B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R
Monthly Publication For Freelancing Parents
October 1, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 10
Busy Freelancer is a division of Write From Home
Copyright (c) 2003, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
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In This Issue...
>>>> Letter From the Editor, Kim Wilson
"Springboard Your Way to Article Ideas"
by Katrina Baker
>>>> Write From Home Site Updates
>>>> Column: Regional Reviews
by Hilary Evans
>>>> Success Spotlight
>>>> Excellent Editors
"The Magic of the Bulletin Board"
by Chitra Soundar
>>>> Workshops and Conferences
>>>> Writing Contests
>>>> Paying Markets
"Make time to write, the way you make time to shop for food,
or exercise, or pay your bills. It’s important."
Read interview at
°°°°° LETTER FROM THE EDITOR °°°°°
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the
fall festivals, the vibrant colors of the leaves and the cool
temperatures. The changing of the seasons--particularly from
summer to fall--renews my motivation and inspiration.
Now that I've expressed my jubilation about the change of
seasons, I have two items that I want to address:
1. I've filled all of the submission slots for Write From
Home and Busy Freelancer for the remainder of 2003. Please,
until further notice, refrain from sending me any queries or
2. Like most of you, I receive a tremendous amount of e-
mail. If you've e-mailed me with a writing-related question,
please be patient. I will get back to you. I hate having to
make people wait for a response, but right now with the
volume of legitimate (non-spam) e-mail I receive, I could
easily spend six hours a day responding to inquiries. (I can
only dream of having that much time on my hands. On second
thought, I should be careful what I ask for as I just might
Have a wonderful, productive month.
"Springboard Your Way to Article Ideas"
by Katrina Baker
I'm amazed at all that we require of ourselves as freelancing
parents. Somewhere between the "Mom, my ear hurts," "Honey,
what's for dinner?" and "Here's the estimate for fixing your
leaky roof," we still expect ourselves to write, market, and
sell our articles. And, oh yes, there's that minor matter of
coming up with an endless supply of new article ideas. I
don't know about you, but there are times when I'm so
exhausted and busy that I couldn't come up with a salable
idea to save my life.
Recently, out of desperation, I started looking for ways to
streamline my freelance work in order to save my own sanity.
I obviously have to do all the writing and marketing--no one
else can do that job for me. But I have found that I don't
have to rely solely on my own creativity and brain power to
come up with ideas for my articles--there are people (and
things) that can do much of that work for me! Try these
methods of "springboarding" your way to article ideas from
everyday situations and events, and see if you can give your
overworked mind a bit of a rest, too.
* Friends & family
Pay close attention to casual conversations with your friends
and family to find out what's important to them. Jot down
what made your sister angry this week, your neighbor's
struggle at work, or your father-in-law's experience with
homeopathic medicine. Use their experiences to prompt ideas
that will appeal to other "everyday people" who wrestle with
the same issues. Of course, you should not quote your family
and friends or include their stories in your article without
permission, but you can certainly use the topics that matter
to them as idea-prompters, and take it from there.
* Slogans and catch phrases
We're surrounded by them everywhere we go--they're on
television and radio, in magazines, and plastered on
billboards. Though you may be tired of hearing "Dude, you're
gettin' a Dell" or "We'll leave the light on for you,"
company slogans and catch phrases can inspire a wealth of
article ideas. The key is to look at them in a new way. For
example, play fill-in-the-blank with the Dell slogan. The
possibilities are endless:
"Dude, you're gettin' a...
...cat!" (guidelines for families thinking of bringing a
kitty home from the shelter)
...new baby!" (a what-to-expect guide for prospective
...cold!" (new developments and old stand-bys used to treat
the common cold)
I wouldn't necessarily recommend using the revised slogan as
your article title, although that may be appropriate in some
cases. But if you keep your eyes (and ears) open for
interesting slogans or jingles, you'll soon find that you can
come up with article ideas just by watching commercials.
* Magazines and newspapers
Did you ever notice how many similar articles are out there?
It seems there is an unending stream of articles on saving
money, lowering stress, getting organized, improving
relationships, and so on. Why not use that to your advantage?
Naturally, you don't want to "steal" other people’s ideas and
slants, but you can use existing articles to come up with new
takes on familiar topics.
