Articles

Give Kids a Helping Hand with History By Natalie Hale

Kids and history often don't mix, especially when it comes to getting history into their heads. But that doesn't have to be. Though it may surprise most parents and teachers, kids actually do like history. …

Writing Newsletter Articles For or About Children By Natalie Hale

There are many advantages to writing with children in mind. For one, they and those who assist them, are often seeking advice. Parents, especially of young children, are usually very inexperienced when it comes to caring for a family. What should they look for in a good family doctor? What activities, books, magazines, or music will best entertain and educate the very young? And where can potential writers of children's fiction go to get help honing their talent to meet the needs of grade-schoolers? …

Naming Your Baby: How to Choose a Selling Title By Carolyn Campbell

Your book title is very important. It encapsulates the essence of your book in just a few words. Like choosing a name for your child, selecting a title for your book is a critical decision. Just as your child is known by his name for a lifetime, your book will be known by its title for its entire publishing history. Even before you sell your book, its future title can help attract the interest of a literary agent or publisher when you include it in query letters. It will also appear on the first page of your book proposal. It's never too soon to start creating a possible title for your book. …

Reaching the Homeschooling Market By Margie Sims

When our family relocated from Tennessee to Vermont, I was confident I could keep landing assignments from my southern editors. I wasn't so sure, however, if I could successfully continue teaching creative writing to homeschoolers-something I had been enjoying for five years. By asking myself the 5 W's and the H, I found answers that not only satisfied my itch to teach, but also met a legitimate need in my new community. …

Fill your Mailbox with Checks from Fillers! By Debbie Swanson

One day last year, I had an hour left of writing time but wasn't getting anywhere. Instead, I spent about 20 minutes jotting down a 'reader tip' I'd had inside my head. Without further thought, I mailed it to a magazine I frequently read, and called it a day. Several months later, I was surprised by a call from the magazine saying they'd like to print it, and soon received a check for $75. Not bad for 20 minutes of work on a dry day. …

Getting Taken by Bogus “Editing Tests” By Ingrid Schaefer Sprague

Instead of my resume and clips, I should market this description for freelance work. In spite of my credentials and experience, or should I say because of it, I have been "taken" again by another bogus editing test. Although I am not a novice (with over 13 years of experience), I am still amazed that I get scammed by this old trick after watching for all apparent signs. …

How to Spot a Risky Freelance Job By David H. Levin and Angela Hoy

Any business might occasionally take on contracts that it later regrets having accepted. Other companies may offer too-good-to-be-true terms in the hopes of obtaining free labor. Avoiding these risky "opportunities" is a challenge, especially for the freelancer. The following warning signs should make you think twice about pursuing a particular freelance assignment. …

Grow Your Writing: Eight Gardening Markets By Kelly Kyrik

For most gardeners, winter is the time to pore over seed catalogs and plot (figuratively, at least) next year's garden. It's a time to both assess the past and plan for the future. Writing gardeners can do the same. Since it's too cold in many parts of the country to be outside playing in the dirt, now is the perfect time to dig up new writer's guidelines and craft succulent queries. And assignments landed now will lead to articles published during the all important sowing, growing and harvesting seasons, when any gardener worth his or her salt would rather be outside, anyway. …

When To Fire Your Editor By Barbra Annino

Most seasoned freelancers know the rules on keeping an editor happy. Read the guidelines, never exceed the word count, Meet deadlines and go the extra mile. But what if you do all that and you still get treated like something that stuck to her shoe? Then it's time to fire your editor. …

Files, Piles And Stacks…. Get Organized for 2005 By Julie Hood

Does your filing system consist of random piles scattered throughout your home? Do you waste too much time looking for that lost idea or the missing interview notes? Do you have markets and guidelines in a stack on the edge of your desk, a few more bookmarked in your favorites and still others saved in Outlook? …

