Lazette Gifford
Publisher & Editor
zette@cableone.net

 

Think Positive

By Filip Wiltgren
2006,
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 writers.

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