B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R
Monthly Writer's E-zine For Freelancing Parents
April 1, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 4
Busy Freelancer is a division of Write From Home
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
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In This Issue...
>>>> Letter From the Editor, Kim Wilson
>>>> Article: "What's Your Motivation?"
by Jason A. Meuschke
>>>> Write From Home Site Updates
>>>> Tips, Hints & Resources
"Query Letter? Can You Write One? Yes, You Can"
by Marilyn Freeman
>>>> Success Spotlight
>>>> Article: "Standing in the Cheering Section"
by Pamela Kessler
>>>> Excellent Editors <--New Department
>>>> Article: "With Toddlers Underfoot"
by S.G. Birch
>>>> Humor Column
by Sheri Waldrop
>>>> Paying Markets
░░░░░ LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, KIM WILSON ░░░░░
Many writers have quirky little traits; and I'm no
exception. When I'm hit with writer's block I have a
tendency to stop what I'm doing and cook or bake. When I'm
hit with a lack of motivation, I force myself to stay in
the office and do something productive such as filing,
typesetting, editing, catching up on paperwork or other
Several days ago writer's block hit me with full force.
There was no mistaking it, or as President Bush says,
"Make no mistake about it," I knew without a doubt it was
writer's block and not a motivation problem. After
completing the high priority items on my "to-do" list,
I shut down the office and headed to the kitchen.
Several hours later I had made a peach cobbler,
two dozen sweet rolls, 96 French Vanilla mini cupcakes with
strawberry frosting and a beef stew...all homemade I might
After my baking and cooking frenzy I stared at the counter
covered with dirty dishes, while my family gleefully
stuffed their faces. I couldn't help but think, "It's a sad
day in the Wilson household when my family looks forward to
me suffering from writer's block. At the rate I'm going I
should have my Christmas baking done by the Fourth of
Later that evening when my kitchen was clean and everyone
was sleeping I headed back to the office. My cooking and
baking spree not only broke my writer's block, it also
gave me several new article ideas.
Here's wishing all of you a productive, acceptance-filled
Happy cooking...I mean writing!
Did you know April 25 is "Take Your Daughter To Work" day?
If you have a daughter you may want to consider taking her
to work with you. To find out how another writer handled
this day go to
http://www.writefromhome.com and read "Take
Your Daughter To Work Day" by Terri Mrosko.
"What's Your Motivation?"
by Jason A. Meuschke
It's 9:20 on a Monday morning. My three kids have all
gone to school so I sit before my desk, finally able to
begin writing as scheduled each day at this time. I pull up
my book-in-progress, reading the last few paragraphs to get
the motivation going and take a sip of black coffee. My
fingers are warmed and prepared to fly across the keys in a
flurry of creativity. I'm ready.
It's now 9:55 Monday morning. I'm still staring at the
screen the last few sips of the now cold coffee are
ignored. In thirty-five minutes, I've written one new line
and re-written one paragraph three times. My chances of
writing the planned three pages this morning are dwindling
as fast as my attention span.
Why can't I get going today? Is it the Mozart CD I'm
listening to? Maybe I didn't get enough sleep. Maybe it's
the clutter on my desk. Maybe I just miss my wife, who's
been overseas since November. Whatever it is, today isn't
How many times a week do we as writers go through this road
block? For me it's a challenge I face at least two or three
times a week. Too many errands to run, or it's time to
workout, or it's the kids Nintendo in the other room
Whatever the obstacle, it's usually the specified writing
time that suffers.
So what do we do? How can we pin down our writing time to
keep it not only from getting away, but also to keep it
Unfortunately there is no direct answer that is right for
all of us. We each have different ways to keep that special
time for ourselves available. I know some people who will
sit and not move until they've forced that days writing
goals onto paper, while others will break it up into short
bursts of creativity throughout the day, writing whenever
it hits them.
So what about the rest of us who feel ready, but stare out
the window instead? How do we at-home-parent-writers make
our writing time productive?
A friend once told me, "That's what you have to find out."
"Gee thanks," I remember thinking at the time, deciding
he really didn't know the answer either. So I started
trying out what other writers do to keep going.
I woke up an hour earlier; that lasted a few days. I tried
staying up later; didn't work. "Meditation before you
write," one person told me; I fell asleep. Instead of
Mozart and Vivaldi, I switched to the Eagles and Creedence
Clearwater Revival. Bad idea! My stories began to get
lyrics from the songs by accident. "Little Joey had a
peaceful, easy feeling watching the 747 flying out of the
Over time I've tried just about everything. Incense,
brain-cell foods, herbal teas, yoga, and of course reading
tons of books on how to write.