You may read a filler item on "15 Tips for Home
Organization," and expand on one or two tips to make a whole
new article for a different market. Or you can take an
article on new cancer treatments that is filled with expert
quotes and statistics, and allow that to inspire your own
round-up article focusing on personal experiences and
anecdotes from new cancer-drug patients and their families.
The topic is borrowed, but the angle and article are all
* Couch Potato Time
Yes, it is even possible to glean article ideas from the time
you spend lounging on the sofa in front of the TV. Goofy
story-lines from sitcoms can inspire articles like "Survival
for Singles" or "Are You an Annoying Coworker?" Local news
shows can prompt in-depth articles on health risks to
seniors, car safety, or technological advances. Even made-
for-TV dramas can generate article ideas regarding
relationships, anger management, or even forensic pathology.
The bottom line is this: keep a notebook with you at all
times, and be aware that article ideas really are all around
you. Now go relax a little--but don't forget that notebook!
Katrina Baker is a freelance writer living near Pittsburgh,
PA with her husband and son. Katrina has written for various
national and regional publications including Pittsburgh
Parent, Nashville Parent, Kids VT, Today's Christian Woman,
and Discipleship Journal.
°°°°° WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES °°°°°
==>> "Off the Page" Column by Tama Westman
This month read "Set Your Fees and Increase Your Income" at
==>>"Life of a Writer Mom" Column by Carla Charter
This month read "On Finding My Desk" at
==>>Articles Added to Write From Home
Direct links to these articles can be found at
* "Interview with Daniel Glick"
by Dana Mitchells
* "Decide What To Write, When"
by Karen Millard
* "A Writer's Dream: The Home Office"
by Linda S. Dupie
* "Writing and Selling News Items"
by David Geer
* "Turn Your Writing Lemons Into Lemonade"
by Christine Collier
COLUMN-----> REGIONAL REVIEWS
by Hilary Evans
I say this once in awhile, and I'm sure she thinks I'm
sucking up, but Kim really is one of the best editors I've
worked with. Our son has been sick, and I haven't had time to
work. I missed a deadline--well, actually a few deadlines-and
when I got home I sent out an e-mail to my editors.
"I'm sorry my article is late. Our son has been in the
children's hospital in Des Moines, and I haven't been able to
work." That wasn't it exactly, but you get the idea. Per the
advice of several writers, I didn't give too much information
but I did let the editors know what was going on.
Fortunately, my results were not what those other writers had
One woman warned me about giving too much information.
Details, apparently, are a sign that you are lying. I took
her advice and stuck to the basics. Our son was in the
hospital in Des Moines--that's a state hospital and should
have been enough to say "serious" illness.
Another writer told me that mentioning the illness at all
would be highly unprofessional. Taking that into
consideration, I made sure to send each e-mail individually,
using the editors' names, creating a proper letter format,
and staying as short and sweet as possible. So far I haven't
had anyone complain.
A third professional told me to do what I had to do, but to
be prepared for not working with these editors again. She'd
been through a similar situation with a high profile tech
magazine, and they haven't used her since. I thought about my
alternatives, went into the deal knowing my risks, and came
out pleasantly surprised. None of the editors were suspicious
or rude. Some even asked if there was anything they could do.
(Thank you, Kim.)
When family problems keep you from completing your work, be
honest. Editors know that given a sick child or a deadline
the child always wins, but they don't consider family "the
American Kids Parenting Magazine
P.O. Box 49245
West Carrollton, OH 45449
This editor is interested in submissions under 1000 words,
and a quick look at the Web site shows kid basics are the
topics de jour--children's behavior, health, education, etc.
It seems there is also an opportunity for book authors to
publish an excerpt, as Nancy Steorts, author of "Safe Living
in a Dangerous World" has done.
Writing samples of 500 words should be e-mailed to the
editor, Sheryl Brownlee, along with a list of previously
published articles or ideas. General payment is $25. This
market might be a good choice for reprints that don't need
much area-specific information.
http://www.everydayparents.com (now a dead link)
This is a strange situation brought to my attention by the
boards at Wahm.com. Various ads posted around the Web asked
for regular contributors to a new magazine, Everyday Parents.
Writers worked on proposals and articles, and then suddenly
lost contact with "the editors." Their e-mails are going
unanswered, and the site remains inactive. It would be easy
to say this is just another market that died before release,
but the particulars sound ... funny. Be careful when
researching new publications, and if you see a warning sign
avoid the magazine until it is established.
