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Topic: Employment for writers/readers

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Subject: Employment for writers/readers
Date Posted: 7/25/2008 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2006
Posts: 1,068
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I'm hoping someone out there will have some good advice for me.  I'm looking for a career change.  I like the job I do but I don't LOVE it.  So in reviewing my strengths and what I really enjoy, I haven't come up with any easy answers.  So here's the deal:

I live in South Bend, Indiana - medium sized city.  I have a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Liberal Studies.  I really, really enjoyed the research and writing that I did for my thesis.  And I love to read.  I am/was contemplating going back for a PhD in history because that what's my thesis was about (WWII specifically).  There are few options where we live for a PhD so moving might be necessary...or a long commute.  And with three kids under 12, moving isn't really a great option right now.

So I'm looking for ideas.  Who has a good idea about possible career choices for moi?  Anyone know of any reputable work at home jobs/companies?

 

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I only know this from some preliminary research, but have you considered working as a grant writer? It requires a lot of research, good organization and writing skills.

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2006
Posts: 1,068
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Actually I had considered that before.  I work for  non-profits so it's not much of a stretch.  Thanks....I'll look into it again.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 7/27/2008 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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You can always start freelance, submitting articles and/or stories to various periodicals within your interests.  It's always best to start with magazines you're already familiar with, so that you can tailor your writing to the type of stuff they publish.  Most include instructions for obtaining submission guidleines in their mastheads, and the names of the editors to contact.  Of course, you can't quit your job doing freelance writing, but with time and patience (usually a lot of time and patience - those rejection letters pile up fast!) it's at least a possibility to get some publishing credentials to build off of.  (I never had much luck myself, but then I didn't stick with it either.)

Nice to meet a fellow history buff, by the way - I got my BA a bit south of you at Purdue in West Lafayette!  (Mostly studied 20th Century, including some WWII.)  But I have to disagree with your choice of baseball team allegiances... GO BREWERS!!!

Date Posted: 7/27/2008 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2006
Posts: 1,068
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Thanks for that suggestion Paul.  I've actually been toying with the idea of freelance writing.  My problem is that I often fail to see why my stuff would be interesting to anyone other than me.  And then I read some of the stuff in magazines and I think "well I can do that!".  I plan to begin submitting stuff soon....we'll see. 

Oh, and I'm not surprised that you'd be a Brewers fan.....you did go to PU (pee-you) after all {said the IU grad!!!!!!)

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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My Dad has had the most incredible luck as he bagan his freelance career. In his first six months he has sold over half a dozen articles, all for three digit pays. If you are not quite that lucky with it, then don't be afraid to send in submits to palces that don't really pay that well - it will add up to a good partfolio. The most important thing you must do is buy a good, new copy of writers market. Sitting and reading it will make you want to write something. It is a list of every magizine in the known universe (yea, well, not really, but...) and what they accept, with an actual list of what they are desperately looking for. So you are reading along and you get to a magazine that lists that it really needs storie of memories of first ball games as a kid - fiction about children with handicaps in foster care - whatever - some are not that specific, but i find that the ones that are can make something go 'click' in your head, and next thing you know, you are writing for them! Give it a try! Also, when you do get a rejection - you might find yourself reading the Writers Market and come to something that says 'articles about collecting household items from the 40-60s' and think - hey, where's that article i wrote about Fiesta Ware that got rejected? Can I edit it to have a 'collectors' point of view in mind? I bet you can do this! You have kids - I bet you can write a LOT about raising kids! My Dad really LOVES writing travel pieces, because, like you, he likes doing reasearch. He likes to write about places that aren't big travel destinations, and send them into smaller travel mags (like auto clubs, ect, like to have) and the local and state magizines, ect. writing about what a great destination some small town near you is - especially in these leaner times when people are picking more nearby quick trips. Also, he likes writing about collectables, ect, because it also requires a lot of research. I bet you could write some great pieces for history focused magizines. Do you share your love of history with your kids? have you thought about writing some historical pieces for childrens magizines - or even childrens books set in a historical theme? anyway - GL.
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just like to add that writers market has a website that is updated quite often and has the same features as the books.  I have found it the best source when looking for magazines to submit my short stories.  I think its like $25 a year to use the website.

Date Posted: 9/7/2008 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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Pam, they have so many different and specific books - the children's writers market, the poetry writers market, the short story market, ect, ect. Do they have seperate website fees or is does the website fee give you access to something like an electronic version of all the books at once?