July 04, 2012
One Submission Can Lead to Many Opportunities By Claudia Aragon | printable version
There's always been a lot of controversy regarding the right path to take when building a successful following and business as a freelance writer. Many of the writers I know won't submit to small presses because they feel they are a waste of time, and a dead end.
I myself sat on the fence teetering back and forth. I needed to build a resume', so in the beginning I made a decision to just get my work out there. I started by submitting between two and four articles or pieces a week and eventually submitted more than 21 a month. I'm not sure if it was sheer volume, but I was getting my work accepted by large and small presses and I was getting paid for my work.
My persistence paid off successfully in a truly unexpected way. After I contacted a local independent newspaper with a query, the editor printed my work and I was starting to get fan mail. I was told repeatedly by the editor that he liked my voice and I've been the featured writer for six cover stories, and had two additional stories in his paper as well. My real success, however, began after my second cover story ran in his paper. On the day my article came out, three separate individuals contacted the editor and asked if he thought I would be interested in writing their memoirs. I met with all three gentlemen and I have been ghostwriting the family history of a local businessman for almost two years. Once we plug in the photos we'll be ready to go to print. The other two men, local businessmen also, are waiting in the wings for me to begin ghostwriting their stories.
Last August, I also took on the additional job of editing and typing another individual's handwritten novel. He heard about my ghostwriting and contacted me. Thanks to that original cold call and query, I have had the good fortune to make a living doing what I love. I still send out between two and five submissions a week, and I currently have four more people waiting in the wings for me to do their stories. Many times a submission to one publication can create an unexpected opportunity somewhere else.
Claudia lives in California with her husband and daughter. She has been published in business newsletters for G.S. Parsons, Home Savings of America, Frazee Industries and Dixieline Lumber. Her writing has also appeared in"The San Diego Reader" magazine, "The Paper" and "The Sacramento, Chico and Reno News and Review" independent newspapers, as well as "Adventures for the Average Woman", "Tough Lit", "Ideagems" and "Green Prints" magazines. She has also had articles featured in "The Poway Patch" an online newspaper. She is a contributing editor to the "Ideagems" and "Tough Lit" magazines. Claudia has finished writing two fantasy novels and is currently working on an adaptation of Frankenstein and has two poetry chapbooks. She is ghost writing the family history of a well known resident in her area and is doing the typing and editing for another individual's novel. She loves writing poetry and is inspired to write every day.
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WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION: ADVICE FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
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