I've crossed my fingers, my toes, my eyes and my t's that our
family stays healthy for a long, long time. If we don't, at
least I won't worry when it comes to talking with individual
magazines. Admitting you are behind schedule because of an
illness is never a step we want to take, but it isn't
necessarily going to end your career. Be honest,
professional, and as timely as you can, and you'll have
relatively little to fear.
Have a comment, question or suggestion? Know of a great
regional writer who deserves some recognition? Let me know at
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
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
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with 'success
spotlight' in the subject line and I'll print your news item
in the next issue. (Hint: This a great area to do a little
shameless self promotion.)
* Sue Sundwall writes:
A few weeks ago I got a contract in the mail from CSS
Publishing in Lima, OH. They have accepted my children's
Christmas play, "Bartholomew The Clueless Shepherd." It will
appear on their Fall 2005 booklist. I wrote it for the
children of our Sunday School and it was performed last
Christmas in the church. It's a small niche market, but a
success nonetheless. Thank you so much for letting us tout
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.
[Editor's Note: Last month Kathryn Lanier's Web address was
accidentally omitted. I'm republishing the updated Excellent
** I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Kathryn
Lanier's editing and writing skills. Kathryn has done some
editing for me in the past and I have been very happy with
her work. In addition, I enjoy reading her book reviews in
Innerchange Magazine (http://www.innerchangemagazine.com).
Kathryn's editing and writing skills reveal that she is truly
knowledgeable and gifted. I highly recommend her work. She is
quite praise worthy!
aka: ARADIA GoldenDove
Rowan County, North Carolina, USA
" The Magic of the Bulletin Board"
by Chitra Soundar
Earlier when I used to work in the service industry, bulletin
boards were the most important part of work life. Other than
the usual schedules, common phone numbers and holiday lists,
they had an important role to play--team motivation.
Any new achievements or triumphs were shared as a note
on the bulletin board. A new sale, comments from happy
customers and comments from happy bosses used to go up for
everyone to see. After the note went up, people used to
scribble their comments on the note--some silly, some
outrageous, and mostly complementary, to let you know their
While I reorganized my workstation (another legacy term from
my corporate culture), I realized the bulletin board could
play a big role in my writing profession as well. I sure
don't have a team. But I do have a family and a circle of
friends and I could share my achievements and successes with
As a professional, I do keep track of my acceptances,
positive queries, potential markets and that sort of nitty
gritty. My mind is a storehouse of information that keeps
track of schedules and open queries and submissions, without
having a need for a calendar and a to-do list. But given my
skeptical management mindset, I do keep a written list as
well. These lists fulfill the need to be organized, nothing
more. But as a single-member team, how would I motivate
myself? How do I ensure that friends and family join in
the fun and joy of a new acceptance or just writing a new
chapter as planned? Enter the family brag board!
All you need is a soft-board, a stapler or board pins and
colorful satin ribbons. Place the board in a prominent
position in the living room. Remember the aim is to make as
many people as you can share your success and joy.
Divide the board using satin ribbons into unnamed portions.
Set aside one portion for sales and acceptances, one for
personal achievements and one for general literary news.
Whenever you make a sale or meet your personal deadline or
milestone, prepare a note on fluorescent paper and place it
on the board. Print it with cartoons using your PC or use
bold markers to write the notes. Grab the attention of anyone
who enters your home. Keep changing the notes so that people
would want to stop and read the latest. Encourage your family
and friends to scribble comments--you never know how much of
a treasure this might turn out to be when you become an
When writing as a family, this brag-board can be a constant
source of encouragement among fellow-writers--your family
members. Each of you can have a separate board, or even share
the same one that uses different color codes for each member
in the family. Either way, the entire family gets to
participate in the joy and tears of the family passion.
This kind of bragging gives you many benefits. Benefits such
1. You are under pressure to update the board and hence at a
minimum, you have to at least meet personal commitments, if
not sell something week after week.
2. Putting up literary notes will encourage you to spend some
time on learning more about contests, who won the recent
3. Gives a 24-hour reminder to your family and friends about
your commitment to the writing profession. It helps them to
remember that these achievements have lots of sacrifices
4. Reminds you about your sales and achievements as you walk
past--giving you the oxygen to write whenever you feel low.
5. Escape boredom. When your muse is fast asleep you can at
least spend time rearranging the brag board, for want of
better things to do.
