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Unlike the mass of freelance writing books aimed at readers who fondly hope to become wealthy freelance writers any which way they can, Freelance Wiling: Breaking In Without Selling Out is for educated people whose primary motivation for trying to get into print is the wish to effectively communicate their ideas, skills and discoveries in appropriate publications. Few books are directed to the potential writer who wants to follow his or her own path. If fulfilling your sense of responsibility to your subject, to ...
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Unlike the mass of freelance writing books aimed at readers who fondly hope to become wealthy freelance writers any which way they can, Freelance Wiling: Breaking In Without Selling Out is for educated people whose primary motivation for trying to get into print is the wish to effectively communicate their ideas, skills and discoveries in appropriate publications. Few books are directed to the potential writer who wants to follow his or her own path. If fulfilling your sense of responsibility to your subject, to your audience, and to yourself is important to your satisfaction as a writer, Marcia Yudkin's concise and sensible handbook is for you.
Since receiving her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell, Marcia Yudkin has taught at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, and has published fiction and nonfiction in Art Times, Yankee, the New York Times, Psychology Today, the Boston Globe, Ms., the Village Voice and other periodicals. She is the author of Making Good: Private Business in Socialist China and coauthor of the American Philosophical Association's Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy.
"Anyone who buys Ms. Yudkin's book can count on a huge return on his or her investment...full of genuinely helpful information."--C. Michael Curtis
Of all the ambitious dreams, secret and otherwise, that people harbor, one of the most common is seeing one's by-line and words in print. Some would-be writers fantasize about strangers recognizing their name from books and articles. Thoughts of million-dollar book advances or expenses-paid assignments set the blood of others buzzing. Still others may see success as revenge on their junior high school English teacher or a knowit-all college roommate. These satisfactions are possible results of freelance writing, but in this book I assume that your primary motive for trying to get into print is that you have something to say and you want to communicate your tales, ideas or skills in periodicals that will reach audiences you respect.
Although this book thoroughly covers the basics of getting published, in spirit it differs from most other books on the subject. Some urge freelancers to aim only at the most lucrative or easy markets. Others show people with a vague "desire to write" how to find something-anything-to write about. Most advise writers to twist their vision to fit some standard mold. In contrast, I assume that for you, a by-line and a check aren't enough; you want to communicate with integrity. By "integrity" I mean a fine-tuned sense of responsibility to yourself, to your subject and to your audience. Rejecting the philosophy of publication at any cost sometimes complicates the options, but what's the point if the printed article provokes a rotten feeling in your gut?
I have written this book to share what I've learned about freelancing since I published my first article for pay, inthe New York Times education supplement, in 1981. Since then, I've had a wide variety of successes and failures. To help you avoid my mistakes, I've included many lessons I learned the hard way in my search for both income and satisfaction from communicating in print. I've come to the conclusion that combining the habits of a professional with the spirit of an amateur is the surest way to achieve publications you can be proud of
Throughout this work I concentrate on breaking into magazines and newspapers, since few writers start off with books. While the focus here is on nonfiction, my advice in Chapters 9 through 16 applies to fiction as well.
|1||Writing as Communication||1|
|2||Idea to Audience||3|
|3||The Query Letter||18|
|6||Constructing an Article||45|
|7||Revising an Article||50|
|9||Rights and Other Technicalities||79|
|10||Mailing and Filing||88|
|13||Productive Work Habits||102|
|15||Finding Your Own Path||113|
|16||Succeeding as a Writer||118|
|An Annotated List of Resources for Freelance Writing||125|