Tag Archives: mike o’mary

Last call for Travel Stories — Other Opportunities to Publish Creative Nonfiction

by Mike O’Mary

DOT logo large copyDream of Things has issued a last call for submissions of stories for a travel anthology to be published later this year. Stories can be humorous or serious. The deadline is October 15, 2011.For details about the type of story we want, see the Dream of Things workshop page. For more details about the travel anthology, click HERE. You can also read excerpts from Saying Goodbye, our first anthology, by clicking HERE.

I started Dream of Things two years ago to publish anthologies of creative nonfiction that are “short and deep” — somewhere between the Chicken Soup series and Best American Essays. In addition to the travel anthology, Dream of Things is accepting submissions for anthologies on the following topics: Holiday Stories, Coffee Shop Stories, Stories of Forgiveness, Stories About Great Teachers, Advice and Making Waves/Role Models. For more information, click HERE.

Publishing Syndicate copyBe sure to check out publishing opportunities with Publishing Syndicate, too. The owners of Publishing Syndicate are real pros. Dahlynn and Ken McKowen have lengthy resumes when it comes to writing, ghostwriting, editing services and publishing. In fact, Dahlynn was coauthor of several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and series creators Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen called her “one of their most trusted coauthors.” So Dahlynn knows anthologies. Dahlynn and Ken have launched a new series of personal nonfiction called “Not Your Mother’s Book,” and they are accepting submission on 25 topics! To learn more about the “Not Your Mother’s Book” series and other Publishing Syndicate projects, click HERE.

What Writing Blogs Do You Read?

freelance-zone com business cards side one (10)

by Catherine L. Tully

Here’s the chance to promote a writing blog that you love, one that you write–or one that you have just recently discovered. I’m putting a call out here for people to check in and list some of the writing blogs that they keep up with. What are your faves?

Blogs about freelance writing, fiction, non-fiction and any others that deal with writing are welcome. From time-to-time I like to go out there and try and find something new on the web. Some writer’s blog that I haven’t seen yet. And I’m hoping you can help direct me to some of them…

So with that in mind, let’s start a big list here in the comments section, shall we? Who are you reading these days? What sites do you find offer the most helpful advice about writing as a career? There are so many out there–I know I haven’t come across them all! Here are a few that I check in with on a regular basis: Continue reading

Finding Meaning and Fulfillment — as a Writer, and as a Human Being

commencement_bannerby Mike O’Mary

This week, I want to share a commencement address. This is one of those things that should be passed around on the Internet until EVERYBODY has read it. Or at least until every writer has read it. It’s intended as advice for young people who are just graduating from school, but it’s full of wisdom for people of all ages. And it contains especially good advice for writers. Here’s a sample:

“It’s not the privilege of anyone, writer or not, to peak out or burn out or drop out before he or she has given back to this world.  So I’ll say right now that you will not fulfill your life until you find out what it is you have to give to the people around you, and have given it, and they’ve accepted it in some way. It may take years to find out what you have to give, and more years to turn it into something acceptable, but if you’re making the lives of the people around you better and happier, you’re going in the right direction.  If you’re making their lives worse and more miserable, stop and turn around.”

That’s a quote from a graduation speech that my friend, John Rember, delivered last year — and it’s just a sampling of the wisdom you’ll find in his commencement address. It’s one of the best pieces of writing I’ve read in recent years.

To read the whole speech, click HERE. After you read it, pass it on to a young person. Or to an old person. Or to anybody who is striving to live a meaningful life. They’ll thank you for it.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things, a book publisher and online book store, and of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring 1 million people to write notes of appreciation. (Photo courtesy of Knox College)

How to Get 5,000 (or even 50,000) Followers on Twitter

by Mike O’Mary

logo_twitter_withbird_1000_allblue copyOver the last few months, FZ has featured some very helpful and insightful posts about social media in general and about Twitter in particular. If you missed them the first time around, be sure to check them out now:

Today, I’d like to add to the conversation, not by sharing my own (very limited) knowledge, but by introducing you to Lynn Serafinn, a real expert when it comes to Twitter, social media and online marketing.

iStock_000005894033XSmallWith Lynn’s help, I went from no Twitter account nine months ago to 5,600 followers for @TheNoteProject on Twitter today. Lynn herself has 50,000 followers across four Twitter accounts.

