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Monthly Publication For Freelancing Parents

January 1, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 1

ISSN 1538-8107


Busy Freelancer is a division of Write From Home
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services

You are receiving Busy Freelancer because you, or someone
using your e-mail address subscribed to it.

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In This Issue...

>>>> Letter From the Editor, Kim Wilson

>>>> Article:
"Defensive Freelancing: Protecting Yourself When
Working with Unscrupulous Editors"
by Chuck Bednar

>>>> Write From Home Site Updates

>>>> Column: Regional Reviews
by Hilary Evans

>>>> Article:
"Free at Last!"
by Lori Alexander

>>>> Success Spotlight

>>>> Excellent Editors

>>>> Paying Markets

>>>> Classifieds



Dear Writers,

Welcome to 2003! For those of you that celebrated the
holidays, I hope you had a low-stress, enjoyable time.

For many, the arrival of a new year spawns a deep urge to
get organized, set goals and tackle a workload with renewed
excitement and creativity. This month, instead of trying to
motivate you by stressing the importance of planning your
strategy for the upcoming year, I want to issue you a

Throughout 2003 I want you to view the beginning of each
month, week or day (your preference) as you would a whole
new year. Hang onto your excitement and desire to succeed
not just during the first part of 2003, but for the entire
year. Think you can do that, not for me, but for yourself?

January 1 seems to be a day for anniversaries. Not only
will I be celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary, but
Busy Freelancer will mark its first full year of being
in circulation. I want to extend a huge thank you to all
the readers -- those that have been with me from the
beginning and those of you that have jumped onboard
throughout the year. I will do my best to continue making
Busy Freelancer a publication you find useful and enjoy
reading. Your suggestions are always welcome, so don't
hesitate to send them my way.

Before I close, I want to THANK everyone that responded to
my coupon request in last month's issue. I'm still in
shock at the tremendous response I received. Many military
families stationed overseas will benefit from your

I want to wish each of you a healthy, happy and
success-filled 2003.


Kim Wilson


"Don't think it, ink it."--Mark Victor Hansen


"Defensive Freelancing: Protecting Yourself When
Working with Unscrupulous Editors"
by Chuck Bednar

"I hate to ask you this, and I know you'll probably refuse,
but I'd like you to reconsider our job offer," the editor's
e-mail read. "The others I hired have all quit on me,
leaving me in a tough spot. Are you willing to consider
coming back and writing our column?"

Getting the above e-mail was quite a shock to me. Just a
few weeks earlier, I had been in negotiations with this
very same editor to write a weekly sports column for an
up-and-coming dot com. The deal was very attractive--a
regular writing job about a topic I love, and decent pay to
boot. After some careful consideration, I decided to accept
the job.

However, that's when things started to get strange. Just
hours after accepting the job via e-mail and working out
all the details, I received a phone call from the editor.
She had gotten responses from several other writers, and
decided to hire three of them as well. She wanted to know
if I would be willing to do just one column a month instead
of four, for one quarter of the pay.

I was stunned. Flabbergasted, even. Here, I had been told
that the job was mine. Now, she was taking it away and
offering a deal that was a far cry from the one that she
had originally offered. I had no clue what I should do, or
how I should act. This situation was a new one for me.

Initially, I agreed to the altered terms. After all, I
figured, it was still regular work. However, as it slowly
dawned on me how this editor had gone back on her word and
tried to alter the agreement that was already in place, I
grew uncomfortable with the situation. I realized that she
could not be trusted to live up to her word, and that this
may not be the end of her alterations to our established
verbal agreement. Ultimately, I explained my feelings to
her and politely declined the work agreement. The editor
and I went our separate ways.

Until I received this e-mail that is.

Was I still interested in the position? Of course! It was
still a regular column about a topic I loved, and it still
paid fairly well. Normally, I wouldn't think twice about
taking the offer. However, my earlier dealings with this
editor taught me that I could take nothing for chance. I
decided that, if I became involved with her again, that I
wanted to take steps to protect my own interests, and make
sure that there wouldn't be a repeat of the earlier

It was time for me to play a little defense.

