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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Make a Living as a Freelance Writer

Making a career out of freelance writing is a labor of love. Many writers aspire to one day support themselves entirely with writing, but instead discover that they must work at the local coffee shop or spend their most productive hours answering phones to make ends meet. I get it. I've been there and still regularly occupy that space. Life is a dynamic process and freelance writing is especially thus. It's ever changing.One month, you might have five clients that you're working with and the next, you're checking your email every hour, hoping for a small editing gig. What I've learned more than anything else in the freelance business is that I am responsible for my business. If I'm not generating it, there won't be any.

My partner in crime is a musician and he is a great example of how to be successful in the freelance business. Every day, he works to create his business. He goes to jam sessions to network with other musicians, he regularly stops by music studios to offer his services as a music teacher and he composes almost every single night. I'm often envious of his amazing focus and determination in his chosen field of creativity.

If you're struggling to make writing your full time career, consider some of the tips and resources below to help jump start your June business.

Advice for Freelancers 

  • Talk About Your Business: I recently started a new editing project for an attorney. She called me because she knew that I was a freelancer and she couldn't find anyone in her area that she trusted with confidential documents. Her business came as a result of conversations that I'd had with her more than two years ago. The more you tell people about what you do, the more likely your name is going to come up when someone needs writing or editing services. So allow the modesty to fall away for a bit and tell everyone that you meet for a week that you offer writing and editing or other freelance services, pass out business cards and remind your friends and family that any clients they send your way are greatly appreciated. 
  • Practice What You Preach: I must admit that I often fail in this capacity. When I work with clients, I spend a lot of time optimizing their content, building a social media platform and finding ways to make their business relevant on the internet. Why do I do this? Because that's how their future clients and customers will find them. This is equally, if not more so, important for a freelance writer. Utilize the internet to find new clients and to let people know that you exist. I recommend Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and any other sites that can advertise your area of expertise. 
  • Do Stellar Work: Every client is a connection to future clients. When you create content that someone loves or optimize a website so that your client's business improves, other people will hear about it. It's an overused statement that actions speak louder than words, but it's extremely relevant in the freelance business. You can talk a great game, but if you provide mediocre service, you will lose a lot of word-of-mouth business. 
Writer's Resources

  • MediaBistro: This is a great site for connecting with other writers, finding freelance jobs and finding informative articles about writing, publishing and more. 
  • NAIWE National Association of Independent Writers and Editors: Though this organization is not free, it is still a great resource for writers. As a member of NAIWE, you receieve a hosted WordPress blog that appears in the associations blogroll in addition to professional level support. 
  • All Indie Writers: Freelance writing jobs, writer's forum and writer's markets. 
  • Writer's Market Directory: An online directory of paying writer's markets. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Writing Jobs for May 30th, 2014

Writing Jobs in Michigan 

Reporter for Sports Magazine and Website: Ann Arbor

Social Media and Marketing Intern: Ann Arbor

Outreach Librarian and Curator: Ann Arbor

English 1 Adjunct Faculty: Big Rapids

Digital Marketing Specialist: Detroit

Creative Director: Detroit

Copywriter: Detroit

Student Writer for M-Times: Flint

Copy Writer Marketing Assistant: Grandville

Copy Writer: Kalamazoo

Temporary Multimedia Journalist: Southfield

Digital Journalist: Traverse City

Marketing Admin. Assistant: Ypsilanti

Telecommute - Online Writing Jobs

Freelance Writing Position

Transcriptionists Wanted

Illicit Magazine Seeks Freelance Writers

Freelance Web Content Writer

Gardening and Interior Design Blogger

Douglas Coupland

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Looking for Some Whimsical Fantasy?

I have posted several times about my good friend, Jon Kitson, who has found success publishing short stories over the last two years. You will soon be able to read one such story in both print and ebook format in a new anthology set for release on July 22nd. Please check out the details for FAE below....

"Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales. Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis. Fae covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist."

