FERRETING OUT WORK
You keep hearing that there's work out there, but so far you haven't found any. Well, where is it? That depends on what you're looking for. Are you looking for a freelance writing JOB? Or a MARKET? Or both?
First let's concentrate on JOBS.
Online Job Sites (in no particular order):
John Hewitt's Writing Center ? This site also has a lot to offer writers. For job information, see Freelance Forum.
Media Bistro ? This site offers daily media news and updates. You have to register with the site in order to see job information, but registration is free. Simply click on Find A Job. Media Bistro also offers insider's tips such as "How to Pitch to U.S. Weekly."
Sunoasis Jobs ? Offers regional, telecommuting and freelance job information.
Writers Write ? This is a mega site offering writers job information, market information, tools, articles and resources. To find a job, click on "Job Listings" and then choose your preference from there.
Telecommuting Jobs for Writers ? This site offers just what the title page says it does. Check frequently for updates.
Write Link ? This is a comprehensive UK site for writers. Write Link also offers a free newsletter including jobs and market information.
FreelanceWriting.com ? This site also offers both job information and a guidelines database. In addition, this site includes moderated writing discussion forums.
Writing-World.com ? Remember Inkspot? If you don't, Inkspot was a terrific site for writers that was shut down due to financial problems a year or so ago. Writing-World takes over where Inkspot left us. The site is owned by Moira Allen, one of the original writers for the Inkspot site. The site features a lot of valuable information and resources for writers, including publishers who are seeking submissions and market information.
Publisher's Weekly ? The Publisher's Weekly site is a must-bookmark for writers. Not only does it have a classifieds section, and sections for jobs in both the publishing and library fields, but it also keeps you in touch with what is going on in the world of publishing. From cookbooks to mysteries, children's books to sports titles, Publisher's Weekly knows what's selling and who's making the best deals.
Her Corner.com ? This site features job information, market information, quotes, how-to articles and other writer resources.
Writers Weekly ? One of the most valuable services this site offers, other than job and market information, is its warnings page. Updating the warnings weekly in their free newsletter, Angela and Richard Hoy make sure that writers have the information they need to avoid being scammed.
Other Sources of Job Information
Another source of writing jobs is the classified section of your local paper. What? You say your newspaper doesn't have an employment section titled "Writers Wanted"? Mine doesn't either.
Look for companies who a) have advertisements for several positions, b) are looking for engineers, c) are looking for marketing personnel. If a company is advertising for several positions, odds are it is understaffed and in need of help with brochures, report generation, and/or marketing. If a company is in need of an engineer, either the outgoing or incoming engineer might like some help with report generation in order to free his/her time for other tasks. If a company is looking for marketing personnel, call or send a letter offering to prepare a marketing plan for the company. As a writer, odds are you're proficient in self-promotion. Put this to work for you by showing this company how you can promote THEM.
Classified sections of major metropolitan papers might be helpful in your search for freelance work, too. Check them out online. Online sites such as Monster.com and Headhunter.com can cut down your search time a great deal. Enter keywords such as writer, copywriter, technical writer, freelance writer, and telecommute and see what a search yields.
Peter Bowerman in THE WELL-FED WRITER swears by cold-calling corporations in your area and offering your assistance with advertising, copywriting, etc. If this is something you're interested in, I suggest you check out Mr. Bowerman's book or his web site. Mr. Bowerman also offers a free newsletter filled with tips for making money freelancing.
Now, on to MARKETS:
Online Markets (again, in no particular order):
Wooden Horse Publishing ? This site offers a free newsletter and an extensive database of market information, including many editorial calendars. While the database isn't free, you can try it out for a day for only $1.95.
Writer's Market.com ? This one isn't free either and you might balk at paying for this information, especially if you have already bought the book. The site does offer some free tips and other information; and if you don't mind paying for the market information, the Writer's Market site claims that it has many updates per day.
The Market List, A Resource for Genre Fiction Writers ? If you write sci-fi, romance or mystery short stories, this is a good place to look for markets.
Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau
Colossal Directory of Children's Publishers Online ? This site offers tips and how-to articles as well as other resources, too.
Mystery and Writers Links
The Writer's Lounge ? This site includes "101 Paying Markets" as well as a lot of other writer resources.
News, Markets of Interest to Writers
Sell Writing Online
Our Creative Space ? Offers information about children's publishers. See "Publishing Links."
Markets for Writers ? Periodicals
Other Sources of Market Information:
The magazines/publishers themselves ? Write or call and ask for writers' guidelines or an editorial calendar. If the publisher has a web site, you can request the information via email.
Magatopia.com ? Free Online Magazines ? This site doesn't provide market information but is still a valuable resource. The magazines include JANE, COSMOPOLITAN, DISCOVER, FAMILY FUN, ATLANTIC MONTHLY and many more. You can click on the magazine of your choice and read a couple of online articles to give you more of a feel for the magazine.
Your Library ? If you don't want to buy a current copy of WRITER'S MARKET, NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER'S MARKET, ROMANCE WRITER'S MARKET, etc., check your local library's reference section to see if these titles are there. If they aren't you might be able to see them via an inter-library loan. While there, check out the magazines you're interested in writing for. Back issues can usually be checked out. If you have an idea for a children's book, check out some books with similar themes to see what has worked before. Also check out HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, CRICKET, and/or some other children's magazines to get a feel for what children are reading and what children's publishers are buying.
I hope this helps!
Gayle Trent is the author of the e-book SELF-PROMOTION FOR THE EMERGING WRITER, available for $5 US at http://www.graceabraham.com. Gayle's most recent novel is a comedic mystery titled BETWEEN A CLUTCH AND A HARD PLACE, available from Grace Abraham Publishing.