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Q&A for Writers, Editors and Publishers - Thoughts from Your Peers on Life and Work, Part Two

Part Two

Question # Six - Editors, how do you locate that next position when it's time to move to a new publishing house, newspaper or magazine? How do you keep that great editing job once you have it?”

Page Nine

Jenny Kasza –

“To keep a great job once you have it, you have to be creative with your time to get the most out of the day. Plus you have to be creative with the covers and articles.

You also have to be flexible with others around you (graphics person, sales staff, president, publisher, other departments).”

Tudor Hampton –

“Success is about hard work but in any job, it is important to keep in touch with your colleagues, take interest in their work and show them respect when appropriate, even if you are competitors.

If you look to them for examples of how to do your job better, they will do the same for you and everyone fares well in the end. Our careers get stifled when we shut down, close doors, focus too much on ourselves and restrict our imaginations.”

Lori Widmer -

“Locating the next position is as easy as networking.

When I was at the magazine, I networked not only with the clients, but also with the other magazines in that space. I got to know some key folks and kept in friendly contact.

Also, when I interviewed outside the company, I kept in touch with every employer I connected with. It's helped me to find some projects since I've lost my job. I've also found a lot of leads through these same folks.

Other writers in these publications are also a great source. I've received two projects from former coworkers.

Page Ten

Also, the clients I bothered to get to know (many of them) have been a huge help in finding me projects. I've received almost three projects in two weeks from former clients.

If you want to keep that great editing job, then you have to give them more than they bargained for. Make sure you're strong in both writing and editing.

Finding a person who can do both well is a dream come true for companies. If you're weak in one area, then do what you need to in order to become great at it.”

Tracy Owens –

“In order to enjoy continued success, an editor must always stay on the cutting-edge of the genre that they work in -- be it news, music or business. Find your niche and further your education as it relates to that, with Internet research, conferences and the like.

I'm currently working as managing editor of a small trade publication, but have worked primarily as an editor/writer in the arts & entertainment industry, including stints at and the now-defunct "Experience Hendrix" magazine (published by the family of Jimi Hendrix).”

Question # Seven - How do you succeed at freelance editing?

Teresa Acosta –

“By meeting deadlines and accuracy; evenings or weekends or when I feel a need to write; create as many revenue streams as possible;”

Dana Cassell –

Page Eleven

“It's not the main part of my business, but what I have done over past
several years has found me through”

Tracy Owens –

“Success in freelance work comes from tenacity, time management and talent.

The bulk of my freelance work assignments have come from former co-workers that are already familiar with my work (as well as writing strengths and specialties) and have moved on to other publications and are looking to hire writers or editors.

Other gigs have come from networking or media-specific job boards and listservs.”

Lori Widmer -

“Keep networking. Also, become the reliable writer/editor in their stable of freelancers. Ask each client if they know of anyone else who might need your services.”

Question # Eight - How do you get freelance (writing) work of your own on the side when you want to?

Dana Cassell –

“In past few years have only done freelance articles when those editors I worked with over the years call me with assignments. So I only do about 10 articles a year, none of which I have solicited - so this question probably does not apply to me.”

Anonymous -

Page Twelve

“The only freelance writing I do on the side is for a greeting card/social expression company, and I don't do a whole lot of that. I have written some short stories, but never really tried to sell them.”

Tudor Hampton –

“It is important for a freelance writer to ask "why is this story important to the reader?" Putting that question in the context of all queried publications is the key to getting more work.

Likewise, every writer/editor/etc. should also seek out a mentor and tap them as much as possible. Anyone who desires to become great must have a coach.

Colleagues can offer educational wisdom but sometimes it is necessary to take classes from a local college or university to get even more ideas.”

Lori Widmer -

“When I have a lull, I consider that my "day off" and I write whatever I want then. I usually go "offline" and stick with pen and journal on those days. It keeps me from obsessing about finding more projects, and allows me time to myself and to do what I'd like to for a change.”

C. Hope Clark -

“I do so if I'm passionate about a subject and when I've completed my editing, I'm afraid. My customers come before my freelance writing.

However, I keep 13 articles or queries in play at all times. That keeps me somewhat focused on my writing which is what got me in this business to start off with.”

Jenny Kasza –

Page Thirteen

“As far as freelance work goes, I only did it for a short time. My full-time job keeps me busy enough.”

Question # Nine - How do you make your career or business as an editor or publisher more profitable or rewarding?

Lori Widmer -

“By learning your craft. I can't be a great editor if I'm not up on the proofreader's marks or if I'm not savvy in sentence structure. I try to read at least one section of the Harbrace College Handbook every day. If I read it and try to apply it, I'm more apt to remember it.

Also, I try to learn things not in my current field of expertise. As soon as I get some spare cash, I'm getting an AMA style manual so I can start landing some medical editing jobs (which are plentiful here).”

C. Hope Clark -

“I measure success with my editing/publishing with: 1. the number of subscribers 2. the number of positive emails from those subscribers Those emails are my yardstick and they mean the world to me.”

Dana Cassell –

“Haven't figured out any sure-fire strategy yet -- just keep plugging away and trying new things.”

Question # Ten - How do you further your education as related to your work?

Page Fourteen

Jenny Kasza –

“To further your education as an editor, you need to know who your reader is, keep up with industry trends, and keep building your experience. You should also talk to professionals in your industry and attend some shows/conferences when you can.”

Lori Widmer -

“I'm a big believer in a college education. Getting a degree that encompasses the area you want to work in makes a huge difference in how your prospective clients perceive you.

For example, I have a degree in Business Communications. That has allowed me to shoot for (and land, amen) one client who needs PR work done.

PR work is no harder than writing--in fact, it's a lot of writing. If I want to be in technical writing, you can bet I'm going to study it, either on my own or in a college setting.

If college is out of the question, then there's always studying on your own. As long as you do something to learn and implement your expertise, to broaden your knowledge base, you should be working a long time. At least, that's my hope.”

C. Hope Clark -

“I further my education by constantly reading - online and on paper. Not books, necessarily, but lots of nonfiction sources like papers, lists, government groups, and professional group publications.”

Dana Cassell –

Page Fifteen

“I skim (no time to really read) and file pertinent articles from Folio,
Writer's Digest, The Writer, Freelance Writer's Report -- several ezines, such as Dan Poynter's, PublishersLunch -- but nothing formal or structured - no time.”

Teresa Acosta –

“Online coursesArticle Search, continuing education courses and local colleges.”

Look for Part One Here at GoArticles.

Source: Free Articles from


David Geer is chief technology writer and owner of Geer Communications. Geer Communications provides editorial to publications and copywriting to corporate clients and marketing professionals. E-mail him at, call him at 440-964-9832, or check out the Geer Communications Website at

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