With an introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, and new stories from Sidney Blaylock Jr.Amanda BlockKari CastorBeth CatoLiz ColterRhonda EikampLor GrahamAlexis A. HunterL.S. Johnson,Jon Arthur KitsonAdria LaycraftLauren LiebowitzChristine MorganShannon PhillipsSara PulsLaura VanArendonk Baugh, andKristina Wojtaszek.

Fae will be available in trade paperback and ebook via,,, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. You can also find Fae on Goodreads.

You can visit the Goodreads giveaway here:

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rest, Retreat and Write: Michigan Summer Writer's Retreats and Workshops

It's really easy to allow writing to be a solitary activity. Though solitude might be helpful for the act of writing, it can become destructive to the creative process. Hours logged in frustrated silence as we create and kill our characters, research until our brains bleed and secretly fear that no one will ever value our work, begins to take a heavy toll after a while. Creativity calls for sustenance and writer's retreats are fodder for even the most blocked mind. Retreats are a forum for collaboration, inspiration and renewal. What better way to truly enjoy our beautiful state of Michigan than to connect with other writers and breathe life back into your process? 

Bear River Writer's Conference: May 29-June 2nd, 2014

Summer Writing Classes by Holly Wren Spaulding (Poetry, Creative Writing, Mixed Media): June and July 2014

Peninsula Writers Summer Retreat at Glen Lake: June 2014 

Interlochen Academy for the Arts Writer's Retreat: June 16-19, 2014

Ann Arbor Book Festival 2014 Writer's Conference: June 21st, 2014

Inkstains Youth Writing Camp at Eastern Michigan: July 7-11

Keweenaw Writer's Workshops: July 19-20

In Harmony: A Grand Rapids Area Prose and Poetry Workshop by Ludington Writers: July 20th, 2014

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my 

literary thinking all my life.”

—Hunter S. Thompson

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Write or Die: Writing Contests for the Summer of 2014

I have a wonderful friend who has begun to write seriously during the past few years, I've written about him on this blog previously. Two years ago, he didn't even believe that it was possible that he could finish a short story, let alone see it published. Now he's publishing a story almost every other month and even getting paid for some of them. When we first started talking regularly, he found it inspiring that I'd published a book and this inspiration, in part, propelled him to start writing. These days, he is the inspiration for me and the truth is that his secret is very simple. He writes. He writes stories, edits and submits them and he does something nearly every day. We writers love to lament our many reasons for not putting the pen to the page, but give yourself permission to drop the excuses, find a space of stillness today and just write...

Pressgang Prize: Deadline 5/30/14

Cloudbank Poetry and Flash Fiction Contest: Deadline 5/31/14

Creative Nonfiction The Memoir Issue: Deadline 5/31/14

American Short Fiction Short Story Contest: Deadline 6/1/14

Split Lip Magazine Chapbook Contest Deadline 6/1/14

2014 New American Fiction Prize: Deadline 6/15/14

Pulp Literature Magpie Award for Poetry: Deadline 6/15/14

Jewish Literary Journal Competition for Fiction, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction: Deadline 6/15/14

Vallum Magazine Award for Poetry: Deadline 6/15/14

Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize: Deadline 6/15/14

Literary Juice Flash Fiction Contest: Deadline 6/30/14

Bacopa Literary Review: Deadline 6/30/14

Blue Lyra Review Contest for Nonfiction and Long Poem: Deadline 6/30/14

Matrix LitPop Awards: Deadline 7/1/14

The Rattle Poetry Prize: Deadline 7/15/14

Fairy Tale Review Prose and Poetry Contest: Deadline 7/15/14

Stone Canoe Journal Annual Prize: Deadline 7/31/14

Blue Earth Review Flash Fiction Contest: Deadline 8/1/14

The Geist Tobacco Lit Writing Contest: Deadline 9/1/14

I didn't start out writing to give children hope, but I'm glad some of them found it.
-Beverly Cleary

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Michigan Writing Jobs

Writing is about so much more than making money; however, if you want to make writing your livelihood or at least supplement your income through the craft, check out these Michigan jobs:

