Success Story

Persistence and Networking! By Ramona Richards

Persistence and Networking! By Ramona Richards

Five years ago, I faced a heart-wrenching dilemma. My daughter Rachel, who is severely disabled, was going downhill in a hurry. I was working as an in-house editor, and our days were long, grueling, and stress-filled. I'm a single mom, and although I have a nurse who works with Rachel at night, my deadlines and my concerns about my daughter were pushing me to a breaking point. …

The Week from Heaven By C. Hope Clark

Last week was a bummer - mistakes in my newsletter, a complaining subscriber, and a missed opportunity with a public relations person who might have helped my career. Rejections seemed to have built up behind a dam and flowed into my email all at once. I found it hard to practice my own preaching about positive attitude and always moving forward. One day I literally left the house and went for a walk to reorganize my thoughts and ponder personal goals. …

A Home Run On The First Pitch By Bryan Fields

I started a novel during my senior year of college. I re-started occasionally for the next twenty years, always feeling like I'd never be good enough to avoid rejection. My wife finally put her foot down. "You want to be a writer. WRITE." …

Listen, Learn and Publish By Lisa Tiffin

About a year ago, I sold my used book business, hung out the proverbial shingle, and embarked upon my lifelong dream of becoming a paid writer. I started with essays on homeschooling and parenting and quickly sold two to e-zines. A good start, I thought, but the fact was I longed for the day I would see my byline in soy ink and pulp. …

Don’t Give It Away By Linda White-Francis

Call it dumb luck or beginners luck, but when my first try at writing resulted in a fifty-dollar check for a twenty-five word true story I sent to a romance publication--about our talented dog Puff, it gave me reason to pause. Then when another $50 dollars arrived that same year for a small filler I wrote for a celebrity tab--about our adventurous bird Petey, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but not necessarily in the pet department. …

Pestered Into Submission By Karen Edmisten

A few years ago, while on a committee at my parish, I gave a talk that detailed my spiritual journey. A friend found the talk intriguing and repeatedly pestered me to get it published. "Uh-huh," I thought, "as if it's that easy..." But when I spoke with my spiritual director he also encouraged me to seek publication. Eventually, I sent my story off, assuming nothing would come of it. Although I'd always thought of myself as a writer, I'd long before given up thoughts of writing professionally. …

Personal Experiences Really Do Pay! By Katreen Hardt

Leafing through Jane Magazine at my local Barnes & Noble one afternoon, I came across a column entitled, It Happened to Me. It's a column in which readers are given the opportunity to submit a true story, approximately a thousand words in length, and, if printed, are paid $1000. (However, according to the magazine's website, http://www.janemag.com, writers are encouraged to "do it for the love.") …

My Success Story By Joei Carlton Hossack

Although it was eight years ago I remember vividly my decision NOT to give away any more of my books. Restless from the Start, my first baby, had recently been accepted for availability at one Barnes & Noble store in Sarasota, Florida because I would be doing a lecture on publishing and promotion there. The head office would put the book into their computer system and five copies would be ordered for Sarasota. …

Nagging, Negative Voice Be Gone! By Kristina Seleshanko

I had an idea for a new book - but the nagging, negative voice inside my head kept telling me I could never get it published. It was about weddings, and why would any publisher consider me for a book on weddings? Other than being married myself, what were my qualifications? Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nonetheless, the idea was always in the forefront of my mind. …

Travel Stories Evolve Into Travel Guide By Jim Postell

Travel Stories Evolve Into Travel Guide By Jim Postell

Sitting at my computer I proudly smile at a book. That may seem unusual, but on the cover of that book - in bold, yellow, capital letters is my name. After four years of research/writing, countless queries/rejections from publishers, regular advice from Angela's WritersWeekly, a surprisingly short contract negotiation, and a release date delayed for over a year, my book is out. …

Combining Writing with Other Talents By Claudia Carver

Since writers don't often get overpaid for their labor, most of us have to develop frugal shopping skills to survive. Did you ever think you might morph these talents into a regular gig with your local newspaper? I didn't - until persistence combined with luck to provide me with this little weekly bonus. …

