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Posts Tagged ‘freelancers’

Austin Way is a Great Home for Emerging Writers

Austin-Way-articleNewcomer Austin Way debuted in September and will end the year with two issues to show for its effort. Next year, the magazine plans to triple its output with six bimonthly issues — excellent news for freelancers, whom the small staff relies on for 60 to 70 percent of its content.

There is even better news for up-and-coming writers looking to plump up their portfolio; Editor-in-chief Kathy Blackwell is willing to take a chance on writers in the early stages of their careers.

“We really want strong writing,” said Blackwell. “I’m really looking for great writers but they don’t have to be established. I’m happy to work with new writers as well, especially on helping them with their voice and just helping them develop their skills.” Try to keep your clips reflective of the writing that’s in the magazine. If you have great clips but they aren’t relevant then just tell Blackwell about it — if she wants to see a sample, she’ll ask. She’s more interested in what you’re interested in and pitches that are clear and concise.

For more, including specifics on what to pitch, read: How To Pitch: Austin Way

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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Keija Minor, Editor-in-Chief of Brides, on Her Legacy

keija-minor2Keija Minor has gone through quite a few career reinventions in her life. She started out as a corporate lawyer, decided it wasn’t her passion, and then took a major pay cut to became an intern at a startup magazine, Travel Savvy. Boy, did it pay off. Minor went from intern to EIC in three years, then, after stints at Niche Media and Uptown magazine, on to Condé Nast, where she is currently editor-in-chief of Brides.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Minor talks about taking a leap of faith in her career, her advice for freelancers pitching to Brides and her unique position at the top:

You are the first African American to hold a top title at a Condé Nast publication. Is that something you think about?
I think the industry has been changing generally just over the years, as all of corporate America has been changing, to some degree, to reflect more women and more diversity. I think with the title at Condé, you know, it’s fun to be the first. It’s exciting to be the first in any sort of category, and it’s an honor. But I don’t wake up every day thinking, ‘Okay, you’re the first black woman to hold this title.’ I think about, ‘What are you going to do to move the magazine forward?’ At the end of the day, yes, I will have been the first, but I also want to be the woman who knocks it out of the park as an editor.

To hear more from Minor, including what she thinks of Anna Wintour, read: So What Do You Do Keija Minor, Brides Editor-in-Chief?

Freelancers, Showcase Your Investigative Skills at Mother Jones

Mother JonesMother Jones, which launched in 1976, has always been a fearless pub, focused on holding those in power accountable for their actions. The mag has evolved over the years, and now focuses on a variety of topics, including politics, the environment and business accountability.

So how can a freelancer break in to this established, revered mag? Well, it helps to form relationships with the editors and to pitch fully formed stories, instead of just ideas:

Approximately one-third of the magazine is written by freelancers, many of whom have an ongoing relationship with the magazine. “We have some freelancers that we work with pretty regularly, but we also accept pitches for people who haven’t worked with us before,” said senior editor Nick Baumann. While no sections are off limits to freelancers, the feature well publishes the most freelance work. While many mags encourage freelancers to target pitches to a specific section of the book, “the best way to pitch MoJo is to have a story, and we’ll decide on our end what section we think it’s most appropriate for,” said Baumann.

To learn more about how to get published at this mag, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Mother Jones.

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 A Minimalist Lifestyle Could Help Your Writing

MinimalismMinimalism for freelancers makes a lot of sense. When you work from home, you’re constantly fighting off distractions. Shrinking the amount of stuff you have can make a world of difference in helping you stay focused.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, one freelancer shares her story about simplifying mind and matter. So how can freelancers declutter their space to create a work-friendly environment? First, take a look at what’s around you:

Anyone who works from home knows that it’s difficult to keep personal space separate from work space. I made three major changes to my home environment, each of which has benefited my work life. The first is the most profound: I moved the TV out of the living room. Now, when I’m taking lunch breaks, I sit down at the dining room table and don’t get sucked in to some Full House rerun or episode of Anderson Live.

To hear more of her story, read: The Minimalist Freelance Life.

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.

10 Terms Every Freelance Writer Should Know

Every industry has its own jargon, which can be confusing for those who are just starting out. For rookie freelance writers, it’s essential to understand certain terms to avoid frustration down the line.

In the latest Mediabistro feature for AvantGuild members, editors and veteran journalists break down the terms that are crucial to success in the biz.

Read the full article in 10 Terms Every Freelance Writer Should Know. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Sara Horowitz on Helping New York Freelancers ‘Get Paid, Not Played’

When Sara Horowitz was hired as a lawyer, she was made an independent contractor and wasn’t given any benefits. Since then, she’s created Working Today, a nonprofit for uniting freelancers; Freelancers Union, an organization that promotes the needs of independent workers; and Freelancers Insurance Company, which provides health insurance. She also authored the recently released Freelancer’s Bible, a practical guide for the self-employed.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Horowitz talks about the best and worst parts of freelancing, and gives advice on networking, budgeting and getting ahead. Here’s an excerpt:

The Freelancer’s Union was the fire behind the pioneering Payment Protection Act, which helps freelancers in New York “get paid, not played.” How does the burden of chasing paychecks affect freelancers specifically and the media industry as a whole? 
One of the typical things that freelancers face, obviously, is not getting paid — not the full amount or the total amount. And there’s no place to go but small claims court. We wanted them to be able to go to the Department of Labor, and we came within a hair’s breadth of that. Now [the act] is pending in both New York and New Jersey. I think the media industry tends to treat freelancers like invoices, like receivables, so they say ‘OK, you’ll get paid 30, 60, 90 days out.’ This gives them a lot of float, because they’re holding on to that money for that time, and, if you want to get paid within two weeks, you get paid $0.96 on the dollar. You lost 4 percent. If you were a traditional employee in New York right now, that would be illegal. This is bad practice and something we’re going to be looking at in the next year.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancer’s Union?

4 Things Editors Do To Drive Their Writers Nuts

If you’ve ever spent time as an editor, you likely have several ways for freelance writers to get on your bad side. But before you start adding to the comments, let’s be fair. There are plenty of things magazine and newspaper staffers do to damage the writer-editor relationship, as well.

Case in point? Not responding to emails.
“We know that editors are incredibly busy, but take the time to let freelancers know that you got their stuff,” suggests Apryl Motley, a Maryland-based communications consultant. “When we don’t hear from you, we figure it’s a done deal, and we’re on to the next assignment. Then, you email us all out of the blue with queries and requests for additional copy.”

Not a good look. Get more tips on how to correctly manage the relationship in mediabistro.com’s 4 Things Editors Do To Drive Freelancers Nuts.