Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Resources for writers
A couple of times now, I've talked about why not to take non-paying jobs over paying jobs, but I haven't mentioned where to find these paying jobs. I suppose I ought to address that issue.
There are some really helpful job sites to help you in your search for freelance work. Craigslist.org is one of my favorites. They have two sections where freelance gigs are often posted: in the Writing category under "Jobs," and in the Writing category under "Gigs." There is also a "Services" section where you can advertise your writing skills.
Another very useful site is one I mentioned in my last posting: WritersWeekly.com. Every Wednesday a new e-zine is published on the site, containing not only articles on subjects that are of interest for freelance writers, but also new job listings and publications that are accepting submissions.
There are other sites that contain job postings for freelance writers, such as FreelanceWriting.com, JournalismJobs.com, and The Write Jobs. Other job sites sometimes have listings for freelance writers as well, which you can find through a keyword search - try Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.
By far, the best print resource for writers is the Writer's Market. In it you'll find thousands of listings of publishers (both periodical and book publishers) and what kind of stuff they're looking for. Also, keep in mind that the magazines you already subscribe to could be valuable resources for writing gigs.
When considering a publication, make sure to check out its website. Most publications post their submission guidelines on their site, and many also allow queries and/or submissions via email. Unlike applying to job listings, when querying for an assignment the burden of coming up with a salable story idea is on you, so make sure you have at least one good story idea before writing to the editor.
Internet searches can pull up any number of publishers to submit to. While this technique can help you find some honest-to-goodness jobs, I recommend researching any publisher you find in this manner before submitting any of your work. You'll want to be sure that the publisher is for real and has a decent reputation with other freelancers - you don't want to accidentally submit to someone who doesn't pay their writers on time or steals writers' work.