Then one day I got up, grabbed my coffee and sat at my
desk, deciding I'd write something for my wife for our
anniversary. Two hours later I'd finished a five page story
about us having a nice outdoor picnic near our dream home.
It came together almost on its own. I was just there to
write it down. My fingers while typing away were merely the
vehicle for my thoughts, and it felt good.
For a while it drove me nuts trying to figure out how to
reproduce that day. In the end, I found my friend was
right. You can't always depend on the mystical ways of
other writers, you need to find out what works for you. As
for me, I'm like the Nike slogan, I knew inside what I
wanted to write so all that's left is to, "Just Do It."
I also came to grips with reality. There are going to
be days that I can't write, and that's okay. As long as
we're true to ourselves and our desires to write, the story
will come out on its own.
Now I keep a sign above my desk that helps remind me of my
own personal writing goals. For me, that little reminder is
enough to keep my desires burning so that I can sit and be
productive. I may not always write as much as planned or
even everyday, but I keep at it. I just do it, and you can
About Jason Meuschke: "A veteran of the US Air Force, I
married my high-school sweetheart, Holli, and am the father
of three, Devin, Anni and Kayli. After years of searching
for 'the right job', I decided to pursue my dream of being
a writer. My wife joined the USAF, in part to free-up my
time to study through home-courses with the Institute of
Children's Literature. I graduated in May '01 and am
feverishly working to finish my first book. In my spare
time I work on other book ideas and also write a
commentary-type column for
dream is to be able to give my wife the same opportunities
she gave me so that she too can reach for the stars. I love
░░░░░ WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES ░░░░░
==>>"Life of a Writer Mom" Column written by Carla Charter
This month read "Thoughts on Posterity" at
==>>Articles added to Write From Home
Direct links to these articles can be found at
* "Pregnancy Block" by Rachel Gurevich
* "Writer Interrupted" by Nadia Ali
* "The Write Space" by Carolyn Burch
* "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" by Terri Mrosco
* "A Writers Place" by Devorah Stone
* "For Me" by Susan Younan Attiyah
* "Does Your Writing Space Matter?" by Christine Collier
* "The Art of Being Rejected" by Sharon Horton
* "How to be A Writer and Still Have Time to Paint the Trim
on the House" by L. Jans
* "What Children Can Teach Us About Writing" by Kyle Looby
--> Featured Product of the Month
Brette McWhorter Sember's writing kit, "Successful
Selling to Regional Parenting Publications." Read about
this great product at
ATTENTION AUTHORS OF WRITING RELATED BOOKS!
If you'd like your book considered for the "Featured Book of
the Month" at Write From Home please send a review copy or
galley to the postal address listed at the end of this issue.
TIPS, HINTS & RESOURCES
~ Need help with research? Go to
for a comprehensive list of
~ Poets, if you're looking for inspiration, links or
resources visit the Web site of Monique Nicole Fox at
~ Looking to connect with other freelancing parents? Join
the Write From Home discussion list by sending a blank
~ For a detailed list of links to job boards and guideline
databases go to
"Query Letter! Can you write one? Yes you can!
by Marilyn Freeman
At last my story was completed. A very good story, I might
add. Now to find the perfect market. After searching on my
own, a friend suggested a particular family magazine. I
checked in my market book. Yes! It was the perfect place to
send my story. My worries were over, so I thought. I
started reading the guidelines. Yes! My story fits! Word
count! Subject matter! This was my lucky day. It was, until
I read further under "Submissions." The next words I read
were: SEND QUERY. Oh no! I had never written a query
letter. My first reaction was panic. Then I reminded myself
this was the perfect market. I had to write a query. I set
out to gather as much information on query letters as I
could. I searched the market books, the Web and my favorite
Did I make a sale? I sent my query by e-mail (this magazine
accepted e-mail) and within an hour I received a message
from the editor. The editor wanted to read my story. I'm
still waiting to hear if I made a story sale. In my search
on how to write a query I found the following information:
Nightmare or Stepping Stone
A query letter can be a writers worst nightmare or the
stepping stone to a successful sale.
As a writer your main goal is to get your manuscript read
by an editor. A well-written query is the stepping stone to
reaching your goal. A good query letter sells your idea to
the editor. There are many writers trying to sell their
ideas, you have to make your query stand out from the stack
of submissions waiting to be read. A good query can help
you gain quick access to an editor's attention. It will
get your manuscript read faster. Editors respond to
queries quicker than they do to complete manuscripts. An
editor knows at a glance if the subject matter you are
presenting is suited for their publication.
