Archive for August, 2013

Review: “Writer Mama”

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your KidsWriter Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a write-at-home mom, Christina Katz’s book practically jumped off the shelf at me. “Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing career Alongside Your Kids”? That’s exactly what I was trying to do. Flipping through it, I felt it might provide some useful info, so I purchased it, making sure to save the receipt to file with my taxes as a business expense.

The purchase was well worth it. While at least half of the information was already familiar to me — as someone who’s been writing for publication in some capacity for more than 25 years — the book was sprinkled with helpful information that was new to me. In particular, I loved the tips on how to determine your audience, identify possible markets, and write queries.

Katz’s love for lists and keeping things in folders seemed a little antiquated, although I know plenty of mothers would find such a system useful. In an effort to reduce clutter, I’ve gone increasingly paperless, moving most of my planning documents onto cloud-driven storage sites such as Google Drive and Dropbox, so they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. It’s relatively easy to adapt her recommended tracking systems into digital form, but perhaps if she does a revised edition, she could do some research into some of the most useful online tools for writers to track their ideas, work progress and submissions.

Overall, the book gave me insights on how to take simple, actionable steps in order to grow my freelance business. I recommend it for moms at any stage in their writing careers.

View all my reviews

Looking for Philly Story Ideas

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

As a writer for Yahoo! Contributor Network, I have a regular beat to submit stories of interest to the Greater Philadelphia area (i.e. the five counties: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Bucks). I am looking for the following: feature ideas, upcoming event info and possible interview subjects. In particular, I’d welcome ideas related to family-friendly activities, since I’m thinking of writing a series.

You can look through my existing portfolio to see what sort of stories I’ve written in the past. Pay particular attention to the Philadelphia-area stories, since I’ve also done a lot of entertainment writing.

Please e-mail me with any of your suggestions.

Here’s more info from Yahoo! about what sort of stories they’d like me to write.

Submit unique, well-written, and compelling local content of metro-wide interest in your area. Submit only when you have a submission that meets all guidelines and expectations. Only professional-sounding bylines are acceptable.

Write local features or news stories that aren’t being reported by other news outlets or go beyond coverage by other media. Think about the stories that local readers need to know — answer questions for them, tell them something new about their area, reveal and explain local controversies, solve local mysteries, etc. Think outside the box!

Find unexpected and compelling local stories — don’t tell readers what they already know or what they aren’t likely to click on to find out more. This content must be objective — opinion pieces are generally not accepted.

Don’t rewrite other coverage — all submissions should be originalunique, and go beyond other coverage.Search Yahoo! News before writing to ensure that your topic hasn’t already been covered.

Write with authority. Be detailedspecific, and authenticCite authoritative sources for all factual claims and information (no Wikipedia or other user-generated sources). Include all essential information, such as websites, locations, contact information, hours, pricing, etc. as applicable. Proofread carefully.

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