The Write Website: Give Yourself An Edge With Your Own Site By Kelly Kyrik

You've done your research, lined up your contacts and written a killer query. You know you're the perfect person to write this particular article and you have faith that your targeted editor will know that, too; after all, you've got the clips to prove it. But wait, before you hit that "Send" button, thus rocketing your pitch into cyberspace and onto your editor's virtual desk, think for a minute about presentation. Are those precious clips easily accessible or are they spread all over the Internet; two on one site, one on another and three on a site that no longer exists? Editors are far too busy to go scavenging the net looking for proof of a writer's professionalism. The edge will go to the freelancer who can provide such evidence at the click of a mouse, and one of the best ways to do that is via your own website. …

Add to Your Income by Covering Conferences and Trade Shows By John K. Borchardt

Many professional groups and industry trade associations hold conventions and trade shows. These can be huge events, such as the annual International Home Builders Show with an attendance of 92,000, or much smaller groups numbering in the dozens. While big conferences are held by necessity in major cities, smaller groups often meet in cities of less than 100,000 in population. So, whether you live in a large or small city, you can add to your writing income by covering conventions and trade shows for newspapers, magazines or websites. …

Reviewing Your Ideas – Just Keep Stirring By William Meikle

Reviewing Your Ideas – Just Keep Stirring By William Meikle

Let's talk about ideas. Ideas exist in a soup in your brain, and like all good soups, ideas need time to stew. The trick is to keep stirring. As the idea churns around in what passes for your creative capacity, you should periodically review it and ask yourself some questions. …

Shyness-Busters By C. Hope Clark

If you're a shy writer, you should know that shyness is who you are, as much a part of you as eye color and lobed ears. Learn to incorporate it into your writing world. Learn how to recognize your limitations and your abilities and define your ills and your cures. …

Always, Always, Always Ask For More Money By Melanie Bowden

Many writers are so afraid of rejection that they jump at whatever fee an editor offers. Don't do it! Writers are notorious for not getting paid what they deserve, especially when they are first starting out. We need to think more like my therapist, who advises, "Honor the work you do." His weekly therapy bill also motivates me to ask for more for my writing work. Whatever your motivation, stand up for the work you do and make more money. …

Fiction Online: Eight Paying Markets By Erika Dreifus

How often do you find yourself reading through the posts of an Internet writing board only to be caught in a series of complaints? We writers sure can write, but sometimes our focus doesn't seem all that - how can I say this delicately? - productive. …

Reality Check on Publishers’ Dismal Marketing Efforts By M.J Rose

It's a sad but true fact. Authors need to learn some marketing basics because publishing houses don't do enough PR for all but their biggest or hottest books. Last week, one of the students in our Create a Buzz Plan class and I had a half hour phone call (which is offered to all Buzz students now) to do some more brainstorming. During the call he told me what was going on with his book. He'd landed a traditional contract and received a $175K advance. But, his publisher was doing nothing to get the word out. Absolutely nothing. …

Using Jobseeker Techniques To Sell Your Writing By Gail Kavanagh

Recently I sat in on a self marketing seminar for young jobseekers. Traditional methods of looking for work are out of favor, and the seminar leader drew up a graph to show why - only 20% of available jobs are advertised, he said. What the jobseeker should be concentrating on are the 80% that aren't advertised. …

Finding Freelance Jobs in Technical Writing By Debbie Swanson

echnical Writing is a profitable and challenging way to employ your writing skills. Software, hardware, and manufacturing companies will always need good Technical Writers to create clear, user-friendly documentation. Just how does the freelancer locate Technical Writing jobs? Here are five creative ways. …

Let’s Get Personal: Six Paying Markets For Your Personal Essays By Erika Dreifus

Not long ago, I was teaching an evening course at a local adult education center. About halfway through the session, one student posed a question. "This may be off-topic," she began. And she wasn't altogether incorrect about that. But it was a good question. It was one I'd heard before, and thought about from time to time myself, and it remained with me long after our class had ended. …

