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Going Once, Going Twice, Going as Many Times as Possible

May 14th, 2010

This month it’s my turn to guest post here on the Writers Bureau blog. I pondered for quite a while over what to write, but then I realised in these financially uncertain times, one thing we are all interested in is making as much money as we can from our writing.

I have a golden rule with regard to my articles and it’s this: if I only sell something once, then I need to try harder because that simply isn’t good enough.

Let me explain what I mean by this. I have just sold a humour article for reprint rights in the UK. Although I only received fifty percent of what the original fee was when the piece was first published (way back in 2005), I am still thrilled to bits.

The reason for my glee is that this is the fourth time I’ve sold this particular article. It was originally published in the UK as part of a series of humour pieces I wrote for a regular column. I subsequently sold First North American Serial Rights to a magazine in the US and First Australian and New Zealand Rights to an Australian magazine. Now, three years since it last appeared in print, it’s being published again in the UK under Second British Serial Rights.

My reason for sharing this with you is to remind you of the benefits of recycling your work. If something is good enough to be accepted for publication in one country, it is entirely possible that an editor in another country might like it too. Even though you will most probably need to make some changes for the magazine’s style and tone in each country, that would still involve far less work than writing a completely new article.

Obviously, you should be aiming at magazines and newspapers in your country of residence first, but once something has been published there, you should consider selling it again and again. So how do you find markets in other countries?

First and foremost, subscribe to magazines which give details of available markets, such as Freelance Market News.

You might also find the following websites of benefit, but they do require registration and payment of a small fee to access the information. However, one resale of an article or short story would more than cover the cost.

UK: http://www.writersandartists.co.uk
USA: http://www.writersmarket.com
Australia: http://www.awmonline.com.au

Next, make sure you research your overseas titles as carefully as you would your home publications. Many editors are happy to supply sample issues to prospective contributors via a PDF version as an e-mail attachment. If that isn’t possible, most magazines now have websites where a selection of previously published material can be studied.

Good luck and happy reselling.

Lorraine MaceLorraine Mace is a columnist with Writing Magazine and deputy editor and writing agony aunt for Words with JAM. As well as being a writing competition judge, she runs Flash 500, a quarterly flash fiction competition, www.flash500.com. Lorraine, a tutor for Writers Bureau, is the co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s ABC Checklist (Accent Press). www.lorrainemace.com

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Spice Up Your Enthusiasm!

January 29th, 2010

This is the time of year when those New Year resolutions start flagging. That sudden burst of energy and enthusiasm tends to dwindle and suddenly, lethargy takes over. Don’t let lethargy affect your writing. It happens to us all, but there are ways to reinvigorate your willpower.

In an article I wrote for the February issue of Writing Magazine, I interviewed three writers about when they find the time to write. One of them, Diane works full time as a Civil Servant and found it difficult to realise her writing goals. So, she bought herself a small laptop, which she takes to work, and this enables her to work on her writing during her lunch breaks. Suddenly, her writing goals have been reinvigorated. Can you find yourself a new writing slot like this? Often, all it takes is a bit of variety to spice up your enthusiasm.

Sadly, the bad weather conditions here in the UK have meant that I’ve had to miss one of my regular writers’ circle meetings. We all know how writing can be a lonely and isolating experience, so it’s always good to meet other writers face-to-face and swap stories, share advice and offer support. In fact, talk to most writers after they’ve been to a regular meeting and they’ll grin back at you, all inspired and ready to get writing again! If you don’t belong to a writers’ circle, find out if there are any in your locality. Ask your local library, or visit the National Association of Writers’ Group Membership Directory for a list of groups in the UK. Don’t forget online groups and forums can be immensely supportive too. The Writers Bureau Student Forum area can help you connect with other writers online and re-ignite your enthusiasm virtually.

Of course, the best motivation there is, is a deadline, and I have a couple looming soon, so I’d best get on!

Happy Writing!

Simon Whaley

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