Archive for September, 2013

30 Queries in 30 Days: #5 and #6

Friday, September 6th, 2013

As I announced earlier this week, I’ve challenged myself to a project I’m calling “30 Queries in 30 Days,” where I’m going to be making specific efforts to increase my freelancing income.

Today, I set myself a big goal: to finally write the query to “Parents” magazine that I’d been contemplating since this spring. It’s my first query to a major national magazine (though I had a feature published in the state-wide “Pennsylvania” magazine about 10 years ago). I referred heavily to their writer’s guidelines, which were very helpful. So I’m proud to add to the list:

5) Wrote and mailed a query letter to “Parents” magazine, proposing a travelogue piece about my trip to Illinois with KFP, concentrating on tips for traveling alone with your child.

Then, because I didn’t submit any queries yesterday, I worked on something far easier. I pulled together several examples of press releases I’ve written to submit with another Elance job proposal:

6) Submitted a proposal via for a job writing a press release for a new business book.

I will, of course, post any feedback or response I get for the queries I send out this month. Wish me luck!

30 Queries in 30 Days

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

While I can be the most determined person when I have a specific goal in mind, my failing as a freelance writer is not putting my writing out there as much as I should. This is a long-time issue for me, something I’ve been dealing with for as long as I can remember. Simply put: It’s more fun writing than it is doing the work of trying to get that writing published.

However, our family has been making due with approximately one-and-a-half salaries since I gave birth to our son three years ago, and that just simply isn’t enough when we’ve got three people now instead of two to feed, clothe, and provide for basic needs. The solution seems simple enough: I’m more likely to be successful the more I actually try.

That is the purpose behind the “30 Queries in 30 Days” project. I am challenging myself throughout the month of September to take action that will potentially lead to more revenue and more opportunities. Here’s how it’s going to work:

I’m using a loose definition of “query,” defining it as a specific effort to earn money through my writing. For that reason, I’ll include not only query letters, which are sent to publishers to propose a story idea, but will also include submissions of poetry, stories and articles to literary magazines; applications for grants; proposals submitted on online freelancing sites (such as Elance and Odesk) for advertised writing jobs; and submissions to paying writing contests (preferably those without submission fees). I will track both my efforts and my results on this blog, so stick around. If you haven’t already, this might be a good time to subscribe to my blog, which means you’ll receive an e-mail notification whenever I post.

Hopefully, this experiment will push me past my sticking point. If I can do this for a month, I’m hoping it will become second nature to me. After all, it’s only a short amount of work every day. And like I keep reminding myself: You can’t win if you don’t play.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

1) Submitted a proposal for a job proofreading a memoir at

2) Mailed a poetry submission to The Georgia Review.

3) Entered a poem in the 2014 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (winners announced August 2014).

4) Submitted a proposal via for a job writing humorous commentary for a “caught on tape” Web site.

| Newer Entries »