So, in this post, I have several tips and tricks to help you when applying to your next cosplay magazine.
Apply to Lots of Magazines
My first tip is to find lots of different magazines to apply to. The more times you apply, the better chance you have of being accepted by one! Searching ‘cosplay magazine,’ either on Google or just on Instagram, can be a great way to find some magazines. To give you a head start, here’s a couple I’ve applied to: Cosplay Realm Magazine, Creative Cosplays Magazine, and CosplayZine.
Check Application Deadlines
One of the first things to do when looking for magazines to submit to is to check the application deadline. You don’t want to put in all that work of putting together a submission, only to find applications closed two weeks ago! Make sure to check the submission deadline for whatever you’re applying to, to give yourself plenty of time to get your submission together. Some magazines give priority to submissions that come in earlier, so the sooner you submit, the better!
Fit the Theme of the Cosplay Magazine
For some cosplay magazines, you can submit any cosplay you want, no restrictions, no themes. But for a lot of them, they run specific themes for each issue. A video game issue, a magic-user issue, etc. It’s important to know what the theme of the issue is that you’re submitting for, so you can pick a cosplay that fits that theme well. For instance, you wouldn’t submit a space alien for a magic / fantasy themed issue. Submitting the right kind of cosplay, one that fits the theme, improves your chances of getting accepted by quite a lot.
Read the Rules
Probably one of the most important tips I can give for applying to a cosplay magazine is to READ ALL THE RULES. Read and reread them carefully, so you know what the magazine is looking for, how and when to submit your application, and any other crucial details you should know! Making sure to learn and follow all the rules carefully is super important for your submission! For instance, a magazine I’ve applied to before states in their rules that if you don’t have a screenshot of written permission from your cosplay photographer for their work to be in the magazine, your submission is automatically sorted into the reject pile. You don’t want something like that to be what keeps you out! That’s why this step is so, so important!
Professionally Format Your Submission
I touched on this earlier, but here’s a bit more on it! Make sure to format your submission nicely. Use proper grammar and spacing in your application email, title your Google Drive photo folders professionally. Things like this can make a big difference in how you’re perceived. You want your submission to be as professional and easy to read as possible.
Pick the Right Cosplay & Photos
Of course, you still need to submit your actual cosplay! How do you know which one to pick? First, of course, make sure to follow the theme of the issue you’re submitting for. Then you’ll need to pick what photos of your cosplay to submit. In my experience, the actual photo of the cosplay is almost as important as the cosplay itself! You should choose cosplay photos that are high-resolution, and look more polished and professional, rather than selfies, or a random full-body shot in your backyard. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a professional photographer — most of the photos I’ve gotten accepted with were ones I took myself! Above are a few examples of ones that got accepted, verses some below that I probably wouldn’t submit. (Again, make sure your have your photographer’s permission! This is very important!)
Even if you follow all these tips and tricks, fill out the submission form perfectly, and have just the right cosplay to fit a theme, you may not always get accepted. It happens to everyone. And that’s okay! There’s always the next month, the next issue, another magazine, a different cosplay. Don’t give up! Keep trying, keep cosplaying, and keep submitting! I believe in you! You got this.