Success Story

Success Breeds Success through WritersWeekly.com by Mary Cook

Certainly you may have my autograph - but no pictures, please! WritersWeekly.com brought me fame and a mailbox bursting with fan mail. Okay, there were eight e-mails, but when you consider that until then I'd only had two fan letters in my 15-year writing life, that was riches indeed. Andy Warhol predicted we would all have our 15 minutes of fame, but mine lasted almost a week. …

Going Back To School By Sandy Siegel

In the '90s, as my television career faded into the sunset, I started to think about switching writing gears. With no degree, experience or connections in other fields, I decided to go back to school, not to get a degree, but to use my college alumni association. …

Five Queries Per Week = Success By Lori Soard

It was in 1997, that I realized my love of writing could be turned into a career. I began to read everything I could get my hands on about writing for a living and it wasn't long before I ran across WritersWeekly.com Over the years, I've learned everything from How to Locate More Markets to Writing and Marketing Personal Essays. The variety and wealth of information definitely gave me a push in the right direction. …

The Writing Coach By Suzanne G. Beyer

"How to get published," read the course title in the community college brochure. At 57, I'd always loved writing but never considered selling my essays. I learned a lot from the course, but my publishing "career" would have to be put on hold. …

From Suits to Sweats: My Crooked Path to Freelancing By Donna Kozik

The Autobiography of Donna Kozik by Donna Kozik. It was my first work, written when I was about seven years old. It was complete with cover illustration, a Swingline stapler binding and thorough, albeit brief, storytelling. My mother thought it was the best thing she ever read. …

My Work Has Value By Damaria Senne

I recently moved into a new apartment and was working on my electronic equipment budget when it struck me that my freelance work had appreciated in value in the past 12 months. After drawing up a list of items I need to buy, I worked on finding the money required. A profile sold to Bona magazine would pay for the new video machine, while a career article sold to Cosmopolitan would pay for the microwave oven. A personal essay on single parenting would replace my old washing machine. The realization that each piece I write could potentially buy me a brand new piece of furniture was exhilarating. …

SOULEIADO–A Success Story By Tammy Banks

Sometimes a story just knocks on the door and invites itself in. That's the way it was with my time-travel novel, Souleiado. It wasn't the first novel I'd ever written: that distinction went to Houdini, a young-adult novel about a stray cat who makes good and whom late writer and activist Cleveland Amory was kind enough to call " a sweet, loyal soul. And a brave one, to boot" when he read it. No, Souleiado was the novel that demanded to be written -- the one that was born out of the grief and loneliness that followed my husband Tim's death in a car accident. …

When One Thing Leads to Another By Karen Y. Hogg

My first novel recently hit the bookstore shelves. Marie, The Lobster Queen is really not my book, but a book ghostwritten by me for a client who wanted to write her memoirs. She did, however, give me a Ghostwritten by on the inside pages. …

Keep Writing! By Rev. Dr. Steve Burt

In the eighties and nineties I published dozens of Christmas short stories in newspapers and in "little and literary" magazines. I didn't make much money, but I picked up many legitimate publishing credits. In 2000 I collected twelve of the stories into a self-published book, A Christmas Dozen: Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart. A backyard hit, it sold out its first printing of 1,000 in 40 days and 40 nights, then sold half the second printing of 3,000 in the next 20 days. By the end of a full year I had sold 8,000 and professionally recorded the audio book myself. …

Baby = Endless Article Ideas By Carrie Steinweg

From as far back as I can remember I have had two goals in my life: to become a mother and to become a writer. I've finally fulfilled both wishes and am ecstatic at being able to fulfill both roles simultaneously. …

How to Kick Start Your Freelance Career By Susan Miles

I must admit, I have never had dreams or lofty ambitions of being a writer. I have always been in awe of those who could write and their ability to inspire and motivate those who read their offerings. …

From Betting Shop Manager to Author of Eight Books! By Belinda Levez

In 1992, I was a UK betting shop manager and aspiring travel writer. With more experience in odds than words, I journeyed to the local library for knowledge. Fully educated in query letters, contracts, copyright and the prospect of rejection, I joined the local writer's group. It was run by novelist Elizabeth Lord who was very supportive and offered helpful criticism. Not everyone was so positive. My husband (now ex) derided the prospect of me being a writer. Undaunted I posted five query letters. My husband found it highly amusing when two rejections arrived. 'I told you so' he laughed. Then three commissions came and promptly wiped the smirk from his face. …

