Success Story

GETTING PUBLISHED WITHOUT SUBMITTING By Wendy Burt

My freelance writing career began with a poem that I never submitted. My father (also a writer) had sent it in on my behalf when I was 24. The interesting thing was, it was a poem I wrote at age 16. When the acceptance letter arrived, I thought, "Wow! If I can get something published that I wrote at age 16, what could I do now?" …

RECIPE FOR FREELANCE SUCCESS: KEEP THE BEANS, FORGET THE MONKEYS By Elizabeth Bartlett

When I quit my day job two years ago to jump into the perilous pool of freelance writing, my co-workers gave me retirement cards. Little did they know how many 50- and 60-hour weeks I would spend at the keyboard, searching for markets and taking on-spec assignments. I had no idea, either, which explains why I was so excited at the prospect of making a living as a writer. …

APRIL SHOWERS By Shaunna Privratsky

When it rains, it pours. My first taste of success happened a year ago, in April 2001. My essay "The Silk Robe" won in the 2001 National Literature Competition sponsored by American Mothers, Inc. The essay about my Mom placed first in North Dakota and second at the National level. Seven months later, my booklet "The Silk Robe" was published. …

BACKING INTO WRITING By Yvonne Scott

I've only written one query letter in my life. Never got so much as a form letter response. I've never written a manuscript proposal or created an outline for anything. Yet, I'm a writer. It's in my blood and in my dreams. The fuel was there and fear kept me from igniting it until this winter. …

YOUNG CHILDREN AND FREELANCING: CAN THE TWO MIX? By Shanna Bartlett Groves

I didn't think so two years ago before I had my son, Weston. The office environment suited me well. I was working for a women's organization and writing for its magazine. There were weekly planning meetings, phone interviews and research projects to occupy five days a week. …

DEVELOP MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES TO CURE WRITER’S BLOCK By Barbara L. Workman

Starting in the second grade when I learned how to print, I loved writing. To take the ideas from my head and put them on paper excited me. Whether it was keeping a diary or writing long newsy letters to Grandma, I loved it. But as I got older things changed. We've all had the naysayers in our lives. Teachers, family members, and an ex-spouse all dismissed my writing as a waste of my time. …

YEARS OF HARD WORK PAY OFF! By Diane Schmidt

I've been a writer at heart since the age of 10. My love of writing led me to major in Journalism. After graduation, I worked in marketing and graphic design. I was happiest when I was writing, but the positions I held were not writing-focused. In order to break into the writing field, I decided I had to do something different. …

Someone Moved the Goal Posts By Elaine Ingalls Hogg

It was a private dream and I'd had it since childhood. Over the years several friends encouraged me to pursue it. Their words watered the seed, dormant for so many years but there were still a number of obstacles to overcome. Perhaps the main one was my lack of conviction that the dream was really attainable. I had no trouble encouraging my friends to believe their dreams would come true but I did have a problem believing in mine. …

It’s Not What You Know – Not Now, At Least By Damien Roohr

Writers are steadily admonished: Write what you know! Well, I don't know about you, but I know a lot, and much of it, okay, most of it, would not go any further along the transom than the nearest circular file. After all, who wants to read that trash pickup in my neighborhood is Wednesday mornings? Or, what editor would buy a piece about replacing household light bulbs? …

I’m a Writer, Thanks to a Brain Tumor: PART II!! By Bill Asenjo

Curious about freelance writing courses offered at our community college, I called someone teaching an essay-writing course and mentioned that I was a freelance writer. He urged me to contact the community college. Encouraged, I also approached my local community center. Bear in mind, I'm in Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa's internationally-acclaimed Writers Workshop. Yet after receiving a surprisingly warm welcome, I began teaching freelance writing courses for both. …

Versatility is Essential When You’re An Expert on Nothing By Mary Cook

I first met success while staring down the twin barrels of poverty and debt. My husband and I were going through a bad patch financially. Actually, "patch" doesn't begin to describe this encumbrance the size of Asia. And our rented house in rural England had all the conveniences of the average garden shed. …

The Write Stuff By Darlene Ryan

One of my favorite movies is the Billy Crystal/Danny Devito comedy, Throw Momma from the Train. In it Crystal's character, a creative writing teacher, gives what I still consider is the best piece of writing advice, "A writer writes." …

A Writing Career Made From Dinner By Christi Gillentine

Long before I began my writing career, I was dreaming of it. Like most closet writers just starting out I worked full time while writing and submitted pieces to magazines in between the cracks of my busy life. My big plan was to build a writing career around published clips. Only problem seemed to be that I was rejected many times more than published. Truth be told, three years into my fledging career, my clips were still embarrassingly minuscule. I can hardly say I had a portfolio. My failure to become a published writer steamed from writing about things I really didn't know. In the beginning, I would write about any subject if I thought I had a chance of getting published. What I should have been writing was on subjects I was passionate about, those things that lit me up inside, even if they were simple. …

SERENDIPITY STRIKES, BRINGS BACK WRITER’S PAST By Carolyn Campbell

My writing serendipity started when I was sick in bed at age seven. My Dad handed me a book with a spine that said Random House. "A publisher created this wonderful book for you," Dad said. An electric sensation filled me. The idea of writing a book seemed magical. …

