Freelance writing workshop resources

UPDATE: I’ve added my latest PowerPoint presentation – from April 2018 – for anyone interested in checking it out.

I hope the folks who joined me over the weekend for my freelance writing workshop will have the chance to check out some of my favorite freelance writing links and resources. I’ve also added my PowerPoint presentation for those who want to revisit my presentation.

Again, keep in mind that networking is the key to success and that having a venue to show off your writing is a must for editors looking to hire you. Good luck everyone!

Freelance Writing Workshop2018

2018 Freelance Writing Workshop Resources


One-stop shop for all things media with lots of industry information. You can find advice on how to pitch national and large regional publications and websites here, as well as information on who to pitch and when to pitch. You can also find a wide range of courses here, varying in commitment and price. Subscription needed to access some content.

Freelancers Union

The motto here is “Freelance isn’t free.” You will find lots of practical advice on the business-side of freelance writing, from information on how to claim freelance writing income on your taxes to what to do if a publication won’t pay you. I find the blog particularly helpful with short articles packed with advice from full-time freelancers.

NH Writers’ Project

The state’s top organization for writers of all levels. Annual Writers’ Day event has lots of networking opportunities, as well as monthly Writers’ Night Out and book groups.

NH Creative Club

Commercial artists, communication and media professional networking group. Not a lot of writers, but many people who work in media, marketing and communications – all good people to know as you build your clips.

NH Media Makers

A group of largely Seacoast-area artists, designers and writers. The group meets the second Sunday of every month at 10am at Crackskulls in Newmarket, NH. Many of the members are involved in many projects, some that require writers.

Writers Market

From their website: “ lists more than 8,000 publishing opportunities, whether you write nonfiction, fiction, poetry, scripts or children’s books. Listings include contact information, submission preferences, payment rates, and more.”

The Billfold

A blog about money and making a living in the gig economy. Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer who shares her experiences, as well as those of others in the writing business.


It’s time for the Workshop!

April means that it is Freelance Writing Workshop time at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester. This year, I’m putting some materials up ahead so that students can start accessing resources immediately after the class (instead of when I get around to posting them). The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 and will include special guests Rick Broussard of NH Magazine and Jeff Feingold of NH Business Review.

Below are excerpts from two of my favorite pieces on freelance writing, both written by Nicole Dieker for the Billfold. Both give a good picture of what it’s like day-to-day freelance writing full-time. Enjoy.

Pitch to Paid 1

January 2014 stats:
Total earnings: $3,300.91
Completed pieces (all types): 150
Essays published: 3
Novellas rejected: 1

I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for just over a year. I track everything. I post my freelance income to my Tumblr every week, and am always taking notes on who’s hiring and who’s paying.

In January, for example, I got one new client and two new sub-client relationships that pay through an existing client. I got each of these new jobs the old-fashioned way: by having a current client recommend me. These are the jobs that aren’t advertised. This brings my number of current client relationships up to six.

To read more go to the Billfold.

from pitch to paid

February 2014 stats:
Total earnings: $1,911.76
Completed pieces (all types): 87
Essays published: 0 (although one of my essay pitches was purchased for future publication)
Novellas being revised: 1

February’s earnings were lower than usual because I spent one week on JoCo Cruise Crazy, a six-night Western Caribbean cruise with singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton. When you’re on a floating nerd boat in the Caribbean, you can’t write articles or earn money.

To read more go to the Billfold.

Spirits of Boston


Photo by Joseph Ferraro for Market Watch

Over the summer, I interviewed Christine Elder, head of the family-owned liquor retailer chain, Blanchards Wine & Spirits, based in West Roxbury, Mass. The store was impressive, packing in an unimaginable number of wines, Boston-area craft spirits, craft beers and of course the usual selection of popular spirits from Tito’s to Tanqueray. Here’s my profile, as part of the 2016 Market Watch Leaders issue.

Blanchards Wines & Spirits Builds On A Family Legacy

Christine Elder knows how the Boston-area Blanchards Wines & Spirits operates, inside and out. She began working at the family business as a teenager, starting in the redemption center organizing bottles and cans, as regulated under Massachusetts’ deposit law. She’s been at the three-unit retailer full-time for the past 17 years, filling nearly every role along the way. Today, Elder serves as Blanchards’ principal.

Elder’s experience in the business has given her the ability to anticipate market shifts and adjust inventories accordingly. Whether it’s supplying hard-to-find beers from small craft brewers or offering tastings from a local distillery, she’s always thinking up ways to get new products into the hands of customers. “Our shoppers want high-quality products, but they want to discover them as well,” Elder says. “They want something interesting that’s within their budget, and they want to learn about what they’re buying.” For curating a selection that appeals to a wide array of consumers in a very competitive market, Christine Elder has been named a 2016 Market Watch Leader.

You can read the rest of the piece here.

Where the bartenders meet

Is a cocktail convention for getting drunk or professional development? I’ve attended many events in the beer, wine and spirits category that focus solely on serving people copious amounts of alcohol. I spoke with a few industry insiders that are offering professional bartenders, servers and restaurant owners a different cocktail convention model.

