Get Hooked On Writing!

Issue # 6 Tuesday, June 9, 1998

This Week's Author:
Angela Adair

Angela Adair's The Write Markets Report

Angela Adair publishes The Write Markets Report (Your Only Source of Markets Needing Writers Today) and National Writer's Monthly
(The FREE Marketing E-mag for Writers). For info on both, send e-mail to ForWriters@reporters.net with 'subscribe me youremailaddress' in the subject header. A free issue of The WriteMarkets Report is available by e-mail request to ForWriters@reporters.net.

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Next Week's Author:

Contributing Editor Shara Rendell-Smock

PREVIOUS ISSUES


HOW TO BE A FREELANCE WRITER

part II

Rejection

You WILL be rejected. Everyone says, "A rejection is not a rejection of you, it is a rejection of your idea." I don't care what they say. Rejection hurts, no matter what the reason. The only good part of being rejected is when an editor sends you a personal note. You can use their comments to improve your query before targeting other publications with your idea. Also, if an editor liked your query enough to send a personal note, you have a good chance of getting your foot in the door at their office at a later time. Query them again. Many writers joke that their offices are wallpapered with rejection letters. When you receive rejections, remember this and know that you're becoming one of us!

The Assignment and Dealing with An Editor

If you are persistent, you will become a published writer. The editor will contact you by mail, phone, or e-mail and tell you to proceed. They might discuss your idea and tell you how they'd like you to write the article differently than your query angle. They should also provide you with a word count and a deadline. They might send you a contract, but this doesn't always happen. Many small publications do business "on a handshake."

One editor sent me an e-mail that said, "Great idea! Can you get it to us by August 15th?" My response was, "No problem. Send me a word count and I'll get right on it." That was it. I knew she was busy and didn't have time. For professional or personal chatter. I had read their guidelines and knew what rights they were buying and how much they were paying me. I only needed to deliver exactly what I'd stated in my query letter.

The point I'm trying to make it this: I picked up on the editor's "business etiquette" and her stress level. I did not bother her by calling for petty details, and I didn't even call to ask if she'd received my article. I sent the Manuscript by express mail so I could bother the post office with a phone call instead of her. Included in my package was my manuscript, a disk of the article (so they wouldn't have to retype it), my photos with accompanying negatives, and a short note proposing another article idea. My system worked because she gave me the go-ahead on that idea and also asked me for a list of articles I could write for them next year. I'm now a regular contributor, and I have no doubt it is because I respected the editor's busy schedule and made her job easy.

Writing the Article

1. Pull out the query you sent to the magazine and read your second paragraph. Also review any notes you have from the editor if she has requested changes to your article angle. Use these to write your outline.

2. Do your research, if any.

3. Take and develop photos, if required. Note: If your photos feature people, you will need to obtain release forms from them prior to publication. See sample release form (below).


SAMPLE - Photo Release Form

I hereby give_______________________________(writer), writer's publisher, successors and assigns permission to copyright and/or publish any photograph(s) of myself with or without using my name and to keep changes and/or additions to such photographs, portraits in such manner as shall seem proper to their use. I also understand that editorial matter will at times accompany these photos. I certify that I am of full age 18 and am possessed of full legal capacity to execute the foregoing authorization.

By filling out the form and signing below, I agree to the terms stated above.
Name:________________________________
Birth Date:__________
Street address:_________________________________
City:__________________
State:______________
Zip:_______________


4. Write the article and spell check it!

5. Let someone else read the article before you print the final draft. This is imperative. Even someone with no knowledge of your subject will be able to point out inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and typos. Ask your reviewer for criticism. Hint: Don't let a family member critique your manuscripts. Family members are afraid of hurting your feelings. Friends, colleagues, and fellow writers make better critics.

6. Prepare your manuscript in the correct format. Most writer's guidelines have specific submission requirements. Follow those if they are provided. If they are not, the typical manuscript format includes: At the top: Author's name, Author's Social Security Number, Word Count, Title of Article (though the magazine will probably change your title), Body - Manuscript should be double-spaced and have a page number on every page.

7. Send the article to the editor using the methods their guidelines require. Include a hard copy of your manuscript, a computer disk of your manuscript in text-only format (if available), photos and negatives with appropriate signed releases from photo subjects, and a short note proposing another article for the magazine. When the editor sends you a contributor's copy of the magazine featuring your article, make multiple photocopies of your published article. These are called "clips." Include a copy of your best clip(s) with future queries. This shows editors that you are a credible, published writer.

The information above is an excellent source to get you started on your freelance writing career. Are you ready? It's time to approach markets with your ideas!

You can find a variety of paying markets for writers at http://www.writersmarkets.com.
To learn how to market your freelance skills, subscribe to National Writer's Monthly, The FREE Marketing E-mag For Writers. Send e-mail to ForWriters@reporters.net with 'subscribe me youremailaddress' in the subject header.

Part of the original Sideroad.
Text © 1998, Angela Adair.
Editor: Shara Smock.
Production: Erin Grainger.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.

Shara Rendell-Smock, authorContributing Editor Shara Rendell-Smock brings a wealth of writing experience to the Sideroad; She has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles (including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune) and published two books (see below.) An original member of the Sideroad team, she wrote 27 issues of - "Go to Health! Because Life's Too Short - before taking on the Writing section.

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at www.rendell-smock.com.

"Getting Hooked"





"Living With Big Cats"