A bad query letter can get you a quick rejection. Once the
editor reads your poorly-written query, no matter how
wonderful your manuscript may be, the possibility of a sale
is gone. If you don't represent your manuscript in a
tempting, pleasing manner right from the first paragraph,
you can be assured you will not make the sale. The query
letter is not selling your manuscript, the query is selling
the idea of reading your manuscript. If you can't get
passed the editor, how will you ever get your work read?
Your query is your sales tool. A query letter is your first
contact with the editor. Make the most of this opportunity.
Put your best foot forward. Your query tells the editor
many things about your manuscript and about you. Choose
your words carefully. Put as much work and thought into
your query as you did your manuscript.
Steps to Follow:
1. Keep your query short, one page. Most editors don't have
time to read a long dragged out letter. Choose your words
carefully and say all that is needed in the one page.
2. Include the title of your work and the approximate word
count. Be sure the word count is within the proper range
for your target publication. Do your homework. Check the
markets carefully. Example: You wouldn't send a query about
horses to a publisher that only deals with cats.
3. Be direct, don't' ramble or give information that is not
needed. Rambling only wastes the editor's time and almost
insures you a rejection. Remember you are not trying to
tell the complete manuscript only enough information to get
the editor's attention and interest.
4. Check spelling and punctuation. Use your spell check,
it's a wonderful tool. Sending a query with misspelled
words and poor punctuation is a direct route to a
5. Begin your query letter with a hook. You need to capture
the attention of the editor. Make the editor want to read
more of your manuscript. When you are buying a book, do you
notice on the back page there is always a little hint or
teaser as to what the story is about? Once you read this
you will most likely decide if you will buy the book.
This is the "hook." The same with the query letter.
Make your query letter so interesting that you hook the
editor into wanting to read your complete manuscript.
6. Make your query as businesslike as possible. Avoid
adding your personal opinion. Let the editor decide what is
best for your manuscript. There are many writers trying to
sell their manuscripts, so being pushy just turns the
editor off to reading your manuscript. The editor doesn't
need to be told what to do and how to do it. Being pushy
and demanding will not help you in anyway. This will
definitely be a red flag to the editor and will most
assuredly get you a rejection.
7. Give your publishing credits (if applicable). State your
credentials, education or special qualifications.
8. Check and double check the name of the editor. Make sure
you are sending to the correct person. In the publishing
world, work titles and positions change often. Be sure the
name is spelled correctly.
9. Always remember, neatness counts. Check and double check
your query letter before mailing.
10. Always include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Easy Access To Query Letter Info:
Your computer gives you easy access to query letter
information. There are many Web sites with this
information. Simply put the words "Query Letter" into the
search. You will find many query letter examples and how-to
articles on writing the perfect query letter. The different
Web sites give names of books available on the subject.
Look for books at your favorite book store or public
library. Most market books contain samples of query
Your manuscript is complete, it's wonderful, and you are
ready to present your idea to a publisher. You are now
ready to write your query letter. Just remember to put your
best foot forward, choose your words carefully, and double
check your letter for errors. Most of all, remember editors
receive a lot of mail, be patient.
Marilyn Freeman is happily married (39 years), a mom to two
daughters and has eight grandchildren. She became a
writer when she had to quit her job to stay at home and
care for her 88-year-old mother. She has completed the
basic writing course at the Institute of Children's
Literature and is now taking the advance course. She prints
a critiquing newsletter "From Dolly's Desk" for other
children's writers designed to share and critique stories
and articles. Her work has appeared in Once Upon A Time
magazine, Wee Ones e-magazine and the ICL Web site. She has
a piece being published in the March issue of Wee Parents.
You may reach Marilyn by sending
Share your success with others. Regardless of how big or
small, I want to know about your accomplishments. If you
sell an article, receive a book contract, or met a writing
goal send the information to
e-mailto:email@example.com with the subject
'success spotlight'. I'll print your news item in the next
issue. (Hint: this a great area to do a little shameless
* Sharon Wren for her acceptance from "Chocolate for the
Teen Soul" and her two acceptances from "Simple Joy."
* Monique Fox for being recognized as "Poet of the Week"
for two weeks in a row at http://www.4luvofpoetry.com and
for being named the Feature Poet at
* Bev Walton-Porter on her new role as Editor of
* Carolyn Burch on her article in Writer's Weekly.