You can read the full PDF version of my piece, “Tapping the Local Network” featured in the September 2016 issue of Market Watch: mw0916_bartalk


A frose by any other name

I’ve been pretty lucky this year in that I’ve had a chance to write more than a few stories on fun and interesting subjects. This piece for the July/August 2016 issue of Market Watch magazine was no exception. After a long, dark New England winter, getting an assignment to write about highly crafted frozen cocktails was like a boozy, slushy dream come true. This piece taught me that the key to a successful frozen drink is fresh out of the blender (hence the giant blending machines at these establishments), just in case you were thinking of trying any of these at home.

Read a PDF version of the article here: mw0716_bartalk-frose



I’ll never do that again!


LSS Sept 2016

This September, it will be one year since I first launched my storytelling series, Long Story Short. I had a lot of help in the beginning and could not have done it without the valuable input and advice of those at 3SArtspace. I certainly couldn’t have continued the series without the amazing people who have been brave enough to take the stage.

The plan is to continue the series for as long as 3S will have me, or as long as I can manage to do it. Here’s hoping the second year is as good as the first.

Talking about Her Story


Back row, from left, “Her Story” cast members Laura Waleryszak, Christian Ochoa, executive producer Kater Fisher, and Fawzia Mirza; front row, from left, Angelica Ross and Jen Richards

One of the things I love about doing interviews is the interesting things you end up talking about that don’t always make it into the story. I had a great chat with Laura Waleryszak about making art, making a living at making art, finding a supportive collaborative community, and being true to yourself as an artist. You’ll find some of that in my piece below, but I only wish I could have fit it all.

If you haven’t seen the fantastic “Her Story,” you should. It’s short, but packs a lot of emotion and humor into a little package. You can also learn more about the show in my interview with Waleryszak, which I’ve included some of below.

Exeter native’s show earns Emmy nod

Laura Waleryszak crafts authentic LGBTQ characters for an online TV drama

Best Surprise

I got this in the mail the other day. It was a huge surprise. I am trying not to get too excited about it, but after the hard work of setting up a recent event, I thought it was OK to enjoy it for just a moment.

If you haven’t been to a Long Story Short at 3S Artspace, you must check it out. The people who have been gracious enough to take the stage and be a part have told very funny and touching stories. Thanks so much to them and 3S Artspace for making this an event that has garnered notice.

Best of NH LSS

Brewery Hood

I’ve been pretty excited by what I’ve been seeing in my neighborhood lately. Down the street from my house is the new home of Great Rhythm Brewing Company. In fact, I can see their new HQ from the window of my office as I write this. I’m a big fan of pale ales, and Great Rhythm’s Resonation Pale Ale has been a solid go-to beer in our house for a while now. The tasting room is opening “Summer 2016,” and I expect I’ll be there quite a bit.

Liar's Bench 3

A short flight at Liar’s Bench Beer Co.

Flying a little more under the radar is Liar’s Bench Beer Co., a nano-brewery based in an old plumbing parts warehouse on Islington Street — and just a quick jog from my house. I happened to be around the day it opened, working hard to repaint practically every surface in my home. What goes great after a hard day or working around the house? A beer.

Liar's Bench 2

We sampled all four taps. I liked the John Grady Kolsch (5% ABV, 21 BU), a smooth, light brew that efficiently took the edge off of my post-painting sore muscles. My husband and I were also fond of the Bitter Lad, a “New English ESB” (5% ABV, 30 BU), a traditional British beer with an infusion of American hops — a perfect mix of malty and bitter. We took a growler home of that one.

I also have to give props to Topanga (6.5% ABV, 50 BU). Yes, it’s named after the “Boy Meets World” character and yes, it’s an IPA. Creative beer names can get tiresome, but it’s hard not to love this reference, or this beer.

Liar's Bench 1

The space is open, hip and re-purposes the industrial space well. Think Oxbow in Portland, Maine, only much smaller and more natural light. Confirmation from the owner the tasting room is kid-friendly was happy news, as the mother of a 3-year-old. “Come on, sweety. Let’s walk down to the brewery for a visit.”


Weekend Work

I always tell people the key to being a successful freelance writer is never say no to a project (unless it doesn’t pay, or doesn’t pay well). I realized the other day I don’t actually have much evidence to prove this, since I haven’t said no to an assignment in a really long time. This might explain why I was out the door early on a Saturday morning to be in Manchester to cover the 2016 Aspirations in Computing Awards.

This event was fun and easy to cover, and featured a crew of talented and smart young women trying to figure out what to do with their lives — plus a trip to Whole Foods right down the road made this worth giving up my Saturday morning.

Aspirations in Computing Awards Celebrate Young Women in Tech

It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning and instead of sleeping in, fifteen young women were in the lobby of the University of New Hampshire at Manchester trying to figure out how to build the tallest tower they could out of few pieces of dried spaghetti, a marshmallow, a strip of masking tape and string.

The activity was an icebreaker for the recipients of the 2016 National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing, a national initiative to honor young women at the middle and  high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. The Aspirations in Computing Awards Event, held on May 14, was a half day of activities that provided an opportunity for young women from New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont to interact with students faculty and industry members in the field of technology. The awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The program provides opportunities for young women to find internships and earn scholarships, including a $1,500 award to UNH Manchester for NCWIT awardees and a $1,000 award to NCWIT participants.

To read more go to UNH Manchester Campus News.