Since I took my recent editing gig at an Internet publication and e-commerce site I won’t name here, I’ve jumped into the hiring game headfirst. I put out a recent call for writers and as expected, I was flooded with responses.
Regular readers of this site may recall me complaining in my last Confessions entry about a good 50% of the replies, which are totally useless. I won’t be responding to any of them because of a simple inability to follow directions. I won’t even send a mean-spirited note to say, “Drop dead!”
A disturbingly large portion of the responses–with or without my automatic dismissal based on the above–also had shoddy grammar in the cover letter, and writing samples riddled with errors. Folks, here’s a FREE WRITING SECRET for you straight from the desk of yours truly; Continue reading Confessions of an Editor, Part Two
I’ve been testing the waters in a variety of unscientific ways to satisfy my curiosity about the freelance game in our current economic mess. Is freelance writing a viable career choice in the midst of all the talk of recession, foreclosures, layoffs and other woes?
For me, the answer is still yes. I am actually seeing growth in freelance opportunities in the right sectors, but it takes a lot of looking to find those gigs. There are startups investing money in new ventures even as I write this, and these companies are looking for YOU. They don’t have unlimited funds, but I can tell you from experience and some insider knowledge of current investment behavior that there will be many more writing gigs to come–but there are a few caveats. Want to peer into my crystal ball and see what I see for the future?
Continue reading Five Predictions for the Future of Freelancing
I have a very low threshold for B.S. in the writing game. One of my all-time pet peeves? For-pay services that actually deliver very little useful information. There are plenty of books, websites, and blogs offering products and services, but the signal-to-noise ratio makes investing in them a potentially risky proposition for the new writer. Want to cut through the crap and find the guides that actually have something to offer? Here are my top five strategies:
Continue reading Writer’s Market Guides: Top 5 Ways To Avoid Wasting Your Money
Kid Magazine Writers popped up on my editorial radar while searching for completely unrelated material. How it got into my search results is a mystery, but I am glad it did, as this is a great resource for anyone with such a specialized niche. From an outsider’s perspective, writing for kid magazines is fairly under-represented when it comes to writer’s resources; Kid Magazine Writers fills that gap nicely. Editor Jan Fields writes, “Most children’s magazine writers suffer from a bit of an inferiority complex. To borrow a metaphor from my Southern roots, we’re the redheaded stepchildren of the children’s writing world.”
Thanks to her work at KMW, Jan Fields goes a long way towards eliminating that feeling of inferiority. For most Freelance-Zone readers, the most valuable part of the site is the Editors Speak section where kid magazine editors explain what they’re looking for, how to submit, and what topics are hot at present. There’s also an excellent archive of these for you to explore. Great stuff. I don’t write for children’s magazines, but if I decide to take it up one day, Jan Fields and KMW will be my first stop on the research trail.
Deborah Ng’s FreelanceWritingGigs.com is one of our favorite resource sites. There is a good mix of traditional gigs with blogger opportunities, and the presentation is top notch. One of my personal compaints about some writer’s sites with job listings is inherent user-unfriendliness. Not so with FreelanceWritingGigs.com.
For new writers, this site is a treasure trove. Jennifer Chait’s “So What” should be required reading for anyone who presumes to put up a blog about…anything. I am also a big fan of “writer beware” articles, and the piece warning about a content site called Giant Wow made me about as happy as I can get without a “paid on acceptance” check involved.
As a full-time writer, I find FreelanceWritingGigs.com quite useful in a number of areas. Anyone who doesn’t scour a fellow writer’s links section is cheating themselves out of gigs and networking opportunities. It’s also the chance to meet new people in the same boat–all still waiting for paychecks due two months ago, hunting high and low for another chance to throw some words together for money and make them stick. Your friends might not understand your job, and your family may still think you’re on some kind of extended vacation, but your fellow writers understand.
If you aren’t familiar with this excellent resource, hop on over and get acquainted with FreelanceWritingGigs.com. Highly recommended.