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Making the Most of your Research

April 29th, 2013

First, thanks to Emily for last week’s blog. I must admit that I don’t know a single writer who can say, hand on heart, that they’ve never had a rejection. Unless, of course, they’ve been offering work for free. If you know different, please let me know!

I had to smile recently when my husband – who has no literary ambitions and has never written anything more exciting than a health and safety risk assessment – was published in our local steam railway enthusiasts’ magazine. He was really chuffed, and I hadn’t the heart to mention that magazines like this are grateful for any interesting snippet, accompanied by a good picture, that drops into the editor’s inbox.

But it does raise an interesting point. If you’re trying to break into the market, don’t be sniffy about such magazines. If they print your material, you’re a published author and it looks good on your writing CV when you’re approaching other editors with work you hope to sell.

One idea – multiple articles
If you are trying to earn a living using your creative writing, then you already know that the more mileage you get out of every piece of research you do, the more money you’ll make. If you spend six hours researching a topic, you spend another four hours writing and polishing your article, and then get paid £120 for it you’ve earned £12 per hour. It’s not rocket science to see that if you get four articles out of the same research your hourly rate rises considerably. It might take you slightly longer to do your research as you need to think what you’ll require for the other articles, but you’ll still find it more lucrative.

So, if you’re interested in an excellent example of how to put this into practice, check out Simon Whaley’s article in the March issue of Ezee Writer. You’ll be amazed at what a little lateral thinking can do for your earnings.

£500 first prize

Before I close, just a reminder that the Writers Bureau Short Story Competition is still in full swing. If you want to have a chance of winning your share of the £1100 prize money, then let your creativity flow and make sure your entries reach us by 30th June 2013. And don’t forget, if you win, your work will be showcased on our website for twelve month and will appear in print in Freelance market News. So if you’re thinking of developing your writer’s CV…

My guest next week is Roger Elkin – well-known poet and poetry adjudicator. He’s had a great deal of success entering competitions and will be passing on some of his best tips.

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