* Emma Kaufman, Betsy O'Brien-Harrison and Heather Long for
their acceptances from Einkwell.com.
* Jennifer Reents on receiving a high-dollar assignment.
* Sherry Stoll on successfully pitching a story idea to an
editor. (Publication undisclosed.)
* Everyone else that has received an acceptance or other
good news concerning their writing career.
"Standing in the Cheering Section"
by Pamela Kessler
The life of a writer takes on many roles. If you write from
home, you are well aware that these roles are vast and
varied--ranging from housekeeper to office manager, from
novelist in the morning to chauffeur that same afternoon.
As a member of the writing community, a writer may perform
several roles as well. Critiquing, editing, sharing ideas,
serving as a listening post, are just a few. The list is
endless. A most important role I believe a writer plays in
the life of his fellow writers is that of standing in the
cheering section. It is possible that I might not be
writing this now if it weren't for a few writing friends
who were in that role on my behalf several months ago.
At that time, everyone was sharing their writing sales and
discussing agents but I had not yet made my first sale.
Although I was very happy and excited for the well-earned
progress of my fellow writers, I was feeling rather sorry
for myself. The only thing I was sharing was rejection
letters. All form rejections, at that!
And then the devastating events of September 11 hit. Our
world was turned upside down. Threat of Anthrax
contamination flooded the airwaves. Writers were given the
information that many publishers and editors were
destroying all unopened manuscripts. They would not even
consider any that did not include a return address label or
were unfamiliar to the addressee. Many magazines and
publishing houses put a stop on accepting unsolicited
That was it! I confessed to my writing friends that I was
throwing in the towel--quitting. How could a new, unknown
writer, such as me, ever get published when my work would
never even get opened!
Thankfully, those who were standing in my cheering section,
would not let that happen. They encouraged me to go on
writing and suggested I submit to e-zines or to publishers
that accepted e-mail submissions. I received encouraging
e-mails and e-cards from them.
Quitting my writing course was not an option in their book
either. I completed my next assignment and it was suggested
by my instructor that I submit it because she thought it
had a "big possibility to be purchased by a magazine."
One friend went so far as to complete a story I had
suggested she write to encourage me not to give up. I knew
I could not give up now. Their persistence had paid off!
I'm happy to say their encouragement kept me going and I
have since, made my first sale!
I'm thankful for my friends who were standing in my
cheering section. The writing game is not an easy one and
if it were not for their support and encouragement...well,
I might have just quit before the game was over.
I know now how important the role of standing in the
cheering section is. And when I see one of my fellow
writers discouraged and feeling low, you'll see me in that
section too. I'll be the one cheering the loudest.
Pamela Kessler is married and the mother of one teenage son.
Writing has been the desire of her heart since high school.
She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature
and is currently enrolled in their advanced writing course.
She has been published by The Institute on their Web site
in the Writing Tips section. Currently she's beginning work
on a picture book with a multi-cultural theme.
EXCELLENT EDITORS <---New Department
Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with many
wonderful editors; and I know you have too. I want to use
this space to call attention to editors you feel are worthy
of praise. Please send me the editors name and the
publication they are affiliated with. Once received, I'll
post the information in the following issue of Busy
Freelancer. You may send your submission to:
Here's your chance to publicly thank and acknowledge an
editor that you feel deserves recognition.
"With Toddlers Underfoot"
by S.G. Birch
In only three short years my youngest child will be
attending full-day kindergarten. When that morning comes I
will be waving, with tears in my eyes. Then I'll probably
give a loud whoop, do a happy dance on my doorstep, and
head to my desk to spend seven or eight uninterrupted hours
Ok, so dreaming about "someday" doesn't get my career off
the ground today. What's a home-mommy with a head full of
ideas and two toddlers to do?
Create the Time
The first obstacle standing between me and phenomenal
writing productivity is time. I can either sit back and
wait for my children to leave home, or I can learn to find
Chris Sofge, writing mother of a two and four-year-old
says that the only way she has time to write is by getting
up before the rest of her family at about 5:00 a.m. Heidi
Hoff, editor of Preschool Planet, makes time for writing at
the end of her day after her two young girls head to bed.
But late nights and early mornings aren't for all of us. If
you're anything like me, you're more inclined to relax when
the evening rolls around. And I'm definitely no morning
sunshine. This means that I've had to look a little harder
for pockets of peace and quiet.
Tequita Andrews can sympathize. This mother of a three and
not quite two-year-old says that she has tried getting up
early and staying up late, but either way she feels tired
at the end of the day. So Tequita sneaks her writing in a
bit at a time throughout the day. She heads to the computer
while her toddlers are playing on their own, with their
daddy or most importantly, while taking a nap.
