I was curious if any of you have had any experience in writing in other ways besides creative writing/fiction. I am beginning to consider attempting to write freelance articles and such for publications but I have no idea about how to begin. Look forward to any advice or experiences you may be willing to share on the subject.
Posts: 1853 | Registered: Jan 2008
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I am not in the biz, but what you do is write an article for a magazine and submit it. If they like it and print it they pay for it. The more you write the more you will get paid.
One free lance writer would go on a trip. He would write an article about the hotel and restaurant and sell it to a travel magazine. write an article about the sites and sell it to a vacation magazine, write about the nature in the area and sell it to a parks magazine, and so on. there would be similarities to the articles but each would emphasize different things of the place.
Hopefully, someone who really knows about how to get into the biz will pipe up.
I've done a little. Actually, I've sold two big articles, one to Outdoor Life, and one to Bowhunter's Annual. I've also sold a bunch of articles to Examiner, but they pay per view and not in the traditional manner. One good resource is Shirley Kawa-Jump's book How to Publish Your Articles, but it's basically as rstegman said. I can give you more details later as I have to rush off to work, but maybe by that time you will get more responses. I'll be happy to help though if I can.
[This message has been edited by Smaug (edited October 14, 2011).]
Ah, I'm back for a minute or two. First of all, you need to study the market. By that I mean get the magazines or other publications you might be interested in writing for, and study the kinds of articles they print, the kinds of ads they run, and get a general feel for the intended readership. Notice how the writers slant the articles. Then you can access the "writer's guidelines" which they sometimes will mail to you, but quite likely, they are available at the publication's website. When you've done that (or sometime during this process), begin thinking about a topic that you could write on for that publication. Many of them will want you to query first, which is basically just sending them a letter "pitching" the article, and why you should be the one to read it. All of this kind of thing is covered in the book I mentioned above, and of course, there are other books dealing with the subject. If your query is successful and they give you the assignment to write the article, make sure you stick to their guidelines. For example, don't write a 5000 word article when they need 500 word articles. Then send it in. Keep doing so and you can make some good money doing it. Unless you're like me and decide after one or two articles that you really only want to write fiction and so you totally quit sending in article ideas. I stopped making money pretty quickly that way.
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