So just what IS defensive freelancing? In professional
sports, teams play defense to stop their opponents from
scoring. It is a tactic employed to make sure that they
come out on top at the end of the game. Same principle
applies when it comes to defensive freelancing. If you're
dealing with an unscrupulous editor or client, they may try
to take the ball and score points on you. They may try to
take advantage of you, put you in awkward situations, try
to change the terms of your deal, or strong-arm you into an
unfair situation. When you play defense, you take steps to
make sure that you don't get suckered into a deal that you
might regret later.

Not all editors are like this, and you should never go into
a situation assuming the worst about an editor. However,
these types of people are out there and you need to learn
how to protect yourself from them. In these instances, be
aggressive and fight for your beliefs. If you think you
may be dealing with a client who is trying to take
advantage of you, here are a few suggestions on how to
protect your own business interests.

The first thing you should always do is to get it in
writing. Yes, this is one of the basic rules of freelancing.
Ideally, you should always have a contract with every
employer you deal with. It is proof of the agreement you
made with an editor, publication, or client. Also make sure
that you have a legally binding copy of the contract in
your possession--i.e., one that has been signed by your
client or a legal representative of their publication or
firm and notarized if possible. You want to be able to use
it in a court of law, if necessary.

Just having a contract isn't enough, though. You need to
make sure it is the right contract. In my example, the
editor had decided to change the frequency of my column
before I even had a contract. So when she approached me
again, one of the things I insisted on having put in the
deal was a clause allowing me to immediately nullify the
contract should the column's frequency be altered at any
time. I wanted the publication to put their commitment to
me, as the weekly columnist, in writing. Without this
clause, I told her, I was not interested in the job. She
refused, leaving me to assume that the situation would
have played out exactly the same way as last time.

Despite what your editors or clients might tell you, it is
not wrong for you as a freelancer to ask them to depart
from company policy and make special provisions to protect
your interests. As a freelance writer, you are the only one
who will look out for your business's well being. If you
don't take care of yourself in these matters, no one will
take care of you. This editor called me everything from
unreasonable to a prima donna for requesting an escape
clause, but to me it was just smart business. Our history
dictated that I exercise caution in my dealings with her,
and her unwillingness to provide me with this simple request
set off more than a few red flags. If you suspect an editor
or client isn't playing fair with you, and they refuse to
accommodate your desire for job security, it's a good
indicator that your hunch is right.

So how can you tell if an editor might not be on the up-

Refusal to sign a contract is an obvious sign, as is
refusal to be direct about terms. If an editor dances
around the compensation issue, set a firm rate on your own
and see how they react. Even a counter offer can be
acceptable, as long as they are willing to break from a
standard deal and put forth some effort. The same holds
true for other areas of a contract.

Another warning sign is how they behave in negotiations. If
a client or representative approaches you about taking a
job, and then starts trying to make you leap through a
series of corporate hoops before you are "accepted," there
may be something fishy going on. Promises of rewards
tomorrow for sacrifices today should also raise red flags,
as there are no guarantees for "tomorrow" in this business.
Sometimes, though, you just need to use common sense. If it
looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it probably is a

The final and most important lesson about defensive
freelancing is that sometimes deals just can't be done. If
you stick to your guns and want to do your very best to
protect your business, there will be times where you have
to turn down work. It happens. The editor who contacted me
was unwilling to accommodate my clause, and I was not
willing to bend on my terms. Even though it looked
attractive on paper, I felt that I simply could not count
on this editor to deliver on her promises. Thus, an
agreement was never reached and I did not get this job. I
do not regret it, though. Nor should you when you find
yourself in a similar situation.


Chuck Bednar is an Ohio-based freelance writer and editor.
He is the author of three sports-related books, as well as
a former sports correspondent with daily newspapers in Ohio
and West Virginia. Bednar has also served as a business
columnist, book reviewer, and trivia writer. You can visit
him online at http://sports.bednar.com



==>>"Life of a Writer Mom" Column by Carla Charter
This month read "The Music In My Office" at

==>>Articles Added to Write From Home

Direct links to these articles can be found at

* "How To Turn Your Children Into Your Writing Asset"
by Esther Newton

* "Easy as 123: Writing the Standard Checklist Article"
by Carolyn Burch

* "How To Market Your Unsold Books On the Internet"
by Judy Cullins


by Hilary Evans


Once in awhile you will stumble across a market with a
smaller, "sister" publication. Often they will share
articles while running separate advertisements, and many
times these magazines will pay a double-fee for use in both

This is another reason to read the guidelines carefully.
Now that you know what to look for, start paying attention
to things you don't see. What isn't mentioned can be just
as important as what is. Remember, when in doubt, ask about
the rates, rights, and exclusivity before you seal the deal,
and don't be afraid to ask for special consideration. It
isn't just the quality of your work that determines how
much it's worth.