My grandmother, a mother of six, used to oblige us to take
"quiet time" when we visited. This meant reading a book,
working on a puzzle, or otherwise playing gently for an
hour or so. I can now truly appreciate the concept of
"quiet time." Indeed, variations of nap time could be our
most indispensable tool as writing parents. Even as my two
and three-year-old begin to move past the need for sleep in
the afternoon, I encourage them to take this little
down-time in their day. After all, we could all use a
little more rest. Whether they play, read or sleep does not
concern me. They are in a safe, quiet place for an hour or
so in the afternoon. And this mommy makes good use of that
So now we've taken full advantage of the free time in our
days. But we all know that writing at designated intervals
may not inspire our best fluidity. How do we sneak in a
little more writing time?
Create the Space
The basement was unfinished when we moved into our new
house. This gave us great freedom in planning and
organizing. With my writing goals and my children's antics
in mind, we arranged a space that provided the best
compromise for all of us. In other words, we created the
space that would give me time.
My office is built into a corner and closed in by
half-walls. Toys, food and screaming faces are banned from
this space. The four-foot perimeter gives me the focus of a
working environment. The clear structure gives my children
a barrier identifying "Mommy's Zone." Most importantly, the
half walls allow me to see over the edge at whatever may be
happening on the other side of them.
Once the office was built, the idea was to provide
everything that we might need to occupy little hands and
minds for a few hours. We started with an open playroom
where we put the ball tent and the ride-on toys. We
devoted one corner to the television, far enough from my
office so that the singing puppets wouldn't interfere with
my thinking, but close enough so that I could monitor what
my children were watching. On the opposite wall we built a
craft corner, equipped with table and chairs, paints,
crayons, play-doh and an easel. With training well under
way, a potty right outside the office was imperative.
Even the futon plays its role as an occasional "time-out"
Though they are old enough to entertain themselves at this
point, it would be foolish to leave my toddlers to their
own devices. Having everything we need in one confined
space has made it possible for me to spend less time on the
run and more time at my desk.
Do you need to renovate your basement to suit your writing
career? Not at all! The key is to find ways to write where
your toddlers are, either by bringing them to you or going
to them. Shirley Kawa-Jump, author of "How To Publish Your
Articles", brings her laptop into the kitchen where she can
watch her son play in the sink or at the counter. Brette
McWhorter Sember, author of "Repair Your Own Credit and
Deal with Debt" says that she kept toys in her office, and
set up a second computer for her son to play with while she
was working. "On the Edge" author Mary E. Tyler feels that
what her toddler most needs is a way to reconnect with
Mommy during the day. Mary discovered that by laying a
pillow on the floor near her chair, her daughter could
cuddle, put her head down and sleep.
Since all toddlers are delightfully unique, there is no one
solution to writing with them underfoot. But as a general
rule, they want to be near us, entertained, and in a safe
environment. By taking advantage of the quiet moments in
our day, and making some effort to accommodate our
children's needs, we might just give ourselves that little
extra time we've craved to create those masterpieces!
S.G. Birch has been published at Living Now!, The
Christian Science Monitor and Self Help For Her. Learn
more about this author, or see a complete list of published
works at http://www.cuic.ca/sgbirch.
by Sheri Waldrop
In a galaxy, not so far away, is a place known as "RFP."
This place is frequented by eager freelancers who sell
their writing wares to the not-so-highest bidder. This is a
universe where normal reality is suspended, and
mathematical rules no longer hold true, where the low
bidder wins and often freelancers offer to PAY for the
privilege of writing...
If you are a freelance writer, and have investigated jobs
online, you have probably heard of RFP boards. These are
the job sites of varying size and offerings that have names
such as "echance", or "creative writing students
moonlighting between classes", or even
"experiencedprofessionalwithfivedegrees.com." These sites
have been the subject of much debate, from those who scoff
at freelancers willing to peddle their wares for often
below-market prices, to others who claim that they have
found their way to writing riches and glory through the
bids they garnered. (The last are also often known for
their creative and imaginative natures...)
You may want to consider visiting them, from simple
curiosity (what kind of people actually offer their skills
in a mass auction place?), a good laugh (Look at this bidder.
He wants professional writers to create a 50,000 word book
and market it to publishers for $25, ha, ha, ha, ha) or
even desperation to supplement your slim writing income
when business is slow. These sites welcome the desperate,
and will help you become more-so quickly. Here is a simple
guide to how they work.