TWO PEOPLE BESIDES MY MOTHER RECOGNIZE MY BYLINE By Pat Hensler

After college I started submitting personal essays to freelance newspaper columns that receive anywhere from 200 to 500 entries a week. In one, I wrote about a relationship falling apart as if it were a divorce. Another was a tribute to my family doctor on his retirement. A couple of my articles were published, which gave me hope that I might have some talent. …

WONDER OF WONDERS By Johnnie Ann Gaskill

The Christmas my first book was being published, my younger daughter gave me a beautiful pen engraved, Johnnie Gaskill, Author. As I blinked back tears over the gift commemorating my arrival at that significant milepost, I realized I could never have reached that destination without the help of other writers. …

A LITTLE LUCK AND TALENT By Miss Humera Abdul Basith

I never knew that one day I would become a freelance writer, had it not been for my father's encouragement and belief in me. I was first published at the age of seven in a local children's magazine. It was a small poem, with my photograph published alongside it. …

WHAT 9/11 TAUGHT ME ABOUT MY FUTURE By John Peters

Here it is again, September. Like so many people I know Autumn is my favorite time of year. I remember the first real Fall-like day of 2001. The calendar said it was still summer, but driving to work that day the cool air, the crystal blue sky dotted with a few wispy clouds all said Fall was here. It was, as far as I was concerned, the first day of Autumn. …

OF MYSTERIES AND MILESTONES By Deborah Dee Simmons

The Mystery of Castle Dawn. That was it. That was the title of my first body of work; in fact, those five words WERE the body of work. They came to me one day, in a flash of literary brilliance, during my fourth grade year and I knew right then I wanted to be a writer. …

FOUR AREAS OF PERSEVERANCE By Kathryn Lay

For the last 14 years, I've followed my heart and written whenever possible and about anything that struck my fancy. But it wasn't until two years ago that I found the confidence, power, and opportunities that changed my writing income from less than $1500 a year with 60 sales to $12,000 a year part-time and 200 sales. …

THE KEY TO THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE By Ellen Neuborne

Two years ago, I quit a perfectly good editing job at BusinessWeek magazine to be a freelance writer. Why? To have more flexibility, to spend more time with my children, and to never, ever sit through a Friday staff meeting again. …

SELLING TO NEWSPAPERS By Sally Mesarosh

This morning I dashed down my driveway to get the morning paper. I'm not usually this excited to read the daily paper, but today's edition is especially thrilling for me because it contains my first paid article for a newspaper. …

HOW I BECAME A FREELANCER By Martha White

I was working for a handloom and yarn manufacturer, weaving, and writing promotional materials. I also did volunteer editorial work for a non-profit historic preservation group. One day I was under deadline, editing (heavily) a manuscript that a historian had been paid $40 an hour to write. The thought hit me -- I was pushing the wrong pencil. …

I DON’T GIVE IT AWAY By Nancy Robinson Masters

For more than a quarter of a century (yikes, that makes me sound old!) I've kept a small piece of paper I found on the floor of a motel restroom tacked to my writing room wall. These five words sum up how I've succeeded in supporting myself as a freelance writer: …

HAPPILY EVER AFTER By Chris Gavaler

I missed the phone call from my agent, but Lesley wrote down the information on a piece of paper and folded it into a ring box, the kind you hand a prospective fianc…

ROUNDABOUT WRITING SUCCESS By Eileen Coale

As a child, I was always writing. I wrote lots of stories, and the summer I was eight, I put together several issues of a neighborhood newspaper, which my father copied at work so I could distribute it to the neighbors. I still have a battered copy of one of the issues. …

THE SPIN DOCTOR IS IN By Susan Erling Martinez

Since the early eighties, I have been a fairly successful freelance public relations writer. My career began because my daughter, Amber, needed toe shoes. No kidding. It was 1984. At that time I was working as the director of a non-profit agency, writing a bit on the side, and trying to raise five children mainly on my first husband's meager teacher's salary. Money was always tight. …

WHERE THE BOXING TACO LED By Dena Dyer

A boxing taco. That's the subject of the first story I ever wrote, which I read to the other second grade students in Mrs. Moore's class at Morningside Elementary. Their laughter was like medicine to me, a shy and often frightened child. …