Ten Ways to Get Your Money from Deadbeat Editors By Anita Biase

It goes like this: I open the door, look both ways and sprint for the mailbox in my footie pajamas (much to the delight of my neighbors). I reach up eagerly and open the cubicle, and pull out a handful of circulars and bills. It's happened to all of us. You need to pay the light bill, upgrade your PC, and take your child to the orthodontist. You eagerly track the mailman's progress and search your mailbox diligently. The promised check didn't come and it doesn't come the next day or the day after that either. You contact the editor rather humbly and ask him to check and be sure the money was mailed to the correct address. He either doesn't answer your communications, or he makes a really flimsy excuse and mumbles those famous words, "It's in the mail." …

Offering Your Writing Services as a Writing Tutor: How One Aspiring Children’s Book Author Solved the Steady Paycheck Dilemma By Mindy Hardwick

Offering Your Writing Services as a Writing Tutor: How One Aspiring Children’s Book Author Solved the Steady Paycheck Dilemma By Mindy Hardwick

Last spring, I gave up an eight year teaching career to pursue a career in writing for children. I knew that working as a teacher left no energy for writing. However, my writing career wasn't paying a stable income. I didn't have books that were paying advances or royalties, and I needed to be involved with children in order to capture their voices on the page. How did I solve the problem of generating a stable income, maintaining contact with children, and having the energy to write stories? I became a writing tutor. …

Nature Writing – A Call From Home By Jena Ball

Nature has been calling to writers for centuries, first as a compelling mystery with spiritual overtones, and later as the subject of scientific investigation and study. But nature writing as we know it today - that is a body of literature that incorporates both factual data and an author's personal responses to and reflections on the natural world - is a relatively recent phenomenon. The reason is simple. Until human beings made the conscious choice to set themselves apart, to create whole communities in which they sought to control everything about their environment, from the kinds and numbers of plants and animals to the temperature of the air, there was no sense of separation; no need to be reminded that we are not masters of our world, but just one of the many interconnected and interdependent filaments in an immensely complex web of life. …

How to Successfully Query Your Sitcom Spec Scripts Over the Phone By Brad Manzo

How to Successfully Query Your Sitcom Spec Scripts Over the Phone By Brad Manzo

Breaking into sitcom writing is a daunting task. As Mort Scharfman, the Director of Development at Epigram Studios and former staff writer for shows such as All in the Family and Too Close for Comfort put it, "The only key to the Hollywood door is three things: submit, submit, submit." However, submitting isn't as easy as it sounds. Before you can submit a spec script to an agent, you must get permission from the agency. Agents almost never read unsolicited submissions. …

To Pay or Not to Pay…Fellow Writers By A Struggling Freelance Writer

With keen interest I read a letter written to Angela Hoy from a fledgling newsletter editor unable to pay column writers. Angela nicely but firmly advised the editor to think twice about that no-pay policy. She warned the novice that the seasoned and veteran writers would flame viciously and ruin the editor's reputation. Not so. Writers write for free all the time and no one seems to care. Writers even write for other writers without the respect of a paycheck. What I've learned as a writer who likes to write articles about writing, is that writers are some of the worse paymasters in the world. And for some reason that depresses me. …

Great Opportunity? No! By Ellen Scolnic

An experienced writer knows how to ask the right questions. Not just "Is your new movie a comedy, Mr. Hanks?" But questions like: "Do you pay on acceptance or when the article is published?" or "How long to you estimate interviewing the participants will take?" and "Is this contract for one-time only publication rights?" …

Protect Your Profession By Reporting Bad Publishers By Justin Ulmer

Like many other writers trying to make it in the world, most of us have had an unfortunate experience in the publishing industry. With the incredible number of publishers out there who are ready and willing to make your dreams come true (or take advantage of you), what can you do to help prevent your next contract from becoming a nightmare? …

1 19 20 21 22 23 26