>Even at church . . .

>I was at church yesterday when my mind clicked into story idea mode. The elderly man doing the readings is an interesting guy with his grizzled beard, tweed jackets and gravelly voice. I know he volunteers at church and also at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I know his name, but who is he really? What did he do before he retired? Is he as cranky as he seems? I wanted to interview him. Who would want to read an article about him? Well, readers of the diocesan newspaper might be interested, as well as various senior publications. What about aquarium-type publications? Tourism pubs? An alumni magazine? I just remembered he belongs to Knights of Columbus. I think they have a magazine… Scrambling in my purse for my notebook, I kind of missed the reading. Oh well.
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A shiny new edition of Moira Allen’s Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer is out this month from Allworth Press. I wrote Chapter 15 on freelancing for newspapers, updating it late last year to bring in the many changes since the original book came out in 2003. Lord, how our world and the business of freelancing have changed in those eight years. Anybody still using a film camera? You can’t even buy Kodachrome anymore. This is a great book, loaded with useful advice. Moira is the publisher of writing-world.com.
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Have you purchased your copy of Freelancing for Newspapers yet?


>Anxious about queries? Read this

>Are you nervous about approaching editors with your ideas or your stories? It’s normal. In a way, every query is like a applying for a job. You might say the query is the application, and your outline or book proposal is the interview. Success means a new opportunity, work to do, and the potential for money and more work. Failure means starting over. Anyone who says this is their favorite part of freelancing is probably being sarcastic. Love the writing? Yes. Love the research? Sometimes. Love the money? Always. Love pitching your work? Not so much.

But it’s not bad once you get the hang of it. If you are excited about your idea and you know it fits the publication you’re pitching, AND if you can communicate your excitement and prove that it fits, you will succeed.

To help you in that quest, you might want to invest in Moira Allen’s new edition of The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals, which just came out from Allworth Press in September. I have a piece in there, Chapter 17, on pitching to agents at writers conferences. I’m proud of it, but that’s just a tiny taste of all the good stuff in this book.

Allen and various guest authors share step-by-step instructions for preparing queries, pitches and proposals for all kinds of articles and books. Want to sell a column? They tell you how. Want to sell a travel article? The instructions are here. Want to know three ways to make your query irresistible? Page 51. Want to find writing work in the corporate world? It’s here. It’s all here.

Moira Allen is the longtime publisher of Writing-world.com, which offers a monthly newsletter, articles on every imaginable facet of writing, and more. She is also the author of Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, also from Allworth Press. I have a chapter in that book, too.

Make sure you buy the SECOND EDITION of The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals. The first one is good, but a lot has changed in this computerized world since it came out. Besides, I’m not in it. 🙂

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Have you purchased your copy of Freelancing for Newspapers yet?