The principle for most of these sites is fairly simple. You
go to the site, and sign up as a provider of quality
writing services. You are then asked to create a profile.
This becomes a chance for you to use your creative writing
skills, since no one actually checks references or writing
experience. And you will find there are many, many
creative profiles indeed on these sites; people who have
won Pulitzer prizes and journalism awards at major
newspapers offering to write articles and ad copy for $5 an
Or, if you are more honest, you will list your true job
skills, cross your fingers, and hope that the lack of a
journalism award next to your name does not destroy your
chances of winning a bid.
At this point, you will be allowed to view jobs on some
sites and begin bidding, but other sites will first ask a
fee for the privilege of looking for freelance work. They
feel that freelance writers should be encouraged to pay
heavily for the privilege of looking for work, whether or
not they get any. Perhaps they feel that the humorously low
bids offer plenty of entertainment, and writers should pay
for this experience.
So if the fee (which ends up being kitty's cat food
allowance for the week, so you hope desperately that you
actually win some money back) is paid, you can now enter
the strange new world commonly known as the "bidding wars",
aka the "RFP Marketplace."
In these bidding contests, you look through the job
listings and find those that match your interests and
abilities. If you enjoy helping students write their term
papers and graduate without learning anything, you can bid
on the "term paper wanted" category, for example (and pray
that this won't be your future lawyer or doctor that you
are helping out who will be caring for you in your
Or, you can bid to write articles on health conditions that
people will read and change their lifestyles over for the
price of $10 per article, and afterwards bid to rewrite an
entire Web site with scintillating ad copy for $1 a page.
You can even ghost write an e-book for someone for $35 and
have the thrill of seeing someone else's byline on your
book. Of course, you can't tell anyone that it's really
your book, since you signed an ironclad confidentiality
agreement, but that is nothing to the sheer pleasure of
seeing your work published. Right?
At this point you may be thinking, "But those rates are
below industry. No one would write for rates that low."
But this is the way bidding wars work. When bidding on
RFP boards, you will be bidding against a very competitive
professional group that includes:
*Bored journalism students who want to earn their booze
money for the weekend.
*People from third-world countries who can feed their
family for a week on $5.
*Hobby writers who enjoy writing just to see their name in
*Other freelancers who need to buy kitty food for their
hungry fluff balls and will do anything to get the job.
*New writers desperate for clips who will offer
confidentiality to PAY the bidder for the chance to write
Occasionally, there will be serious jobs at almost serious
rates, which will entice professional freelancers to keep
visiting the job boards, in hopes that just this once,
there will be a good job, one that pays well.
Some RFP markets don't allow the freelancer to see the
competitions' bids. Instead, you place your information
on the board, and wait for business people to contact you
and ask about your rates and experience. Here is a typical
back and forth between buyer and seller:
"Hi, I need a 20-page manual written on how to build your
own home computer, done in five days. What's your rate?"
You respond, "Five days is a rush job, and I normally
charge a little extra to drop my other projects. My rates
are competitive with other professionals..."
The buyer then responds, "Do you have a degree in computer
engineering? It would be a good idea for this project."
You then answer, "No, but I have written similar projects
in the past, and if you can give me some specs and
contacts, I can do this for you."
At this point, the buyer decides to find a computer
engineer who has time to write a 20-page manual on the
side for $35, finding your rate of $35 an hour ludicrously
high especially since you don't have an engineering degree.
After awhile, you discover that your basic honesty (no, you
can't lie and say you have an engineering degree) is
getting in the way of getting contracts. You wonder how
many engineers out there really are freelancing for clients
at an average rate of 50б an hour, but hey, that's not your
So why do you visit the RFP boards? Because like the
proverbial rat who presses the lever, every once in a
while, just often enough, you have been rewarded by a
treat, i.e. a decent paying job and a great client.
Some will say, "Don't enter the bidding wars, it's not
worth your time and demeaning yourself." They quote low
bids and unrealistic buyer expectations, and voice concerns
that these boards take professional jobs out of the mouths
of serious professionals.
Others feel differently, and state that writing bids are
good practice for ad copy (if you can market yourself
amidst a pack of 500 competitors, you are really, really
good). They note that RFP clients are good for those new to
freelancing who want to try out their wings, and are great
practice for the adventurous looking for extra income on
the side. Of course, this has also been said about exotic
dancing, but that's another story altogether...
Either way, the bidding wars are here to stay as long as
freelancers are looking for work and buyers are looking for
professional work at low, low prices. Really low.