What good is 5,600 followers on Twitter? It’s been very important to me. My goal was to spread the word about the Note Project, a campaign to inspire people to write more notes of appreciation. My contacts on Twitter led to media interviews, posts and guest posts on various blogs and websites, and free gifts to Note Project participants by people and organizations that support the Note Project. In fact, more than half of the Note Project’s 50 sponsors came via contacts on Twitter.

What is the secret to Lynn’s success? It’s not as difficult as you think – and fortunately for us, Lynn recently shared all of her secrets in a three-part series on her Spirit Authors website. Click below to read all three segments – and start building up your community on Twitter today.

“10 Tips to Get Followers on Twitter and Why You Should” by Lynn Serafinn

Mike O’Mary is founder of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring 1 million people to write notes of appreciation, and of Dream of Things, a book publisher and online book store.

$140,000 Per Year on Elance.com?

by Mike O’Mary

Will work for food iStock_000004304868LargeI’m curious…do any members of the Freelance-Zone.com community have experience using Elance.com to get jobs? If so, how did it go for you as a freelancer?

I ask because I’ve used Elance.com as a client, and I have mixed feelings about it. A while back, I mentioned to someone that I needed help from a graphic designer and a proofreader, but that I was on a tight budget. My friend suggested Elance.com. So I gave it a try and posted a couple of jobs.

As a client, I was pleased with the results. I got bids from graphic designers and proofreaders from all over the world. And the prices reflected the global nature of the competition. In fact, some prices were so low I couldn’t believe it.

In the end, I didn’t go with the lowest bidder. Nor did I go with an overseas bidder, although there were many. I went with U.S. providers, partly because of my comfort level, but also because I found that I could hire a U.S. freelancer and still spend way less than I had anticipated. In fact, at the end of the graphic design job, I gave the designer a bonus because I couldn’t believe how much work she did for the price she had quoted me. And that’s where my mixed feelings come in… Continue reading

Speechwriting Skills

by Mike O’Mary

“I got skills… You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills…” — Napoleon Dynamite

ninjaI feel like a hypocrite. I am looking to hire a speechwriter. One of the requirements is that the speechwriter also have PowerPoint skills.

I feel like a hypocrite because if you have a good speech, you don’t need a PowerPoint presentation to go with it. But the requirement for PowerPoint skills stands nonetheless.

Let me get the self-serving part of this post out of the way: if you are a good speechwriter in the Chicago area with good PowerPoint skills, or if you know a good speechwriter in the Chicago area with good PowerPoint skills, please contact me via my personal e-mail address, which is mike at michaelomary dot com. Thanks.

Back to the requirement for PowerPoint skills…

Why does a speechwriter need to know PowerPoint? Because people expect it. My day job is writing executive communications for a Fortune 300 company. A recent audit showed that we produce about 120 “executive communications” a year for the company’s top two executives. Sometimes the ”communication” is a relatively simple e-mail announcement to employees. But other times (about 40 times a year, in fact), the communication is a speech or a presentation.

More and more, we’ve been moving toward speeches rather than presentations. But most keynote addresses still come with the expectation that they will include a PowerPoint presentation. I think that’s just a fact of life for the foreseeable future. Still, I’m looking for a good speechwriter because my hope is that some day, if the speeches are consistently good enough, our speakers will get to the point where they feel so good about their speeches that they won’t want a PowerPoint presentation — because it will detract from their marvelous speech.

But until that day comes, best to keep up-t0-date on your skills…you know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills…and PowerPoint skills.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things and of the Note Project. He is also responsible for executive communications at Discover Financial Services.