Connecticut's County Kids
877 Post Road East
Westport, CT 06880-5224
Phone: 203-226-8877 ext. 125
Fax: 203-221-7540
Web site: http://www.countykids.com
Editor: Linda Greco

Connecticut's County Kids is a nice regional magazine with
a circulation of about 30,000. This edition covers
Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties. their mission
is to offer Connecticut parents a resource. General issue
articles need to have local ties to all of their coverage
areas. "For example," read the guidelines, "an article about
an educational trend would include interviews and/or
information about schools or parents in Fairfield, Hartford,
New Haven, and Litchfield Counties."

This magazine is also interested in local events and
issues, and have a small selection of departments. "Museum
Moments" specializes in pieces under 750 words that detail
a day out with the kids at an area museum. "Moms" and "Dads
View" share a bit of parental wisdom in 600 words or less.
All articles should come in under 900 words, and bring $25
to $50 depending on length, regional emphasis, and
purchased rights.

Connecticut's County Kids appreciates queries before
submissions, and can be reached via e-mail or snail mail
listed above. Keeping illustrations or photographs in mind
will help out the editor, and be sure to remember
"RESOURCE." Every article should contain pertinent, local
information. Phone numbers, addresses, dates of importance,
and other tangible bits of advice families can take
advantage of are especially in need. Wrap it up in a
package that is quick and interesting to read, and you've
got a sale.

Hartford County Kids
877 Post Road East
Wesptort, CT 06880-5224
Phone: 203-226-8877 ext. 125
Fax: 203-221-7540
Web site: http://www.countykids.com
Editor: Linda Greco

Hartford County Kids is the sister publication of
Connecticut's County Kids. It's focus is solely on the
Hartford area. Generally the same stories run in both
magazines, but the advertising and area calendars have
different information. While it isn't mentioned in the
guidelines, after speaking with the staff at Connecticut's
County Kids it seems one fee is paid for publication in
both magazines.

Hartford County Kids has a circulation of 13,000, making
the total area coverage roughly 45,000. One author
mentioned that along with her contract came a notice about
state exclusivity. This is also missing from the
guidelines, and may bring writers into conflict with the
state's leading parenting publication, Connecticut Parent

Obviously, terms can be negotiated. These are small
magazines, generally with small staffs, and dedicated
writers can find a gem in many of them. However, it's hard
to bargain before knowing what you have to work with.
Learning to read between the lines of submission terms is
your first step to securing the most value for your time.
You also show the editor you have taken the time to learn
about what they offer, and are making a conscious decision
to ask for more.


Hilary Evans is the mother of three children, and lives
with her family in Fort Dodge, IA. Her work has appeared in
several regional parenting magazines both online and in



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:

Book Reviews
Write From Home
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610


"Free at Last!"
by Lori Alexander

Keeping track of my kids while trying to write was
becoming increasingly difficult. I resented having to
choose between being cooped up indoors or taking my
increasingly resentful kids to the park. After spending
two weeks bed-bound with an adult case of chicken pox, I
finally broke. If I wanted to increase my available writing
time, I needed to be mobile. I needed the freedom and
convenience of a laptop.

Considering the significant expense, and reputed fragility
of the machines, it wasn't a decision to be made lightly.
Buying a sturdier Alpha Smart was a possibility, and would
release me from the isolation of the office, but a simple
word processor wasn't going to provide the power and
performance I needed.

After six months, I'm happy to report that the extravagance
merited every study of computer magazines, reviews, and
meticulous price-comparisons.

Buying a laptop has proven to be worth every cent.

* If you need a 'workhorse' admit it, and shop accordingly.
Writers need to back up their work regularly, and nothing
is easier, or more reassuring than burning your hard work
onto a CD. If you've branched out into digital photography,
you'll want to buy as much memory as you can afford to
handle the hefty imaging applications, and make sure your
workhorse has reasonable expansion capabilities. When
handling large, high-resolution files, having a CD-W on
board becomes a justifiable expense.

