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Summer Writing Resources — Plus a YA Publishing Chat

FigmentNeed a little help keeping your writing from wilting this summer? Crank up the AC, drag over your laptop, and check out the online writing community Figment for company, commiseration, feedback, and inspiration.

With over 300,000 members and a library of more than half-a-million user stories, Figment has something for every type of writer.

Are you the kind who needs a little prodding? Sign up for Daily Themes and join the 10,000 other writers who are getting an original writing prompt delivered to their inboxes every morning.

Or are you the competitive type? Check out Figment’s writing contests, where you can win fame, glory, and prizes. (Psst — Sometimes you don’t even need to write anything to win big swag: Figment is almost always offering a sweepstakes of some kind.)

Are you a budding novelist? Join Figment this Thursday for one of its great live author chats! This week, young-adult authors Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling and Unbreakable) and Brodi Ashton (Everneath and Everbound) — plus special guest Kristin Rens, editor at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray — will be talking about what happens after you get that book contract. Sign up for a reminder for “Living the Dream: Real Talk About Life as a Published Author” — this Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. ET!


Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

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Web 2.0 Isn’t Just a Social Tool

Many of us create a myspace, facebook, or blog account for leisure or networking purposes. While it’s common to be warned about employers scanning your profile on the web for surveillance purposes, companies are also discovering the benefits of being up-to-date with social platforms. Take twitter, a communication board that simply lets friends/family know what you are doing, has now become a hot topic among businesses that want to stay on top of customer support/feedback for products. Forbes mentions the importance of web 2.0 for companies, especially in competitive markets that need to adapt to changing technologies in society. Zappos, an online retail store, has taken full advantage of twitter in building community with customers and branding the company name. If someone twitters a sentence about a poor service or product by a company, it can be investigated from the company right away via tweetscan or other tools that track comments on twitter. It’s no surprise that an online community like mediabistro already has twitter, be sure to check us out!
*Image courtesy of Jupiterimages

How to reel ‘em in

With the unemployment rate at such a low, employers really need to step it up a notch when looking for new talent. According to IAEWS, the best and brightest and almost always employed. In order to bait someone into leaving their current job, the job description has to really stand out. Skip the unnecessary details … who doesn’t want a highly organized multi-tasker that is hard working? Include key elements such as growth potential and career enhancement. How can this candidate really make a big difference in the Company’s success? It’s just as important to sell your ad … how else will you be able to pick out the best from the pool of applicants?

The Last Magazine?

lastmag_thumb.jpgIs the magazine industry dying? Not if we change the outdated business models soon.
The Last Magazine
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MB Feature: Publishers’ Dilemma: The Book World Confronts The Digital Age

google_thumb.jpgmb’s Intrepid reporter and GalleyCat blogger Sarah Weinman travels to the Google Unbound conference to learn about the future of publishing in the digital world.
Publishers’ Dilemma: The Book World Confronts The Digital Age

Coming Up With Those F’ing FOBS!

We always hear that the best way to break into magazines is by pitching Front of the Book pieces. Problem is, there are so many, and so many different kinds. A writer wrote into Allison Winn Scotch asking how to come up with the ever-churning material:

I would like to try to break into consumer pubs with FOB pieces, so I would like your advice on finding ideas that are new enough that a million other freelancers haven’t already submitted them. Do you pour over press releases on PR newswire? Where do you go for info on recent studies (I’ve tried pubmed)? Do you usually get a source to quote for these queries? Are there other ways that you find sources? I want to avoid looking like an amateur when I query for FOBs and when I contact sources.

Read her advice here.

Persuasive Blogging

You really want to read this article. You really, really do. You also really want to send me some money and maybe some brownies.
Are the above exhortations working? If not, maybe I need to re-read ProBlogger’s tips on persuading one’s readers.

Get a Contract

I’m having a few things published in an anthology of online writing, and was notified by the editors that writers will be given contracts by request only. I requested one. The editor asked if there was anything specific I was concerned about (she would gladly give me a contract)–payment? Rights?
I told her the truth. I wasn’t really concerned about anything. But I have had the good fortune to have a really bad publishing experience that involved no contract–I say ‘good fortune,’ because in the end, I wasn’t financially hurt and I maintained the rights. But any bad experience was enough for me–now, there is no such thing as no contract.
Be the same way. Even if you feel you don’t need a contract regarding a particular job, get one. You can even use my story if you feel it seems rude to ask for a contract: “Sorry, but I had a bad experience once and I just prefer to have one. It’s not that I mistrust you.” You don’t want to end up hearing any of these ten lines from Writers Weekly.

Copywriting: How to Crack This Hungry and Lucrative Market

In the picture above, Steve Slaunwhite is sharing his expertise with an ASJA conference attendee. He was one of four copywriting experts who talked about this market, joining his fellow freelance copywriters Bob Bly and Deborah Gaines and Ogilvie & Mather partner Greg Ketchum.
Their biggest piece of advice is to get over it – copywriters make good money, and much of their work is interesting. “Being desired is sexy! Making money is sexy!” said Deborah Gaines.
A few more tips, after the jump.

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