According to Portfolio.com, an interesting experiment in print journalism is happening; a group of writers and editors is trying to develop a magazine-on-demand called Longshot Magazine, which will try to produce a magazine “centered on a to-be-announced theme in just 48 hours.” According to the article:
The magazine accepts submissions from content creators around the world: writers, photographers, illustrators, proofreaders, baristas, and ???especially bartenders,??? says the magazine???s about page. Submissions range in length from 140 characters to 4,000 words.
They are paying their writers through funds received through Kickstarter and a Knight-Batten Dspecial Distinction award. Sounds like an interesting experiment, and one that freelancers might want to look at to either join or emulate.
Bob Beaty writes for HuffPo about content mills, offering an interesting — and frank — opinion:
For those of us who make a living writing for clients, these sites serve a very useful purpose inasmuch as they keep the competition busy. I have noticed that as the economy tanks, more and more folks are entering the freelance writing genre. After all, how hard can it be? Seriously?
He also wonders whether content mills fill a need for writers who are just working for addition (rather than a primary) income or for those trying to put together a portfolio. And solicits the opinions of his readers.
All Freelance Writing is a site managed by Jennifer Mattern that features, according to its “About” page:
a group blog with a team of writers covering a wide variety of issues facing freelancers including being a work at home parent, marketing freelance writing services, and financial issues freelance writers deal with.
The site has just instituted a job posting area where clients looking for freelancers can offer possible writing opportunities. So far there aren’t any jobs to be had, but it’s early days yet; it may be worthwhile checking back in a few weeks to see what has materialized.
A quick thank you to all the panelists — Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokob, Terry McGarry and K. Tempest Bradford — and all the attendees at Readercon for helping to make this workshop a success. If you have any further suggestions or questions, please feel free to either leave them here as comments or email me via the link on this site (see Contact Info above).
My workshop on How to Write for a Living When You Can’t Live Off Your Fiction is coming up — it will be on the first evening of Readercon at the Burlington (MA) Marriott on Thursday, July 14 at 8 p.m. Thursday is when people who haven’t (or can’t) pay for the convention can at least get a free taste of some of the workshops and panels; so considering the topic, I’m rather pleased that this is one of them. If you can, drop on by..
Here’s the official description:
8:00 PM How to Write for a Living When You Can’t Live Off Your Fiction. Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokov, Barbara Krasnoff (leader), John Edward Lawson, Terry McGarry. You’ve just been laid off from your staff job, you can’t live on the royalties from your fiction writing, and your significant other has taken a cut in pay. How do you pay the rent? Well, you can find freelance work writing articles, white papers, reviews, blogs, and other non-SFnal stuff. Despite today’s lean journalistic market, it’s still possible to make a living writing, editing, and/or publishing. Let’s talk about where and how you can sell yourself as a professional writer, whether blogging can be done for a living, and how else you can use your talent to keep the wolf from the door. Bring whatever ideas, sources, and contacts you have.
Matt Heusser discusses freelancing as a fallback plan, even if you’ve got a full-time job. It’s not a bad strategy; in today’s economy, there are no guarantees, and even loyal employees can get laid off at a moment’s notice. If you’ve laid a foundation of freelance work, you’ll have another source of income until that next job comes around.
Freelancing with a day job can do more than ???just??? bring in a little side cash. While that does help, there are more advantages to consider. Freelancing is a way to distribute risk. Especially in uncertain economic times, it???s good to seek alternative forms of income than full-time employment. Having a single source of income leaves you vulnerable.
An excellent piece by Bob Beaty on how difficult it is to get paid — or to demand to get paid — when you’re a freelancer. For many, it’s difficult to think of yourself as being worth the among of money you really should demand in return for your services. Includes some really useful strategies for figuring out how much to charge and for avoiding problems being paid down the road.
It’s always amusing to realize that the folks who want to grind you to your financial base elements seem to always get paid, but somehow, we as freelancers are supposed to cheerfully line up and get screwed. Oh, and we don’t enjoy the experience, to finish the thought.