goldenwordsmith

All About Writing

05 October
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Autumn’s Writing Opportunities

Jefferson Wilderness, originally uploaded by nickboren.

Maybe today you could think about Autumn, and write about it in some way. It could just be your daily pages, or how to shape something seasonal into an essay. It’s hard to write about Autumn, and the feelings we have about it in the spring. The opposite is true, but if you’re a freelance writer, you have to now be thinking six months ahead for articles, and as much as a year for the highest paying publications.

If you thought about Autumn today, and wrote it all down, you’d have that writing to come back to, and there are millions of subjects to write about that fit with Autumn. I can think of these right now: trees, nature, colors, apples, festivals, school, weather, coolness, elections, foods….and the list can go on and on. ~Kerri

27 September
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Every Window Is An Article Opportunity

This Old Typewriter, originally uploaded by Girla Obscura.

There Is No Such Thing As A Bad Topic

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I just want to say this right from the start. There is no such thing

as a bad topic for an article. You can make grass seed interesting, if you want to, or the cost of bread fascinating. Writers do it all the time. The trick is to write about people, places and things you are passionate about, are an expert on, or wish to be an expert on. All good freelance writers start looking at every conversation, every book, every encounter they have and find interesting as a subject for an article. Each subject has a thousand angles. Pretty soon the whole world is a window of opportunity. The trick is to come up with the right angle for the audience you’re targeting, know what you want to say, exactly, and then write the query or article. How many articles would you like to write in one week? In my classes, you’ll find out how many you want to write, and how many you’ll actually write. That, in itself, is an interesting subject for me.

~Kerri

11 September
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Fall Classes Are Posted!

Click the tabs above for ‘classes’ and for ‘schedule’. If you’re interested in freelance writing, I hope to see you this fall. Together, we’ll explore how you want to grow, what you want to do with your writing, and make it happen! Email with any questions, or for information on how to register- goldenwordsmith@yahoo.com

~Kerri

**Please Make Certain You Wish To Sign Up For Classes or Workshops – Absolutely No Refunds Are Given

03 September
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Fall Freelance Writing Classes

 

This Fall I’m glad to announce that in addition to the traditional classes, I am going to have some experimental classes. In Portland, the traditional Beginning Freelance Writing Class will happen, and the traditional Advanced Freelance Writing Class will be offered in January.  Also in Portland will be a weekend Finding Your Niche in Freelance Writing, a one-day workshop, and, in January, a Mapping Your Writing Year Class, also a fun, creative one-day workshop.

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But then, there are some different classes. I am doing an online classThe goldenwordsmith Online Freelance Writing Class. We will have two phone conferences, one the second week of class, the other the final week of class. Everything in the original eight-week class will be offered, but will span twelve weeks, and offers more flexibility for those who wish to take an freelance writing class, but have ultra-busy lives. You can work at your own pace, be part of an online group, and get feedback and complete three articles and queries, just as in the regular class. The phone conferencing will also provide a short venue for reading articles – something I feel is essential to this class.

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I’m teaching a Freelance Writing Symposium at the University of Missouri in Kansas City (UMKC) in December, and one in Seattle the weekend after Halloween. Both of those require connecting with me through email, and doing some homework in advance. Next winter it looks like I’ll be back at the University of Washington doing this kind of class, and that’s something to look forward to.

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In the meantime, I am excited about returning to Seattle this fall to teach. I’m also excited to return to Kansas City to teach. Communiversity has been in my life, solidly, for twenty years.

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The schedule of the Fall Classes will be posted this week, so be sure to check back. If you have any questions, or to register, please email goldenwordsmith@yahoo.com

.~Kerri

29 August
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Freelance Writing Classes

Freelance Writing Classes – Beginning and Advanced

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I teach classes on freelance writing. What I teach is very simple and clean, no promises – it is all up to the writer. I present a fool-proof, eight-week plan in the Beginning Freelance Writing Class that comes from almost a decade of experience. Twenty years, if you count the small articles I wrote after high school. I had a great mentor, Rich Bruursema. He was one of my first meditation teachers, and was not my first editor, but was the first editor to really work with me. Non-pretentious, simple, down-to-earth, he was always supportive. His wife Sheila, too, joined him in all this work. They bought Kansas City Parent Magazine, and in 2000, when I’d gotten really ill, he asked me to write a food column for the magazine. I did. After a year, he told me I should start sending them out as reprints, and I did that, too. Editors bought them! What an amazing thing. I sold many, many of my articles in New York, but I also sold them in every region of the country.

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Teaching freelance writing began in Washington, when I was on a planning committee for a writers’ conference and they asked me to teach. I’ve been teaching for two decades, but that’s when I began teaching about writing. I taught for that conference for a few years. Then, I taught the same curriculum for the City of Astoria, then PCC in Portland, and two university community education programs – one in Seattle and one in Kansas City. I teach it now for my own organization, and the two universities.

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If you follow the class program, you will get published, and it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with you. The Beginning Freelance Writing Class teaches the basics, construction of an article, editing, the business of writing, creativity, working with editors, resources, networking, marketing, and more.

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The Advanced Class has evolved into an amazing class focusing on marketing and selling articles. This class includes defining a mission statement, making a plan, writing a long article defining a marketing plan, including resources and interviews, and creating a web presence and press kit. Writing every day is included in both classes. This is nothing new. Julia Cameron is terrific, and I highly recommend The Artist’s Way, but Natalie Goldberg wrote about writing daily, Eudora Welty wrote about writing daily, and Brenda Ueland wrote about writing daily. I give exercises designed to get people over their fear of submitting. They do work, even if they sound a little strange. In Washington I belonged to a writer’s group. The person with the most rejections each month was taken to lunch. It meant you submitted. That was the point. Everyone taking my classes this summer did an amazing job, and the people in my Advanced Class have been working with me for two years. I’m so proud of them. It’s amazing how much their work has changed, how much they’ve changed.

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At the end of the season, we have a writer’s party, with a reading of final pieces, a guest speaker, usually, and coffee or tea. We also always have a ‘writer’s gift exchange’ with a cap of five dollars. The gift must be for or about writing.

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Everyone loves this.

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Then, there is the special Niche Class, and the New Year Map Making for Your Writing Year class. Niche Writing is for someone wanting to specialize in a particular area, like health, beauty, travel, food, or parenting, and is a one-day class. The Map-Making Class is a one-day class in January drawing on all your creativity and planning to create a marketing plan in visual form that you can use all year.

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Don’t miss this fun class!

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A former student asked me recently to teach a one-day class on interviewing. I might do that.  I read poetry to all my freelance writing classes, and have taught the very, very basics of poetry, so students could incorporate it into their writing. The poetry I’ve taught was so basic that a person could take a poetry class afterward, and not feel completely lost. People are really intimidated by poetry. I think it is a life-long journey of study.

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I’m still learning, too, all the time, and sometimes my marketing falls by the wayside because I’m writing poetry, or working on radio, or another project, my zine, Cafe’, but I’m always learning, and I think that’s the key to writing well, and living a life as a writer. You can’t go wrong if you’re always learning. I learn from the people taking my classes. They never fail to amaze me. In the near future, I will introduce you to some great people who had never written an article in their life before taking my class, and what their lives are like, now. Until then. Email with any questions – goldenwordsmith@yahoo.com

~Kerri