Trading In On Success By Rachel Singer Gordon

Like many aspiring writers, I knew I wanted to be "an author" since I first learned that the ABCs, put together in just the right order, could form words. Like many aspiring writers, I allowed real life, self-doubt, and practicality to win out over that dream, and pursued varying careers in academia and librarianship. It is this last career that has allowed me to come full circle and again pursue the idea of being a writer. …

WRITING FOR THE CRAFT MARKET By Annie Mayne

Twelve years ago, I needed a change of lifestyle, as my blood pressure was sky high and I felt I was headed for a breakdown. I had worked for twenty five years in law firms and in international banking. Little did I know that I would never return to a regular workplace. …

Old Dogs, New Tricks: It Can Work! By Julius Debuschewitz

My love for writing was established early in life. When I was growing up, my parents did not own a TV. Newspapers and radios were relied upon for news, while reading was the main form of entertainment. …

Freelance Success Story By Karen Johnson Zurheide

As an author of two books for parents and dozens of magazine pieces in over 20 different publications, plus spiritual lessons for adults and greeting card copy, I am here to testify that most of the advice put forth in books and websites for writers--like WritersWeekly.com, for instance--is true and well worth following. Here are two standard recommendations that have helped me to dramatically increase my publishing success rate in periodicals in recent months: …

I Had An Oprah Moment by C.S. Paquin

I recently had an Oprah moment. After my fair share of reporting on county-board ditch discussions, interviewing CEOs and staying up all night because I had an article deadline and I'd left it till the last minute AGAIN, I realized I don't LIKE reporting, or interviewing, or querying markets with half-hearted ideas. At age 33, my nasty habit of letting life get in the way of self-discipline was always going to be a bad habit, unless I wrote what I felt passionate about -- unless I found my niche. …

I Found My Dream Job By Jim Howard

I found my dream job recently, I am a freelance writer who has been legally blind since birth; that is, I have one-tenth normal vision after correction by refractive lenses. …

BUCKING THE ADVICE OF OTHERS TO SEE “WRITER” ON MY W-4 by Tracy Powell

Pursuing one's proclivity early in life is an important career move, particularly in the word industry. Here's the story of a kid who bucked the advice of family and high school teachers, all who encouraged putting pen to paper, to strive for the big bucks a business degree offered. The consequence: no degree at all and 12 years in restaurant management, and a burning desire to see "Writer" on each of those year's W-4s. …

Breadcrumbs of Passion Can Put Food on the Table by Brad Swift

In 1995 I attended a retreat to explore the spiritual laws of prosperity, where I learned that everyone has a divine life purpose. Returning home, I knew that part of my own life purpose was to assist others in identifying and living true to theirs. I decided to follow that breadcrumb of purpose and passion to see where it would take me. …

HOW ONE PRINT ON DEMAND BOOK LANDED IN 58 BOOKSTORES! by Ken Kinnett

Bottom is not the place to be on the learning curve, but that's where I found myself. I'm betting you've experienced it, too - unless you're famous and have a giant publisher. This is how I've made progress in marketing my wife, Loyd Kinnett's book, Beyond the Affair: The Healing of a Marriage. Loyd and I are strongly motivated by our intention to have as many people as possible know there is an alternative to separation and divorce in the face of betrayal. In this case it was me, but it is just as likely the wife - fifty percent of all marriages are affected by infidelity. We also hope the book will build Loyd's personal coaching practice and our relationship skills workshops for couples - both of which we love doing. …

To Catch a “Z” By Loralei Walker

Sleepless days, sleepless nights. As my eyes try to focus on the screen, my head keeps telling me "Just one more little thing," The only Z's for me are in the word "e-zine." …

Tuning In by Pauline Gauthier

I have kept most of my writings. Even stories I wrote over ten years ago. "Your Missal" (as in prayer book, not rocket ship) was special to me. It was a tribute to my late father and was accepted for an anthology entitled "Gifts of the Fathers." But, at the last minute the editor made some cuts and "Your Missal" was discarded. …

When I Grow Up by Carol Sjostrom Miller

When my daughter, Stephanie, was 2 1/2, she started thinking about her future. One day, she told me she wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up. The next day, it was a chef. Later, a ballerina. And I always said the same thing: "You can be anything you want to be." …

A Psychic Told Me I’d Be A Writer by K. Marie O’Brien

First of all, I don't spend a lot of time going to psychics; in fact I've only been to one once. Secondly, I'm not sure the psychic's prediction was a deciding factor in my fate, but it's always interested me nonetheless. …

Freelance Success Story By Eva Marie

"Everyone wants to write fiction," author and speaker Ace Collins said to me during a phone conversation. "How is it that you get to so quickly in your writing career?" …

Freelance Success Story By Linda Oatman High

"When a man can observe himself suffering and is able, later, to describe what he's gone through, it means he was born for literature." A writer named Edouard Bourdet said that in 1927. Many years later, those words still speak to this writer's soul. …