2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006: Named one
of the 101 best Web sites for writers by Writers Digest Magazine.
For Little or No Money, You Can Be
Are you as e-accessible as you can be? More and more, we are electronically connected through e-machines, e-mail, e-newsletters and e-groups. When editors go looking for a qualified writer, here’s how to make sure you get noticed:
No E-xcuse E-mailToday’s editor needs to be able to send and receive assignments instantly – and e-mail is the answer. Whether you pay for service or use one of the many free providers, such as MSN’s Hotmail or Yahoo, you absolutely must have an e-mail account. What are you waiting for? Do make sure your e-mail address is one that looks professional, however, email@example.com won’t exactly instill confidence with potential editors. Be sure to tag your correspondence, e-mail and query letters with a signature line that contains your Web site address, contact information and your theme or book titles, so people get the message.
E-xamine Web HostingDays spent pouring over dusty volumes of business listings at the library are no more. Editors can find you faster when you host a personal Web site that showcases your talent and abilities – an electronic résumé and portfolio. To create your own Web site, you can buy a designated domain and host through an inexpensive company such as bluedominoe.com. Or you might make use of a myriad of major Internet providers and organizations, like Earthlink, Angelfire or AOL that provide free homepages and basic Web site space. Being a computer wizard or knowing HTML is not necessary. With the use of simple templates provided by many companies, you can fill-in-the-blanks and be on the Web today. Alternatively, free downloads of Web authoring shareware are available on the Web, a reliable, popular company offering such services is Coffeecup.
E-levate Your Writing ExperiencePost your writing experience on Internet message boards, like freelancewriting.com and with job search engines such as monster.com or elance.com. Take out an inexpensive ad with writer’s networks such as writersweekly.com advertising your writing services. Any number of opportunities may come your way as you list your copywriting, editing, and proofreading skills. Informing others of your availability as a freelancer is smart use of the Internet and reaps great rewards.
E-connect Via E-newsletters
Stay up on what’s new in the biz with free e-newsletters from writers' groups, and Web sites, such as the National Association of Women Writers, Writersdigest.com, Writersmarket.com, Wordsmithshoppe.com, and Writergazette.com.
Incorporate tips and untapped resources to make your writing stronger and be the first to learn of submission call-outs and new contests as you connect with other writers, editors and publishers across the country. Even marketing gurus and business icons give advice through e-newsletters; check out Yudkin.com.
E-xpand Your Base
By joining writers' groups and guilds, you connect with others who love to write. Writers' groups not only create a commiserate channel when rejection seems rampant, but contain your best cheerleaders. Critique groups, chat sessions, contests and open markets are among the benefits of joining. The best advantage, however, are the friendships you forge with other writers who encourage and support your efforts. Momwriters.com and Writing-world.com are two great e-newsletters that provide posted writing opportunities. Check out online critique groups offered from momwriters.com via their yahoo listserve. Go global – by connecting with writers across the world, one feature-fantastic site in Great Britain is writelink.co.uk.
Enlarging your possible writing territory to the global market of the Internet will ensure greater success in your writing efforts. Engaging the Internet and becoming e-accessible means that editors and publishers will not only notice you, but be able to reach you too. E-mail, homepages, Web sites, newsletters, online groups and message boards create a web of e-connectablility, for little or no money at all, that helps you succeed as a writer.
Tama Westman writes the Off the Page column for Write From Home. As a correspondent and columnist, she publishes news articles, feature stories and her column, Cuppa Thoughts, regularly with her local paper, the Chaska Herald. She has served as the editor of the award-winning literary and arts magazine, Haute Dish. As a freelancer, her articles appear in several local newspapers and, nationally in The Gathering and Light & Life Magazine.
She teaches creative writing and poetry classes with the AHEAD program (Achieving Higher Education and Dreams) at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, mentors high school journalism students and helps to edit the column of her 18-year old, British-bred cat on coolpetsites.com, Purrfect Gypsy – The Cat’s Eye View. She is married with two college-enrolled children, and keeps her balance with a cup of tea taken in the afternoon in her English garden. Her published clips can be viewed via her Web site, http://www.tamawestman.com and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.