There's lots of ways that you can find out about how to submit to magazines. For most knitting and crochet magazines, if you go to their websites, you can usually find information on how to submit (or where to sign up for email notifications for submission calls). Some magazines will take submissions for anything at any time and other ones have a schedule and a theme and you'll need to get your submission in by a certain date. Interweave Knits works the second way. They both put out a call for submissions with story/theme information as well as the date the submission is due. They want physical submissions instead of email submissions, so keeping track of the due date is key! You need to make sure your submission arrives on or before that date.
So when Interweave Knits is ready to post a call, they do so on their website. They also may post in the Designer Group on Ravelry. I can't remember where I saw the call now, but it was one of those two places.
This particular call for submissions talked about the four different story ideas. One of them was the Perpendicular story, where the editors were looking for projects with knitted-on borders. I love those borders so I decided to submit!
I filled out the required form and also included a page detailing my design idea. Here's my detail page:
A few weeks after the deadline, I was notified that my design was accepted. We worked out all the business stuff like payment terms and yarn support and I was given a deadline to have the pattern and sample to the magazine. I think I'll talk more about the acceptance/pattern writing/sample knitting/deadline part of it at another time. :)
Photo Credit: Harper Point
So, what if your design doesn't get accepted? It's OK!! I've said it before but I'll say it again: as a designer you have to get used to rejection. I've had wayyyy more design rejections than designs accepted for publication. It's possible they are about to publish something similar that you (obviously) don't know about, or it just doesn't quite fit into the theme with the other designs. Once you get your swatch back and you know you have been officially rejected, you can do what you like with your design idea. See a call for another magazine where it could work? Go for it! Want to self-publish it? Great! Just make sure that you aren't submitting the same idea to more than one publication at a time. That is a huge no-no! Just be patient and wait and if your pattern gets accepted or denied. If it does get rejected, think about if there's anything you can do to make it even more awesome than it already is and move forward!