Writing Outside the Mainstream

Build your freelance career in African-American, Latino or LGBT publications

  • sections:
  • Discussions Thursdays 8-9pm ET, 4 sessions full schedule

Thank the media heavens for outlets that cover the stories, lifestyles and experiences of people of color and the LGBT community, respectively.  As readers, we value their content.  As writers, we want to know how to contribute to them and, of course, make some money.

This class breaks down the nuances of publications that serve cultural audiences.  Using a combination of writing expercises and targeted research -- completemented by tell-it-like-it-is vignettes about niche markets -- you'll learn how to generate salable story ideas, write pitches, build relationships with editors and position yourself as an authority in your market.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Find story ideas and sell them to editors
  • Analyze stories from an editor's perspective
  • Identify the unique tone and interests of publications
  • Create a pipeline of consistent freelance work
  • Brand yourself as an expert in your niche

By the end of class, you will have:

Two complete pitches, a list of outlets looking for content in your niche and a strategy for getting consistent assignments.

In love with writing since she won a crisp dollar bill in an elementary school essay contest, Janelle Harris’ work as a freelance writer, editor and blogger has appeared in more than 50 print and online publications, both consumer and trade, including Essence, Ebony, Vibe, Uptown, Black MBA, Clutch, The Root, Yahoo, The Stir and The Huffington Post. Her platform as a storyteller allows her to explore and share the experiences of Black people worldwide, particularly women. Harris is also the owner and creative mind behind The Write or Die Chick, a boutique editorial services agency in Washington, DC. She pens a blog of the same name on Essence.com. In 2013, the proud Lincoln University alumna founded SheScribes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Black women and girls embrace the healing power of writing. Her most recent challenge: working on her first book.