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Posts Tagged ‘writing tips’

6 Tips for Landing Repeat Writing Assignments

As Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancer’s Union, once said, “One of the challenges for all freelancers, though, is it can be feast or famine.” Sometimes you could be raking in the assignments; at others, editors could be strangely silent when you want to hear from them the most.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, magazine veterans give tips on how to foster your relationships with editors to keep the assignments, and the paychecks, rolling in.

Read more in 6 Tips for Landing Repeat Writing Assignments.

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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Writing Advice from Producer of The Tudors, History Channel’s Vikings

Just in time for the upcoming premier of Vikings on the History Channel, Michael Hirst, the show’s writer and producer, talks about his writing process in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series.

“The key for me with historical characters is they’re interesting because they’re human beings,” he said. ”A little bit of Hemingway goes a long way here, but journalists and writers should honestly look at their material and have a real interest, a real passion in what they want to write, and they should also have a lot of knowledge, as well.”

“You don’t write police procedural stuff unless you really know that beat, but it’s ultimately not the procedure that makes the show work — it’s the people. The more real they are, the better.”

Read more in:
So What Do You Do, Michael Hirst, Creator of The Tudors and Vikings?

NYT Veteran Gives Tips for Journos Who Want to Write a Book

It’s a pretty big accomplishment for a first-time author to land on the New York Times bestsellers list, but Isabel Wilkerson definitely deserves it. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist spent 15 years researching and conducted over 1,200 interviews for The Warmth of Other Suns, an account of the men and women who lived through the Great Migration, when 6 million African-Americans moved to the North.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, she talks about her writing process and gives tips to fellow journos who want to write a book. Below, an excerpt:

You interviewed more than 1,200 individuals. What skills do you possess that made people feel comfortable sharing their stories and information?

I always go into interviews with a great sense of gratitude for the courage it takes to share one’s story, particularly one so painful and heartbreaking, things that they had deep within themselves and had just gotten to the point of being able to share. So I think being an empathic listener, someone who was truly wanting to understand what they had endured — those are things I think they could pick up and sense in me. I also think they felt I had a sense of connection with them.

For more, read Hey, How’d You Write a New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller, Isabel Wilkerson? [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

NYT Veteran Gives Tips for Journos Who Want to Write a Book

It’s a pretty big accomplishment for a first-time author to land on the New York Times bestsellers list, but Isabel Wilkerson definitely deserves it. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist spent 15 years researching and conducted over 1,200 interviews for The Warmth of Other Suns, an account of the men and women who lived through the Great Migration, when 6 million African-Americans moved to the North.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, she talks about her writing process and gives tips to fellow journos who want to write a book. Below, an excerpt:

You interviewed more than 1,200 individuals. What skills do you possess that made people feel comfortable sharing their stories and information?

I always go into interviews with a great sense of gratitude for the courage it takes to share one’s story, particularly one so painful and heartbreaking, things that they had deep within themselves and had just gotten to the point of being able to share. So I think being an empathic listener, someone who was truly wanting to understand what they had endured — those are things I think they could pick up and sense in me. I also think they felt I had a sense of connection with them.

For more, read Hey, How’d You Write a New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller, Isabel Wilkerson? [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

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]

How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates

Being a freelancer comes with many perks: working from home, flexible hours and the ability to pick your own projects. But it can be difficult to figure out how much your work is worth. Should you have an hourly rate or a per-project one? New writers might want to accept a lower rate to build clips, but how do you know when a rate is too low? Is the project even worth your time?

In the latest Mediabistro feature, seasoned freelancers share their experiences, so you can learn from their mistakes and maximize the value of your work.

Freelancer Aubre Andrus says she set a salary goal for herself and calculates her hourly rate from there. For her, the fact that she isn’t working on income-generating tasks 40 hours a week was a determining factor.

“This rate helps me devise my per-project fee and helps me decide if a project is worth my time,” explained Andrus. That, along with tracking her monthly earnings, has helped her stay on target to attain her salary goal.

Read more in 4 Things to Consider When Setting Your Freelance Writing Rate. [subscription required]

How Writers Can Get Through the Editing Process

After spending hours and hours perfecting your latest story, it can be devastating to see what you thought was surely a masterpiece come back drenched in red ink. Instead of resenting a rewrite, there are a number of ways to deal with the process while keeping your reputation (and sanity) intact.

When your article comes back with vague instructions, get clarification so your updated draft doesn’t warrant even more rewrites.

For Meryl Davids Landau, an author and writer featured in PreventionMore and others, that means following up to any revision requests on the phone. She asks what the editor wants the reader to come away with and if the publication has covered the topic before but wants a fresh angle. ”I try never to revise anything until I have a clear sense of where the editor thinks my version went off the rails; otherwise the next version is just as likely crash,” she explained.

Get more strategies in 6 Ways to Make the Revision Process Stress Free.

Andrea Hackett

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

How Writers Can Get Through the Editing Process

After spending hours and hours perfecting your latest story, it can be devastating to see what you thought was surely a masterpiece come back drenched in red ink. Instead of resenting a rewrite, there are a number of ways to deal with the process while keeping your reputation (and sanity) intact.

When your article comes back with vague instructions, get clarification so your updated draft doesn’t warrant even more rewrites.

For Meryl Davids Landau, an author and writer featured in PreventionMore and others, that means following up to any revision requests on the phone. She asks what the editor wants the reader to come away with and if the publication has covered the topic before but wants a fresh angle. ”I try never to revise anything until I have a clear sense of where the editor thinks my version went off the rails; otherwise the next version is just as likely crash,” she explained.

Get more strategies in 6 Ways to Make the Revision Process Stress Free.

Andrea Hackett

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.