Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Laugh at Your Rule of Thirteen!

There's a saying that freelance writers should follow the "Rule of Thirteen": Always keep thirteen pitches out in the world. When one gets rejected, send it right back out somewhere else.

Because I am writing not only nonfiction, but poetry and short fiction as well, I've realized that the "Rule of Thirteen" is not adequate for me. When poetry and fiction publishers take as long as a year (sometimes more!) to get back to you about a piece, and magazine editors often don't get back to you at all, you can't simply stop after thirteen and sit around waiting.

This morning, I tallied up the number of publishing outlets I have pitched to for all of my various writings, and I have pitches or manuscripts under consideration at 24 venues.

Now, I could just rest on my laurels, but my laurels are not very comfortable. In fact, they're a bit scratchy. 

While I am waiting to hear back from these outlets, I'm researching more markets, coming up with new ideas to pitch, and writing more. That's just the way it goes.

How many pitches do you have outstanding? What is your optimum number? How can you best reach that number?

One way I have found to generate new ideas is to keep my eyes open on my own life experiences. What have I learned recently that I wish I had known earlier? Can you write that article to teach others what you wish you had known? Is there already an article out there? If not, GO FOR IT!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Market of Note - GoNOMAD

While it seems the number of newspapers devoting Sunday space to a separate Travel section is dwindling, it's a good thing there are some exciting online publications to take up the slack. One market I recently ran across is GoNOMAD.

The site is very well organized and they do a great job at utilizing social media channels like Twitter and Pinterest.

Fellow freelance writers would do well to check out their guidelines!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Great opportunity for emerging art critics...

Passing along this great opportunity for emerging art critics... No entry fee,  £2,000 prize.


Now Open for Entries
Frieze Writer’s Prize, an annual international award to discover and promote new art critics, is now open for entries.
This year, the prize will be judged by Amy Sherlock, reviews editor of frieze, Vivian Sky Rehberg, a contributing editor offrieze based in Rotterdam, and the novelist Ned Beauman. 
The winning entrant will be commissioned to write a review for frieze and will be awarded £2,000. Entrants must submit one unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, which should be 700 words in length. Entries must be submitted in English, but may be translated (this must be acknowledged).
Entrants must be over 18 years of age. To qualify, entrants may only previously have had a maximum of three pieces of writing on art published.
The closing date for entries is 21 July 2014. 
For more information, check out frieze.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why yes, I was inspired!

On May 17, I participated in a one-day creative writing workshop offered by The Reader Berlin, a local organization that provides author and publishing services. I had heard about The Reader even before I moved to Berlin, and have followed them on Facebook for more than a year. As with most things, I like to be prepared. Before our big move, I wanted to be sure I was familiar with many of the main organizations and publishers, bookstores and reading series, so that I could hit-the-ground-running, as they say.

The one-day GET INSPIRED WORKSHOP started off at Berlin's beautiful Alte Nationalgalerie, which features 19th Century paintings and sculptures. Inside the gallery, workshop leader Victoria Gosling -- novelist, short-story writer, editor, and founder of The Reader Berlin -- provided participants with a series of writing exercises based on our intellectual and emotional interactions with the paintings and sculptures.

After a few hours of writing inspiration, our group traveled to the famed Another Country bookshop, in Kreuzberg, where we wandered and sat among the bookshelves, finding our own nooks in which to expand on the exercises from the gallery, or sitting together at the large communal table in the lower level, quietly writing away.

The price of the workshop included admission to the Alte Nationalgalerie, dinner at Another Country (cooked by store owner Sophie Raphaeline, whose Friday night dinners at the bookstore are highly-regarded salons for the city’s English-speaking residents), as well as three drinks.

The workshop was a terrific introduction to the types of offerings by The Reader Berlin. Gosling is a talented writer and equally talented workshop leader. I wrote a few flash fictions and three poem drafts over the course of the day.

The next one-day workshop is set for July 5.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What's the Plan?

When we moved to Berlin in July 2013, it was the culmination of a plan that was ten years (plus a little wiggle room) in the making. Once we achieved the goal of that plan we looked at each other and realized it was time for a new plan.

We received 1-year self-employed visas for living in Germany. That year will expire in September. We have begun what I hope will not be a traumatizing process of renewing our visas, hoping for a longer-than-one-year time frame. As with any business, it's difficult to plan for the future if you don't know how far out "the future" extends.

One of the things that Peter & I are doing in preparation for the renewal process is formalizing the "business plans" for our respective consulting businesses. He had already created a draft for his back in January, and just needs to review it and make adjustments now that his official venture -- Geyer Global Partners -- has been operating for the past five months, making contacts, and networking his heart out. But, although I have been operating as a freelancer since January 2006, this will be my first-ever "business plan" for my business.

As Peter remarked, there's nothing like having to create a business plan to help you understand what you are really proposing to do. As I am drafting my plan, I am going between my Bernadette Geyer: Freelance Editor/Writer web site and resume, LinkedIn and web site, web site and business plan, then back to LinkedIn, tweaking and adjusting, to make sure everything is consistent.

It's a long and tedious process but, ultimately, worth every minute.

Especially when it comes time to present our plans to the folks at the visa renewal office.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Online Poetry Workshop II - Starts June 2nd!

Maybe you were tired of writing poems during National Poetry Month. Maybe you needed to take a break in May. But now, as Summer approaches, you can jump back into poem-ing with my next workshop...

Online Poetry Workshop II

Days: 4 Mondays
Dates: Starts 2 June 2014
Location: Online
Level: All Levels
Genre(s): Poetry

With the same structure as Online Poetry Workshop I, this workshop will provide different topics for generating new poems. Lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems and links to additional reading. Participants will share and comment on each other's work and will receive individual feedback from the workshop leader. Completion of Online Poetry Workshop I is not required for Workshop II. For more information, or to register, click here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

On Process...

I've been writing a lot of non-fiction lately, and I've come to a realization about my writing process when it comes to articles:  The first paragraph is always the most difficult, so I just start writing the middle.

It always happens that about three or four paragraphs in, I write a section that just naturally "feels" like the beginning. As soon as I move that paragraph to the top of the page, I know I have my introduction.