Self-Publishing Leads to Traditional Contract By Tom Douglas

I am a former full-time journalist born and raised in Canada who went the freelance route a few years ago. That's one of the reasons I signed up to receive the very worthwhile (no apple-polishing intended) WritersWeekly. I read it faithfully every week and thus, when I first read about Booklocker.com's offer to digitally print my book at a reasonable price, including formatting, cover and help with distribution, I collected together a bunch of short stories I had written over the years (two of which had been published in Canada's largest daily newspaper, The Toronto Star and one that had received an honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Short Story contest). …

Purr-fect Tale By Nadia Ali

Trying to find something to write about that sells is always one of my stumbling blocks. You always hear it being said, that inspirations lies at your feet or, on this one particular day, my cat Cici draped across the top of my keyboard. And that's when it clicked. Why not try an article on a cat? After all I am a proud owner and one who has gone through enough adventures with Cici to share my knowledge with others. …

Give ‘Em What They Want By Barbra Annino

Browsing through an edition of WritersWeekly.com on my lunch hour, I spotted an ad for an advice columnist for Illinois Magazine. My corporate writing job paid the bills, but I always wanted to write creatively. The ad stated the editor was looking for someone who could write in a "witty, insightful, humorous tone." I had never written a column or was even published before, but I felt like this was right up my alley. I fired off a letter to the editor that outlined my background as a writer, bartender (who better to give advice?), and lifelong Illinoisan. I crafted the letter and two samples in the tone that she was looking for, but kept my own voice. …

A Writer’s Triumph By Diane Craver

Today was a great day! I didn't receive any rejections but I did receive a contract for $300 for a 300-word story from Woman's World Magazine! I'm sure you've seen it. Women's World is that weekly magazine with a diet and a cake on the cover. You might start glancing at it while you wait for the cashier to get to your groceries. Then you get interested in a story but don't get it finished and, since the price is only $1.49, you decide to buy it. Well, this woman's magazine pays well for their articles and fiction. And, yes, they use freelancers. …

If Other Writers Can Sell Their Work, So Can You! By Danielle Westvang

When you decided that you wanted to become a professional writer, did you visualize yourself at book signings or working for large publishing companies? Some may dream of writing a best seller, or perhaps even being published by a top magazine. My dream has always been to have my own column in a magazine or newspaper. …

Who’s Afraid of the Big Blank Page? By Daphne Dykeman

Having left full-time paid employment to become a mother, I still wanted to contribute in some way to the family budget. I saw that the local paper printed book reviews by a number of freelancers, and I felt that, with a degree in English and a passion for books, it would be a natural fit. I checked out the most recently printed book available at my local library and began thinking about my sample review. And continued thinking about it for four months. I played around with openings and phrases, but it was impossible to actually commit anything to paper. …

Is This a Joke? By Pamela V. Cain

When the call came from a publisher, I thought it was a practical joke, someone pulling my leg on my birthday. The message slip said to call Chronicle Books in San Francisco. I dutifully called the 415-area code and was connected to an editor. "I was wondering if you would like to write a book for us, "said the woman from one of the top publishing houses in the West. "What?," I stammered. …

Should You Submit to Publishers? By James Robert Daniels

Lin and Larry Pardey told me that they were the first authors who fired their publisher. They're sailing through life, literally aboard their sailboat and in a literary way as successful authors and publishers. When I fired my own publisher, I learned a lot - the hard way. The book began under contract with an ebook publisher. Just what every author wants - to get published. Except that I didn't like my contract. …

Patience, Perseverance, and Pain by Dorothy Baughman

I started writing somewhere around 1966. My favorite authors were the mystery ladies, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney. I wonder if I could even come close, I said to myself. I had mysteries on the brain since my Nancy Drew days and had even had one started at 15, but marrying and having children put an end to writing for awhile. …

