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Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Details.com is on the Lookout for Innovative Writers With Style

details-screenshotDetails.com isn’t your traditional “macho” men’s website with an endless stream of sports, women and beer. No, this digital space is all about modern men’s luxury. So, dudes, if you’re embarrassed about discussing your grooming habits, this site isn’t for you.

The magazine’s digital counterpart (which averages about 1 million uniques a month) is on the hunt for freelancers to enhance its ever-expanding content. So what kind of writing are the editors looking for? Well, it depends on what you bring to the table:

The vast majority of the content on Details.com is presented through 500-word blog posts or slideshows that include a hed, dek, intro and captions. That may seem limiting, but considering the vast coverage of the site ensures that there are plenty of opportunities for freelance bylines. In “Style” and “Advice,” editors are looking for fashion news, not generic how-tos or service pieces. “They tend to be too remedial, and it’s not something that we’re trying to aggregate right now,” says [online director James Cury]. “So you’d want to spot a trend, or anticipate a trend. That would be ideal for us.”

To hear more about what Details.com is looking for, as well as editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Details.com.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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Pitch Your Magazine Article

Pitch Your Magazine ArticleStarting October 1, learn how to write queries for magazines and websites! In this course, you'll learn how to write and send an effective pitch, generate pitch letters, research outlets for your articles, and follow-up with editors to ensure that your queries get results. Register now! 

How To Get Your Reality Show On The Air

PitchRealityTVShow

So you’ve got a great idea for a new reality show. Now you just have to get it picked up by a network. That’s easier said than done. Reality television is a competitive business these days, and it seems like every month someone’s discovered a new charismatic crop of weirdos (the folks of Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo and her family, etc.) for TV audiences to fall in love with.

So what can you do to make your pitch stand out? In the latest Mediabistro feature, industry vets give tips on how you can impress network execs. Step one: Work on your idea:

Bill Hunt, executive producer of Austin Street Productions, whose expertise includes lifestyle programming and documentaries, said it’s also important to recognize the potential of current themes on TV. “Networks love shows that are the same as other successful shows [yet] different in a unique way,” he said. “Look at all the tattoo shows or the pawn-broking shows — when something is successful, you want to find a different hook into a hot topic. Right now humor seems to be in demand, à la Duck Dynasty.”

For more advice on pitching your TV show, read: How To Pitch Your Reality Show Idea.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Clyde Phillips to Aspiring Writers: ‘Read Everything You Can’

MediabistroTV recently talked to Clyde Phillips, bestselling crime novelist and current showrunner for Nurse Jackie. He shares some advice for aspiring writers, and tells why novel writing is not that different from TV writing:

How To Negotiate Pay Increases as a Freelancer

LifeAsAFreelancer

Becoming a freelancer full time can be an overwhelming undertaking. The reliability of your old job is long gone, replaced with a constant need to hustle for work.

And that’s not even going into the money issue. Freelancers often deal with a fluctuating financial situation. Some months you be may have more clients than you know what to do with, other times — not so much.

That’s why it’s so important to know what your work is worth:

I’ve found editors rarely pay much in increases; they have a budget for stories and that’s that. However, if you’re a steady contributor, you may be able to finagle an extra $50 or so. If the work isn’t too demanding, it might be worth your while to keep this client. Or perhaps you can negotiate other benefits. For example, instead of all rights to the work, your client takes only one-time rights, so you can easily sell the work (and make money) elsewhere.

To get more advice on freelancing, read: Pros and Cons of Life as a Freelancer.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How To Get Your Personal Essay Published

CraftPersonalEssays

The personal essay is enjoying a surge of popularity. We share more personal information online than ever before, whether it’s on social media, blogs or even national publications.

Personal essays force you to observe your life from a different perspective, to get inspired from your own experiences and to be brave and share controversial opinions. But first, you need to get your work published:

Unless you already have a relationship with an editor or publication, you need to write your essay before sending it out — rather than selling it as an idea in a pitch letter. Carinn Jade, blogger at Welcome To The Motherhood, prefers to have a particular market in mind when she’s crafting her essays. “It’s really about knowing the periodical or site, knowing their voice and point of view and tailoring [your piece] to fit with their content.” She recommends reading profusely, finding publications that speak to you and trying to join that community instead of doing a broad search for markets.

For more tips on writing personal essays, read: Your Life in 1,000 Words: The Craft Of Personal Essays.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

What to Do After Your Story Has Been Killed

KilledStory

Let’s say you landed a pitch (hooray!) and after all the effort you put into the research, reporting and writing — the piece gets rejected. What’s your next move?

It can be hard to pick yourself up after your story gets killed. It’s easy to take it personally — but there are countless reasons why your story didn’t make it to publication, and it may have nothing to do with your writing. It could be a time issue, internal changes at the magazine or it could be a new editor who just doesn’t care for your topic.