Extremely, amazingly low.
But it pays for kitty's food for the week, and she insists
that I keep trying them from time to time...
Sheri Waldrop is a registered nurse and certified diabetes
educator with over 20 years experience as a critical care
nurse and health educator. Currently, she is the owner of
Proscribe Writing Service, and has written on topics for
clients such as: About, Inc., Women's International
Network, Advance Nursing Magazine, French Cove
Magazine, Discover Belly Dance, and others. She also
manages an Internet company that provides dial-up
services, and teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) to
Hispanic adults. She has developed and written monthly
newsletters on Women's Health issues, created patient
education brochures, developed the Hispanic diabetes
curriculum for a major teaching hospital, and created
content for Web sites on topics ranging from fitness and
health to corporate communications. She is married with two
teenaged children, and is an avid gardener in her spare
time. You can view samples of her writing and learn more
about her writing service at
ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
they'll be printed in this publication.
Reminder About Paying Markets:
Make sure and read the complete writer's guidelines by
either visiting the Web site or requesting them via e-mail
or postal mail.
***Please note: With the exception of Kuji Magazine, ALL of
the markets featured below have extensive submission
guidelines located on their Web sites.
Children's Writer Newsletter
Seeks articles on the various aspects of writing for the
Length: Lead articles 1,500-2,000 words
Shorter features 850-1,200 words
Secondary features 1,200-1,500 words
Shorter secondary features 850 words
Pays on acceptance $250 for lead articles and shorter
features, $200-250 for secondary features and $150 for
shorter secondary features.
Buys first-time rights. Does not publish reprints. Will
review simultaneous submissions but you MUST state that
your material is a simultaneous submission.
City + Country Pets
Seeks articles pertaining to people and their pets.
Length: 700-900 words
Pays 30 days after publication. Payment is $50 per article
and $5 for each photo published. Prefers queries over
completed manuscripts. Accepts e-queries.
For a sample copy send $2 to:
City + Country Pets Magazine
P.O. Box 7423
Dallas, TX 75209-0423
Publishes articles and stories focused on Kentucky.
Pays $25-300 for assigned articles and $25-100 for
unsolicited articles. Payment is made within 90 days after
Send a query with your story idea and no more than three
clips (prefers tearsheets) to:
P.O. Box 559
Frankfort, KY 40602-0559
Kuji Magazine-the lifestyle guide to self-enrichment
Kuji is a bi-monthly publication that combines magazine
style articles covering a wide range of lifestyle concerns
with a complementary catalog of first-rate products that
address the varied needs of the entire family. Its purpose
is to encourage enlightened consumption and promote an
enriched lifestyle while fostering increased patronage of
quality products from the African Diaspora.
Articles fall within the categories of culture, health and
wellness, arts, personal care, youth development,
travel and leisure, and community economic development.
They vary in length usually within the 500-1500 word range.
Article length is established upon assignment.
To receive an assignment, please complete and return the
writer profile (to receive the profile e-mail your mailing
address and /or fax # to
with a query letter. Your letter should identify the
appropriate category and provide a clear and concise
outline of your proposed article. One page is sufficient.
Write a separate query for each idea you would like to
propose and send some of your clippings. If we are
interested in your subject, you will be asked to submit a
All manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced and submitted
on a disk (WordPerfect or Microsoft Word--save as plain
text or rich text file) or by e-mail. To help ensure
accuracy, we urge you to double check all information used
in your article--names of people, places and companies;
figures; telephone numbers and addresses; product names;
job titles, descriptions and so on--before submitting the
manuscript. Keep a copy of your manuscript and remember
that we cannot be responsible for unsolicited material.
Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope and allow
six weeks for review. Each manuscript will be reviewed and
the editors will decide if it will be published. Payment
for articles that are accepted will be made upon
publication. Payment is .1667б/word. Contact information
1199 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Fax: (718) 421-0522
Length: Feature articles 1,200-2,000 words, Department
articles 800-1,500 words and Trailblazers 300 words.
Payment is usually made three to four weeks after article
acceptance. Fees are discussed with the editor and not
publicly listed. Offers a 15% kill fee for unacceptable
pieces. Prefers written queries with clips. See Web site
for detailed listing of departments and other pertinent
Publishes stories and Garden Guide items pertaining to
Length: Stories 450-500 words, Garden Guide 150-300 words.
Pays upon acceptance. Fees, word length and deadline are
specified in a contract after the query has been accepted.