If you are brave, then you could put up notes about
rejections and misfired queries as well. Venting out the
remorse, sharing it with people you love would definitely
help you overcome the disappointment of the rejection. This
will also help indicate the hard work you are putting in
during the dry periods with no acceptances or positive news.
Having said that, implement this only if you are comfortable
with the idea of sharing rejections and being the butt of
Writing is a lonely profession. Unless you pull your
family and friends into your circle, they are not going to
understand what a sale means to you. Unless the significance
of a finished chapter and a manuscript in the mail is
demonstrated, your family would not understand the sudden
bounce in your steps or the smile that crosses your face when
you retrieve the mail. So remember, brag and share the joy.
--> Other brag board alternatives
* You could use the traditional fridge-magnet system. Space
might be limited unless you are using an industrial size
appliance (don't use this if you are using the mini-bar-
size). But this might relegate your achievements to a corner
that does not have as many footfalls as the living room. This
option is definitely a good trial zone. Once your family gets
the hang of it, perhaps you can nudge your spouse into
gifting you a nice big brag board for the living room.
* The Web is another simple brag-board. This is a useful
method when you want to brag to the rest of the world.
However, scribbling comments, haphazard posters might become
technically tricky. This could become a good add-on to your
existing Web site. Remember not to allow this to be open to
your editors and publishers. I am not sure about you, but I
am not comfortable with the thought that my editor will know
writing a chapter is an achievement by itself. (I'd rather
let them think that my muse and creative juices occupy a
permanent place within me.) This option could be an extension
to your network of friends who don't drop by your living
room, because they live elsewhere in the global village.
* Participate in brag boards on Writer's Digest and
other newsletters that encourage you to share your success.
Chitra Soundar is a writer whose work is enriched by her
varied professional experience and inspired by the ethnic
culture of India. An IT professional by vocation, for the
last 11 years, excelling in IT Education, Career counseling
and Software development, her interest in storytelling became
evident when she won the first prize for story telling at the
age of seven. Chitra's first poems were made up a few minutes
before recording and were presented in the state radio by her
younger sister, when the siblings were still in primary
school. Her mother is a playwright and drama actor, who
writes and directs humorous plays in vernacular Tamil for
children and adults.
Workshops and Conferences
Do you write funny?
Join hundreds of humor writers at the 2004 Erma Bombeck
Writers' Workshop (March 25 to 27, 2004) at the University of
Dayton (Ohio). Faculty include Jill Conner Browne (New York
Times best-selling author), Craig Wilson (USA Today
columnist), Karyl Miller (Emmy award-winning writer-
producer), Bruce Cameron (syndicated humor columnist and New
York Times best-selling author), Jeff Herman (literary agent
and author of Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers &
Literary Agents) and more than 20 others.
Humor columnist, Dave Glardon, calls the Erma Bombeck
Writers' Workshop "...the world's finest humor writers'
conference." After attending the last workshop, Reg Henry
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and deputy editorial page
editor) said, "At last, an institution that respects the art
of humor writing."
Past workshops have sold out months ahead of time. Writers
are encouraged to register early, to avoid missing out. The
HumorWriters.org Web site also offers a free newsletter and
screen saver for writers.
A complete faculty lineup and workshop schedule can be found
Join us at our 3rd Annual Obadiah Press Christian Writers
Whether you're writing for Christian or secular markets,
dream of starting a writing career or writing a book, write
poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction, this Christian
Writers Conference is for you! This conference will educate,
motivate, stimulate, and inspire you to take your Christian
writing to the next level!
Saturday, March 6, 2004
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The AmericInn Conference Room
Alpine Village Family
Positive Parenting Writer's Competition
We are excited to announce our first annual Positive
Parenting Writer's Competition! Our goal is to highlight
positive parenting practices and to recognize and reward our
We invite writers to contribute their work to one of our
three main categories.
Your article/essay will be 1500 words or less and will give
entertaining and inspiring information and/or tips that
encourages positive parenting.
Your autobiography will share your story in 2500 words or
less and will either share how you were parented in a
positive fashion or how you positively parented (or are
parenting) your children.
Your poetry will be 500 words or less. All poetry that has
parenting as it's theme will be considered.
To enter, please visit our Web site and follow instructions
Busy Parents Online's First Annual BusySpirit Writing
Keepin' the Faith in the Fast Lane
As busy parents, we spend our time in the car transporting
kids to sports and a multitude of activities. We work,
sometimes outside the home and always in the home, struggling
to keep things running smoothly, or even just running. We
volunteer our time at school, church and in the community.
