By Filip Wiltgren
In this day and age when newspapers are
cutting back, publishers are consolidating, and writers of all kinds go
unemployed, the future may seem bleak to aspiring writers. This is not so.
There are literally millions of publications
in the world, few of which can manage without freelance writers. Even
newspapers like the New York Times with hundreds of employed
journalists and the vast resources of news agencies like Reuters at their
beck and call employ freelancers.
Magazines such as Vogue that are
nothing more than glorified picture books employ freelance writers --
Vogue pays around $5 per word. And all book publishers employ
freelancers -- even most ghostwriters are freelancers.
Not to mention all the small and upcoming
publications: e-zines, fanzines, special interest publications, internet
only publications. So while the news reports make the market appear to be
shrinking, it is in fact growing. And every publication is screaming for
For no publication can employ writers to
cover all of the aspects and specialties of the subjects the publication
covers. Most publications can't even send an employed writer across the
state to cover a specific event. In fact, most of the time it's cheaper for
them to employ a freelancer. To be a successful freelance writer all one
needs to do is find those freelance assignments.
That's the hard part -- finding the
assignment, not landing it. If a publication lacks certain coverage, or a
person to cover an event, and you're skilled enough to cover it for them,
then they're likely to hire you -- even if they publicly state that they
don't employ freelancers. Get them excited about the story you'll write and
they'll buy it.
There's a publication for every story, from
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine to the Wall Street Journal,
and they're waiting to hear from you.
Filip Wiltgren is a freelance writer and
game designer based in Sweden.
Comments are appreciated at
filip[replace with at-sign]wiltgren.com