Syracuse New Times
Focused on the Syracuse Metropolitan area this newspaper
publishes feature articles, art & entertainment stories,
human-interest topics, food and lifestyle articles and
Length: 600-1,000 words with features running longer.
Purchases first publication rights only. Pays a minimum of
$10 for short items to a maximum of $250 for cover stories.
Everything else falls somewhere in between. Full-length
reviews of books, films or videos start at $50. Feature
articles start at $75.
If querying for the first time please include a resume.
Reviews unsolicited manuscripts. Please view Web site for
submission and style guidelines.
The Retired Officers Association
Publication for active and retired military members and
their families. Publishes material pertaining to several
topics including current and political affairs, military
history, travel, health & fitness, retirement and general
interest, among others.
Length: Features up to 2,500 words, mini features up to
Purchases first rights, to include Internet and reprint
Pays upon acceptance up to $1,800 for features and
up to $1,000 for mini features.
Submit query with clips and resume, rarely reads
unsolicited submissions. Not interested in fiction, poetry
or fillers. Does not publish reprints. Send query to:
The Retired Officers Association
201 N. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-2539
PLEASE, NO PHONE CALLS!
Weekend Adventures Magazine
Regional travel magazine focused on vacation destinations
in Western Maryland, The Potomac Highlands of West
Virginia, and The Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Article
subjects include a wide variety of travel-related topics.
Pays on publication $50 for feature articles over 1,000
words. Purchases FNSR including rights to publish on their
Prefers written queries but will consider completed
░░░░░ CLASSIFIEDS ░░░░░
Cornerstone Consortium and One Month Intensive Creative
Writing workshops is pleased to announce the launch of our
new free opt-in only biweekly e-zine, "Write Angles" that
debuted on January 7th, 2002. "Write Angles" is an e-zine
devoted to all kinds of writers, by writers, for writers,
with a zero irrelevant content policy. No more ads for
pantyhose, trash cans, or shoe organization systems in a
writer's newsletter. Something for everyone, including
"Find the Typo" Contest, sections on product reviews for
writers, recommendations on writing equipment and software
top ten lists, article sections specifically for fiction
writers, nonfiction writers, authors, newbies and
Webmasters, Write Recipes: A Writer food section, Right
brain/Left Brain writing, links, and so much more.
"Write Angles", the Zero BS newsletter for Writers.
subscribe by sending any e-mail to:
REALIZE YOUR BOOK DREAMS NOW!
Write, finish, publish, and promote your eBook or other
short book Online--fast! Free articles, tips and resources
from 20-year book coach. Send an
to receive "The Book
Coach Says..." and two free bonus eBooks (Web and eBook).
Freelancewriter's Group eZine needs articles and useful
tips for freelance writers. Articles to sharpen the
writer's skills and organize his thoughts and time, are
especially welcome. Currently, this is not a paying market
but we do offer a generous resource box, and, of course,
your byline. If you would like to submit an article to us,
please do so in the body of an e-mail only--no attachments
permitted--mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with "FW Article
Submission" in the subject line. Thank you for considering
submitting to us, your work is appreciated.
SELL REPRINTS TO OVER 130 MAGS WITH ONE E-MAIL. "Successful
Selling to Regional Parenting Publications," a WRITING KIT,
details how to sell original and reprint articles to
regional mags with a simple system. Includes DATABASE OF
139 EDITOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESSES to merge into your address
book, E-BOOK and SPREADSHEETS. From a writer successful in
this market. ONLY $29.99.
BREAK WRITER'S BLOCK FOREVER! Jerry Mundis, author of 40+
books, Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Guild, One Spirit
Book Club selections, will show you how. End paralysis,
avoidance behavior, last-minute crisis writing, and
inability to finish. Praised and endorsed by bestselling
authors Lawrence Block, Judith McNaught, Suzannah Lessard,
and others. **GUARANTEED**
Women Writers ------> http://www.naww.org
National Association of Women Writers - NAWW
Subscribe to NAWW WEEKLY, the FREE inspirational/how-to
e-mag. for women writers. Send blank
e-mailto:email@example.com or visit
our Web site.
Have you considered the wealth of UK markets available to
overseas writers? Our resource, thewriteUKmarket.com lists
hundreds of markets and guidelines all waiting for your
Do you have a writing related product or service? For a
limited time you can advertise it here FREE. Send your ad,
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Please place
"ad" in subject line.
Thank you for reading this issue of Busy Freelancer. C-ya
next month and remember:
"Take action and make no excuses!"---Kim Wilson
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
All Rights Reserved.
To contact Kim Wilson:
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610