The latest Mediabistro feature looks at what you should do when your hard work doesn’t make it into the book. Here’s an excerpt:

Be prepared to take responsibility for any shortcomings or misunderstandings. Most importantly, be able to learn from the situation. Not every editor is willing to be your mentor, but some are willing to give you feedback as to why something won’t or didn’t work. And whatever you do, don’t be overly apologetic. You’ll only appear desperate and needy to the editor, which doesn’t bode well if you hope to work with him or her again. I learned the hard way that editors simply don’t have patience for it. Instead, thank them for the opportunity and assure that you’ll apply the lessons from the experience to future assignments.

For more advice on how to move forward, read: 6 Things to Do After Your Story Has Been Killed.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Monetize Your Blog

Everyone has a blog nowadays, but not everyone manages to make money from it. If you’ve managed to strike upon a large readership for your blog, thanks to breaking news or a great idea, your road to monetizing is far from over. Just because the masses come to you for info or entertainment does not mean advertisers will do the same, or that a book deal is in the bag. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Blair Koenig shares her experience from building a successful blog STFU, Parents, which gets 1.5 to 2 million page views a month:

When you’re building your own personal blog, it’s up to you to figure out how to make money — whether it’s from ad networks, independent advertisers, book deals, stores or through other media outlets. Koenig jokes, “I know there’s a lot out there that makes it sound like if you’re a popular blogger someone’s going to just ring your doorbell and be like, ‘Hey, I want to make a movie [based on your blog]!’ But it’s really, really hard and usually a lot of that stuff is created from the blogger [rather] than the other way around.”

Koenig uses three different ad networks and a couple of independent advertisers to earn money on her blog. She landed a book deal after completing the grueling process of writing a 60-page book proposal. She has plans to build a store within her website featuring STFU, Parents-themed merchandise as well. But money doesn’t suddenly start flowing in when your blog becomes popular, according to Koenig. She’s appeared on Good Morning America and various news outlets to talk about her blog, and although these appearances spike traffic to her site, she’s not getting paid outright for any publicity.

For more tips and advice on blogging, read What You Need to Know About Writing for Blogs.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

What Are The Downsides of Freelancing?

Journalism is an ever-changing profession and at the moment, freelancing is having a surge popularity. A quality piece of freelance writing is a hot commodity, but it better be meticulously researched, well executed and an all-around engaging read.

In theory, freelancing sounds great. You have flexible hours, you can work from home, you can spend more time with loved ones. But there are plenty of downsides too, like an unpredictable income, no benefits whatsoever and the isolation of working alone. In our latest Mediabistro feature, a freelance writer talks about the struggles of separating her work and home life:

When there’s no boss hovering over your shoulder, and you can’t get that vision of the overflowing laundry basket out of your head, and you don’t really have any immediate deadlines, it’s difficult to stay on task. It’s taken me four years to develop my little system, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still duck away for the occasional afternoon nap or throw in the towel early to watch TV on a bad day. But like any other job, when something isn’t working, you adapt to the drawbacks and work to restore balance the best way you can.

To hear how she overcame her freelance challenges, read Balancing Your Freelance Life With Your Personal Life

Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Write to Empower at Glamour

glamour For the past quarter-century, young women have been turning to Glamour for the news they can use in every facet of their lives, be it relationship advice, health tips or real life stories. It’s this wide swath of coverage — delivered in an authoritative, well-researched way — that distinguishes Glamour from the bevy of other women’s titles on newsstands.

A recent freelance story published by the mag, titled “Why It’s Good to Be High Maintenance,” encouraged women in relationships to stand up for themselves and not worry about being called clingy or demanding. “It’s just a good message that Glamour likes to send, something that’s really positive and affirming towards women,” said deputy editor Mikki Halpin.

For more details on pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How To Pitch: Glamour.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Humor (and Impress) Editors at Cincinnati

Cincinnati In addition to publishing keen narratives, editors at Cincinnati have an eye for good humor as well. Although the city itself was once dubbed “Porkopolis” for its history of hog butchering, the mag tapped a freelancer to cover local officials’ attempts to stem damage caused by feral hogs terrorizing a nearby county. How horrific.

Since it was founded in the late 60s, the regional mag has proved it can play with the big boys. Feature in point: Kathy Y. Wilson‘s article on local conservative radio host Bill Cunningham earned the pub a 2007 nomination for a National Magazine Award alongside profiles from National Geographic, New York magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Now the mag is looking for fresh (skip the hog) meat from journos with an “engaging, unique voice,” executive editor Linda Vaccariello said.

For pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How to Pitch: Cincinnati.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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