This Week in Media News 3/31 – 4/4

Happy Easter FWJ crew! If you don’t celebrate Easter then, of course, happy Sunday. It’s been good week in media news: Where are the Women? – Alicia Shepard asks an all important question about NPR & it’s diversity or lack of in some areas. A dangerous assignment gone really, really bad -“Paul Raffaele, a top flight freelancer for Smithsonian magazine, was badly injured in a suicide bombing while on assignment in Afghanistan in 2008. Raffaele says the magazine agreed to insure him but he has nothing in writing. The two are now at an impasse. Writer Katie Rolnick tells the [Read more…]

Fun Friday: Editing Gone Wrong!

Is there anything more fun than typos that are both hilarious and ones you personally didn’t make? Huffpost has some doozies that I’d like to share with you: Regret the Error is another great sight site that’ll help you get you’re your editorial giggle on, but be careful – get two too cocky and you’re bound to end up on it yourself!

Free Samples and Writing on Spec: Should You?


Many freelance writers aren’t a fan of writing on “spec.” That is, to create an assigned article for a potential freelance writing client or publication without the promise of acceptance. This usually happens when a publication doesn’t want to commit to a new writer without giving  him or her an audition first. When you encounter a freelance writing job ad looking for a specially prepared (and possibly unpaid) sample, that’s almost the same thing as writing on spec.  I call these request “special samples.” Special samples are writing requests beyond the clips that are submitted with the initial query or [Read more…]

Lessons Learned from Cleaning My File Cabinet

file cabinet

A couple of weekends ago, I took some time to clean out my four drawer file cabinet. Generally I organize files once a year in order to keep track of items such as freelance writing check stubs, invoices, contracts and receipts. This time I cleaned out the whole cabinet. I found hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of writing clips from iParenting Media, LegalZoom, Oxygen Media, my old newspaper column and so many other markets I wrote for early on in my career. I also found tons of “idea” files. As I was going through these treasures, I wondered why I [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why Evergreen Articles Rock

It’s not just the Christmas spirit and winter snow that has me excited about evergreens. Granted, I love wrapping a big tree in tinsel, but I really love wrapping my keyboard around an evergreen topic. The term evergreen topic refers to subject matter people are always interested in reading. They are popular search engine requests and usually revolve around the basics of any particular subject, for example, “home office deduction,” “freelance writing,” or “writing a query letter.” Most writers will find themselves assigned one of these pieces and that’s a great thing for several reasons: 5. Popular topic, popular article [Read more…]

Taking Care of Your Writing Clips

By Terreece M. Clarke To get a writing job, you need clips and having easy access to those clips is essential to running an efficient and productive writing career. So, where are your clips hanging out? Some writers wait until they are applying for a job to look up their online articles. Normally, while not the most productive, they find their articles in time to send them off to a waiting editor. However, there are other times when one goes to find the article and it has been deleted by the web site. Yikes. When your article goes live on [Read more…]

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