* Afraid of printer/scanner/modem hassles? Switching
peripheral cables between desktop and laptop can become
tiresome. If your desktop will be semi-retired, change your
set-up! Even a small table can accommodate a phone and a
printer, ready for quick attachment to your laptop.
Threading peripheral cables through port-height hooks will
keep your cords on hand. If you'd rather not deal with
printer cables at all, copy your laptop's work onto a disk
and print from your desktop. For scanners, the same applies:
scan to your desktop computer, save your work to disk, and
edit on your laptop at your convenience.

* The mighty mouse: With the frequent use of cut/copy/paste
commands, writers may prefer to use a mouse rather than the
laptop's touchpad. No problem on a smooth, flat surface,
even without a mouse pad, but what about when lazing in bed
or when writing at a rough surfaced picnic table? Any book
or notebook without an ultra slippery surface will do.

* Screen Glare: This can be a demon when working outside on
a sunny day, but several tricks can minimize the problem.
For your working draft, use a large, bold font. Alternately
you can change your screen settings: In Windows, hit Control
Panel, Accessibility Options, Display, check 'high contrast,'
then experiment and pick a color scheme that suits you.

* Charged up and ready to roar! Extra batteries can be life,
and for writers, livelihood savers. To customize your
power consumption and low battery warnings, in Windows,
click on Control Panel, then Power Options and adjust the
settings to match your work style.

* Travelers go the Extra Mile. When you're on the road, a
well-padded computer case is absolutely essential to
protect your machine. They're also great for stashing your
digital camera, voice recorder, notebooks, pens, extra
batteries, business cards, and a well-stocked case screams

* How fragile are they? With the sticker shock still fresh
in mind, I've yet to drop my laptop, or spill liquid
anywhere near it. However, my toddler has stood on the
closed laptop more than once. The cat, drawn to its
warmth, likes to sleep near it, and my seven-year-old uses
it to play Zoo Tycoon. She's been to the sea, through the
Alps, and is getting ready to make a transatlantic journey.
I beat the keyboard ruthlessly as I type, and can see bits
of lint and crumbs between the keys, yet she keeps humming

* Keyboards: The flexibility of working with a laptop
increases temptation to sit propped in bed eating and
drinking as you type. Be warned, horror stories abound. To
keep your keyboard in top form, invest in a "computer
vacuum," or pick up a can of pressurized air.

* Cords: Leave them attached to your peripherals, not the
back of your laptop. With the amount of movement and
handling a laptop has to deal with, they're likely to get
yanked out, and the computer's socket along with them. If
you use a mouse, you may want to consider a cordless.

Still unsure if a laptop might set you free? The backbone
of this essay was written in the kitchen, between feeding
the dogs, toasting a cheese sandwich, and brewing a pot of
tea. It was expanded and proofed on the sofa, and polished
on the patio while I supervised kids climbing trees. I
didn't have to set foot in the office until it was time
to hit the "send" button, and if we ever get our network
running, I won't even have to do that!


Lori Alexander is an American freelancer currently living
in Dublin, Ireland with her husband and two sons. She
specializes in family travel, expert issues, and Irish
culture and history. Lori can be reached at



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:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com with the subject
'success spotlight' and I'll print your news item in the
next issue. (Hint: this a great area to do a little
shameless self promotion.)


Congratulations to:

* Hasmita Chander on her article "Harnessing the Energy of a
Muse Call" published at the Institute for Children's
Literature. You can read the article at

* Jim Howard for his article "Personal Perspective/New
Horizons" appearing in the Fall edition of CAREER & the
disAbled magazine. His Web site is at

* Abha Lyengar writes:
I've recently received two complimentary copies of the book
"How Running Changed My Life," which has my article "Beautiful
Gazelle" published (Breakaway Books). I was thrilled.

I have had several articles/stories/poems published online,
but having the books in my hand was a different experience

* Peggy Bennett writes:
It takes a lot of courage to send out your very first
article, your baby that you toiled over for months trying
to get it "just right." Having read many writing books, I
knew it would take months or years to ever see one of my
articles in print. Much to my surprise, both of my first
articles were published right away. I was so pleased and
proud of myself for taking that first big step toward

My articles addressed two very different aspects of my life
today: my reaction to the events of 9/11 from a writer's
point of view and a humorous look at growing older from my
dog's perspective. They are entitled "Ad Arma Vocare! A
Writer's Call to Arms" and "Amazing Grace: An Aging
Scottie's Journey."

