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Old 03-18-09, 05:36 PM
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Any freelance writers here?

Recently, I've been considering the idea of being a freelance writer. One reason being that I can build up a professional portfolio and make some extra money over the summer as I work for a university newspaper.

What I want to know is the following:

1. Going about contacting newspapers and magazines for example.

2. What is reasonable in terms of payment.

3. Some decent websites that can help me out.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-18-09, 06:56 PM
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Re: Any freelance writers here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianfranco Zola View Post
Recently, I've been considering the idea of being a freelance writer. One reason being that I can build up a professional portfolio and make some extra money over the summer as I work for a university newspaper.

What I want to know is the following:

1. Going about contacting newspapers and magazines for example.

2. What is reasonable in terms of payment.

3. Some decent websites that can help me out.

Thanks in advance.
Hey there

Im not a freelance writer but a full time journalist (working in a 9 - 5 reporter job in London). its a great job and very ADHD friendly, as your work changes constantly and if you write news like I do the articles are short and snappy!

if you want to go freelance i would send in my portfolio (if you have one, or a sample of your work) along with a good letter that is concise and to the point, (and addressed to the right person, so they know bothered to find out the name of the editor) and preferably an idea that would really suit their magazine/ paper so hone it specifically to a particular section thats already there - maybe even do a mock up.

then call up the person you sent it to and speak to them a few days later. Enthusiasm is something highly regarded in journalism. website to check is www.journalism.co.uk for tips


You have to have a burning hunger to make it, and if i can with adhd, anyone can.

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Old 03-18-09, 08:15 PM
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Re: Any freelance writers here?

One of the most comprehensive resources I know of is Writer's Market.

They publish a 2-3" thick book on a yearly basis. Get yourself a copy if you can find one. I just pulled mine from the shelf from 2003 and the list price was $29.99. Even an old copy (like from 2003) is full of current resources. If finances are tight, look for one at a used book store, etc.

Writer's Market also has a website (google it!) but I don't have any experience using any of the services or tools there.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 03-21-09, 04:02 AM
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Re: Any freelance writers here?

I went to a local writer's group meeting once and the lady giving a presentation on magazine article writing seemed to have pretty good qualifications for speaking.

Here are some things she told us, that I can remember...

1. Go and read copies of the magazines, newspapers, etc. that you want to send your articles or ideas to.
Get a feel for the type of articles and the style of writing they seem to favor. Try and understand who their audience is and how you would write to that audience.

2. Get yourself a copy of the Writer's Market and make sure it is current.
You are looking for the names of the editors in your target magazines who will be dealing with your submissions. If it's a magazine like one of those Ladie's mags... they may have several editors each dealing with a separate topic such as fashion... makeup/beauty... weight loss... or whatever.
The book will also provide some information about their submission guidelines.. I think. I haven't seen one in years.
But I do know that some publishers do have websites where you can get all the specifics concerning submissions... it's worth the search, because if you do it wrong... your submission is probably going away never to be considered.

I understand editors have little time to read through every submission thoroughly, especially if the content is not the way they want it submitted.
They read through the stuff that is submitted correctly, and has something that piques their interest.

This is the person you are supposed to submit your stuff to.

3. Write a piece for submission, or formulate the idea and get an outline written up so you know....
- what you are really going to write about
- where your information is coming from... resources, experts...
- possible photography in support of your article (although the magazine may decide to deal with that on their own, especially if you are not able to take photographs to the specs they desire)

4. Figure out what time of the year, or special event, your article mates best with. If you are writing about something happening in April 2009... you are most likely already too late to submit.
If you can find out their lead time for articles, you will be able to submit timely pieces.

5. This next one I am trying to remember exactly what she said...
You want to introduce yourself, but I can't remember how much is good, how much is too much.
You don't necessarily need to submit a whole article, especially if you are submitting an idea far enough ahead of time that you can write the piece after they have accepted your idea.
Send a cover letter, and a short summary of the proposed article.
You will be showing them your idea, but also your writing ability to some extent.

6. Make a choice whether you are going to submit this article to more than one magazine.
I think the speaker told us it was not generally a good idea to submit to several places at the same time... but if you did, or were planning on it... you were to include that in your initial correspondence.

They may want first rights to the article, but you can also request that they respond by a certain date, and if they do not use your piece, you have the right to submit it elsewhere.

Maybe that was... if they accept it, you have a clause in there somewhere that if they do not publish it by a certain date, they release all claims to it so you can submit it to other publishers.

You can start out writing for small outfits and small quarterly magazines/newspapers that target the general population... stuff like GRIT newspaper and the like.
This will help build up your portfolio, although you do want to try and get better known outfits in your portfolio for a better impression.

7. Decide whether you are going to use your own name or a pen name.
The speaker I heard, said sometimes she wrote under a name that she felt would lend a bit more 'authority' to her article...

I tried it once... got rejected... and haven't tried it again, not because of the rejection though.. just because I went off on some other new idea

I keep coming up with new ideas for articles and someday maybe I'll start writing and submitting again.

Good Luck to you!

oh... and what I wrote above... remember, this is just what I got from that one writer's meeting.
I have no idea if these are the best tips for freelance writing.
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I have no 'deficit' of attention... I pay attention to TOO many things.
I don't have a 'disorder'... My brain works fine the way it is, society just doesn't have room for my unique talents.

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I know have a new diagnosis: Attention Difference Display / Happy Dance (ADD/HD)... I think it fits!
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Sometimes I worry that if I don't slow down... I'll run my batteries down and won't be able to recharge myself... powered down permanently at such a young age!
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