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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Off the Page...

Write Your Own Writer's Resume
by Tama Westman

Are you published, have clips that count, and yet still find it difficult to snag the gigs that pay? Maybe it's time for the next step. What you may need is a writer's resume. Much like the official feel you get when you have your own business card, a writer's resume takes the business of your writing to a more professional level. It lends a splash of panache to those queries, proposals and job applications.

Even though I had little to list on my first writer's resume, still, the fact that it existed proved a professional polish that garnered paying gigs—columns, staff positions with newspapers, magazines, even a university. My writer's resume was a tool I used to move from part-time to full-time writer, even though my office is still at home. I continue to work in my jammies with a cat on my lap and a cup of coffee at my side.

Pencil in hand
So let's get started creating your writer's resume. Begin by listing your experience and accomplishments only as they relate to writing, speaking, editing, and any other communications specialties. Don't be discouraged, even beginning writers with few published pieces can draft an impressive resume. Much of it has to do with seeing your life, your work, your education and your pursuits as they relate to writing. Start by answering the few simple questions below:

  • What writing classes, seminars, workshops or conferences have you attended?

  • What types of writing do you do? News, features, short stories, poetry, romance?

  • What have you published and where?

  • Are you published online?

  • Do you have works-in-progress?

  • Are you associated with any writers groups?

  • Do you have any awards?

  • What is your education background?

Positive repercussions
Attach your writer's resume to e-mail queries. Add it to column pitches and hard copy queries. Post it online with job services. Include it in your portfolio. Tuck it into book proposals and bring it to interviews and meetings you have with editors, publishers and potential employers in the writing industry—and prepare to be amazed.

A resume quickly identifies your abilities, your experience, and your professionalism. True, an editor will still want to see your clips to get a feel for your style and voice. However, the resume translates your artistic talents and creative abilities into a practical business format that, for you, translates into money earned.

Tama Westman writes the Off the Page column for Write From Home. An award-winning journalist, she teaches creative writing and poetry with the AHEAD program (Achieving Higher Education and Dreams) at Metropolitan State University, mentors high school journalism students, and speaks at writers conferences throughout the country. Married twenty-four years, and mother of two grown children, she lives in Minnesota. She loves to hear from other writers. Feel free to contact her at tama@tamawestman.com. For more, please visit http://www.tamawestman.com










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