You can view them both at the Southern California Writers
Association Web site:



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 next 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.


I would like to thank Nannette Croce of T-Zero
(http://www.thewritersezine.com) for being patient and
encouraging to writers. A few months back I had queried her
on writers' fatigue and Nannette wrote back to say that
T-Zero would be interested. I was relatively new to the
writing field and dreading the editorial process. Being an
ESL writer this happened to be my first online assignment.

But Nannette was very helpful and gentle in criticizing my
draft, as I had difficulty in writing for the Web (I was a
dedicated print publication writer). In spite of some
personal obligations, she was constantly helping me in
editing my work. It was many weeks before my submission
got the go-ahead from the chief editor and I had a
wonderful session with her, in understanding the writing
process and what happens between querying and acceptance,
instead of the usual unsolicited submission and an
acceptance in a printed card. She is the dream editor any
writer could wish for!

Thanks Nannette!

Radika Meganathan



ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
guidelines to mailto:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com and
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.

You'll notice I usually don't publish the editor's name
with a listing. Because editorial positions frequently
change it's in your best interest to visit the Web site or
contact the publication prior to querying or submitting and
request the name of the current editor. (I'd hate to supply
you with a name, only for you to submit to the wrong



298 Fifth Avenue
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 695-2223

Health and wellness publication for adults 50 and older.

Seek articles between 600-900 words for departments and
feature articles between 1,000-2,500 words.

Pays upon acceptance $1-1.50/word and buys FNSR. Query with
two or three clips.


Second Home

1100 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 595
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (303) 397-7600

Home and remodeling magazine published four times a year.

Seeks articles pertaining to lifestyle, personality
profiles, destinations, vacation home communities, and home
and garden.

Pays between $100-500 for articles. Query with resume and
copies of three clips.


Adoptive Families

42 W. 38th Street
Suite 901
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (646) 366-0830

Resource publication for adoptive families focused on
before, during and after the adoption.

Seeks articles pertaining to preparing for adoption, health
issues, parenting tips and birth families. See guidelines
for a listing of the numerous departments.

Pays on publication 10-15б/word and purchases all rights.
Include clips when querying.


Cats & Kittens

7-L Dundas Circle
Greensboro, NC 27407
Phone: (363) 292-4047

Bimonthly publication focused on educating and entertaining
lovers of cats and kittens.

Seeks 500-2,000 word articles on popular species and
human-interest stories. Pays on publication 10б/word and
buys all rights.

Query with published clips.



P.O. Box 300
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: (815) 224-6656

Listening and learning publication for infants and toddlers
ages six to twenty-four months.

Seeks simples stories and poems containing 4-6 short
sentences. The rates vary but the minimum is $25. Babybug
pays on publication and purchases all rights.

Do not query. Send your manuscript on spec and be sure
to include a SASE.


░░░░░ 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 an e-mail to



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
e-mailto:Subscribe@bookcoaching.com to receive "The Book
Coach Says..." and two free bonus eBooks (Web and eBook).
Monthly Discounts


Writers Crossing - the site for writers on the web.
Featuring articles, book reviews, markets, free e-books, a
monthly poll and much more. Visit today!


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.


New Writer eMagazine ~ The e-mail magazine for new writers.
For only $2 an issue you can have our magazine delivered
straight to your inbox, every month, and have full access
to our special 'subscribers only' page where you can
download writing software and ebooks (some with resell
rights), all FREE just for being a subscriber. For more
info visit http://www.kt-p.net


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:naww@onebox.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
submissions. http://www.thewriteukmarket.com


BellaOnline's Writing Zine
is a free monthly e-mail newsletter to help you find the
best resources for writers online and learn how to improve
your writing.
To start your FREE E-mail subscription to BellaOnline's
Writing Zine, either send a blank
e-mailto:bellaonlinewriting-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or
visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bellaonlinewriting


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:

send e-mailto:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com

Busy Freelancer
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610
Phone: 609-888-1683
Fax: 609-888-1672


Copyright Е 2001-2013 Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services.