For many of us, exhaustion is a way of life.
With all the demands in your life, how do you find that all-
important quality time with God? How do you tend to your
faith life so that it can nurture you as you're on the run?
Write an original, unpublished personal essay of 600-800
words on: Keepin' the Faith in the Fast Lane. Contest fee:
$5. Deadline is December 1, 2003. Announcement of winners
will be made on or about January 20, 2004.
Grand-prize winner will receive $50 and feature publication
of their essay at the BPO Christian Parenting section in
February 2004. Four runners-up will receive honorable mention
with their names and titles of their essays published at BPO,
and will receive gifts.
Judges are the wife and husband clergy writing team, the
Revs. Rochelle Melander and Harold Eppley, who have authored
seven books together, including the featured Timeouts with
God: Meditations for Parents [Concordia Publishing House,
2000]. In addition to being pastors and writers, they have
two children, Sam and Eliana. Check out their Web site at:
Complete contest rules can be found at:
RevWriter Sue Lang
Christian Parents Section Editor
ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
guidelines to mailto:email@example.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.
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 verify the
name of the current editor.
Alpine Village Family accepts submissions from freelance
writers for the subjects of Marriage and Parenting. The
editor prefers items with a Christian perspective without
religious language. Payment is $5 per item. Reprints are
welcome. Visit http://www.alpinevillagefamily.com
for a taste of our Web site and write the editor for
Technical Support: The official publication of the Network
and Systems Professionals Association
7044 S. 13th Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Monthly magazine publishing technical solutions for IS
professionals who use IBM mainframe and compatible
Seeks how-to articles between 2,000-2,500 words. Fee
determined on a case-by-case basis. Pays on publication.
See Web site for specific submission guidelines.
La Cocinita: New Mexico's Premier Food, Arts and Lifestyle
2118 Central Avenue, SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
"Monthly food and lifestyle magazine" targeted at readers in
New Mexico and the Southwest.
Seeks article and department submissions ranging between
500-1400 words. Categories include: Dining Out, Eating In,
What's Growing, Bottoms Up, Travel & Leisure and Tasteful
Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis. Purchases FNSR.
Pays 25% kill fee. Query first by e-mail or postal mail.
Include with query 1-3 samples. NO PHONE QUERIES. All
assignments are on spec.
Lutheran Woman Today
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4189
Magazine published 10 times per year for Lutheran women.
Seeks submissions focused on "faith into action," "prayer and
spirituality," "forgiveness, reconciliation, and renewal,"
discipleship" and "peace with justice." Manuscripts must be
under 1700 words. Rarely buys filler items under 350 words.
Pays $20 per 100 published words. Buys FNSR, one-time and
reprint rights. Prefers complete manuscript versus queries.
Accepts electronic submissions. Submission in MS Word
attachments preferred, but will consider submissions in the
body of an e-mail.
World history magazine targeting children ages 8 to 14.
Seeks: feature articles of 700-800 words; Supplemental
nonfiction between 300-600 words and fiction up to 800 words.
Pays 20-25 cents per printed word. Buys all rights.
Also seeks activities, poetry and puzzles/games. Payment for
these is determined on an individual basis.
No E-queries! Mail queries to:
Attn: Rosalie Baker
30 Grove Street, Suite C
Peterborogh, NH 03458
See Web site for specific instructions and editorial
Sources for additional markets and job databases can be found
°°°°° CLASSIFIEDS °°°°°
Rainy Day Corner for The Writing Family
"Writer's Digest Pick for 101 Best Writing Web Sites"
"Writer's Digest Pick for Top 25 Best Places to Get
"Honorable Mention Winner in the 2000 Writer's Digest
National Zine Publishing Awards."
Our award-winning zine will keep your "writing family" up to
date on market information, contests and feature articles on
writing for the whole family. You'll receive two newsletters
per month. Visit our site today!
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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
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BREAK WRITER'S BLOCK FOREVER! Jerry Mundis, author of 40+
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Thank you for reading this issue of Busy Freelancer. If you
would like to help support Busy Freelancer and Write From
Home (both paying markets) donation information can be found
C-ya next month and remember:
"Take action and make no excuses!"---Kim Wilson
Copyright (c) 2003, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
All Rights Reserved.
To contact Kim Wilson:
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610