AAPS News Editor: Ann Arbor

Marketing Communications Specialist: Ann Arbor

Freelance Writer:  Detroit

Proposal Writer: Detroit

Health Information Writer: Detroit

Writer: Detroit

Social / Digital Marketing Specialist: Grand Rapids

Digital Marketing Director: Grand Rapids

Social Media Manager: Lansing

Creative Director: Madison Heights

Instructional Designer/ Creative Writer: Troy

Online/Telecommute Writing Jobs

Freelance Writing Position

Theme Park Blogger

Social5 Hiring Freelance Writers

Tech Savvy Article Writers

Hamptons Magazine Freelancers

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Many Perks to Writing Contests

I have to be honest, I don't participate in many writing contests. Life has taken me on a journey that seems to plummet toward and then dramatically swerve away from the public world of writing. I've gone from blogging daily and submitting several stories or articles to contests monthly, to working at a Digital Marketing Agency and Writing Copy, to focusing solely on writing and marketing my novel Ula published in 2012, to these days, journaling and slogging through my sequel while also substitute teaching and teaching yoga. It's an unpredictable life - something I love about it - but writing is always alive within me. It transforms, finds pools of thriving life and then recedes and dries in the desert sun. Despite the changes that my writing has undergone in my life, I return to it in one form or another and I am grateful when a unique opportunity to share my perspective, or craft a new story, comes along.

Several months ago, I submitted a very short piece of writing to Spirituality and Health Magazine as they were offering a contest to win a trip to Maui. Essentially, they asked readers to write about a spiritual practice and I wrote about nature. Nature is near and dear to my heart and I am never lost for words when it comes to waxing poetic about the trees and flowers and lakes that surround me. Much to my surprise and delight, I won the contest. Thus a few weeks ago, I spent an absolutely majestic ten days in Maui with my boyfriend. The prize included a five night stay at the tranquil, yoga-retreat center Lumeria and offered us a wonderful opportunity to relax, unwind and get centered during our visit. I wrote about meditation in my previous post and the powerful affect it can have on our writing. I felt this even more strongly as I pondered the winding path that life takes us on and how writing had taken me to a community designed to help us connect with the consciousness that lives beyond our individual identities. For me, it was evidence that my writing is most poignant when it is truly a reflection of my heart, and the writing contests that I have won have nearly always reflected this.

My good friend Jon loves science fiction. He began writing just a couple of years ago and hesitantly at first. A single father, in his late thirties, he did not necessarily feel capable of entering the mysterious and oft frightening world of writing. Despite his apprehensions, he began to write. He wrote science fiction stories and submitted them to flash fiction contests online. He got a few rejections and then he started winning. Suddenly, every time I talked with him, he told me about his latest contest win. The prizes ranged from $10 to $50, but ultimately the joy for Jon had nothing to do with winning some cash and everything to do with realizing his dreams and knocking down the walls he'd built around them. Since then he has written stories for published anthologies and in November he participated in NaNoWriMo (National novel Writing Month) and completed 50,000 words to a future novel.

When we open ourselves to the possibilities of where our writing might guide us, the whole world becomes available. There is no telling who will be touched by your words and what dark path, that you'd never gazed upon, might suddenly become illuminated. If you're searching for an opportunity, a contest, an inspiration, anything - try out one of the contests below; perhaps you will discover a new path awaiting you.

Inspiration Travel Writing Contest - No Entry Fee - Deadline: 2/14/14

Disquiet Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry Prize - $15 Fee - Deadline: 2/15/14

Penny Fiction Flash Fiction Writing Competition - No Fee - Deadline: 2/17/14

SF/LFA Short Fiction Contest - No Entry Fee - Deadline: 3/4/14

theNewerYork Press Kissing Flash Fiction Contest - Fee ? - Deadline 2/28/14

Shanti Arts Inspired Stories Competition - $15 Fee - Deadline 3/1/14

Phoebe Winter Writing Contest - $17 Fee - Deadline 3/8/14

Ginsoko Flash Fiction Contest - $5 Fee - Deadline 3/1/14

Lunch Ticket Creative Nonfiction - No Fee - Deadline 3/30/14