Placemats Aren’t Just For Dining! By Anika Logan

At the time that I was planning my Mexican themed summer bash this August, I was feeling very discouraged about my writing. The day before the party I stood in my kitchen, whipping up my famous nachos while my friend Mandy grated cheese for the recipe. Suddenly she left the kitchen and returned a few moments later with something behind her back. "I know you've been down in the dumps lately about your writing, Anika, so I thought with this party coming up you could use a little shameless promotion and some cheering up. So here it is!" …

Guilt-Free Freelancing: Four Years Later By Dawn Stanton

In January 2001, I took the plunge and decided to focus full-time on a freelance career. At the time, I felt guilty knowing I could live comfortably on my husband's income while I got my freelance business off the ground. Eventually, though, I realized my peace of mind depended on trying to freelance, even if my basic survival didn't. My story appeared as a Writersweekly.com's "Success Story" in August 2001. …

Christian Authors Guild Publishes 2nd Collaborative Book

In 2003, the Cherokee Christian Writers Group wrote and published Stepping Stones Across the Stream of Time, a collection of memoirs from the members. The purpose of the print on demand (POD) project was to not only produce inspiring and entertaining stories, but to also give new authors a chance to see their work in print. The press coverage given to their book was responsible for bringing a number of new writers into the group. The initial run of 350 books was sold out within two weeks, not only making the project self-supporting, but also adding to the organization's charity fund. …

How My Freelance Career Derailed and How a Sympathetic Editor Got it Back on Track By Martha Miller

My freelance career began about two and a half years ago after reading an article and deciding I could have written it better. It has been said writers need to have a little arrogance and I never thought I did until that moment. The story dragged. It was about shopping for a certain piece of furniture and it was illustrated with an unhappy-looking store clerk next to a dusty, empty bookshelf. The photo was as much of a turnoff as the article. …

A Break Can Revitalize Your Writing Career By Beth B. Hering

I have heard the advice time and time again that a successful writer must work on her craft each day. With the hope that I might be able to eek out a bit of a living in this profession, I dutifully followed this mantra when I began my freelancing career. At first, it was easy. I had years' worth of story ideas floating in my head and was eager to finally get them onto paper. A few early acceptances added fuel to my fire, and I couldn't wait to face the computer screen each morning. …

Swallow the Fear By Terri Pray

Taking the plunge into writing full time has been one of the hardest and yet easiest decisions of my life. In the last year I have gone from stumbling along to writing every day and submitting work at least three times a month. …

Success and the Great American Novel By Jena Ball

I've always loved words. As a child I was in danger of becoming a couch potato because my idea of fun was leaping headfirst into a book and staying there. I'd become so embroiled in the lives of the characters, that it was all my mother could do to get me to go outside and play. Looking back, I realize I truly believed that the physical world was just one of many. I fully expected to awaken one night and find Borrowers scurrying across the floor or a fairy twinkling over my bed. Thanks to the enchanting prose of C.S. Lewis, I also had great faith in the magical powers of furniture. …

It Never Hurts to Ask By Joe Dungan

As a relatively new freelance writer, all I can do is keep my eyes and ears open for new opportunities-and write, of course. Inspiration may have its own timetable, but information can be waiting to fall into your lap if you shake the right tree branch. …

Freelance Success Story By Lois Jean Riley

"You should consider being a writer." Famous words, I thought, trying for another slam dunk with the 24th crumbled re-write. Who ever said writing was easy? I shouldn't have listened. The teaching position certainly looked appealing right now. Teaching twenty-six students was a piece of cake compared to battling with pen and paper. …

Follow Your Muse. You May End Up Knee-Deep in Poop! By Gary D. Robson

I've tried pretty much everything in the writing business. I got my first check for a magazine article 22 years ago, and writing has been a slow, steady sideline ever since. I self-published two nonfiction books in the mid-90's. For my third book, I went with a trade association press. My fourth was a little thing (40 pages) put together for a local historical society. Not enough to make a living on, but they're bringing in enough money to make me realize it's possible to get there. …

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