Archive for the 'Wendy Burt' Category

Ask Wendy: Your Writing and Publishing Questions Answered

By Wendy Burt-ThomasWendy Burt

Q: Should I interview experts BEFORE I query a magazine or wait to see if the article is assigned?

 
A: As a full-time freelance writer, I’ve learned that time is money. With that said, my personal preference is to NOT interview any experts until I know I’ve got a paid assignment. What I do recommend, however, is that you LINE UP interviews before you query a magazine.
 
You’ll need to clearly explain to potential interviewees that you’re pitching an idea to a magazine with no guarantee that the piece will be assigned, but that you’d like to cite them as your experts in your query letter.
 
Two exceptions to the rule: 1) If a fabulous opportunity arises to interview someone (e.g. a celebrity or a famous anthropologist who’s about to embark on a 6-month African safari), interview them while you can; and 2) If you’re not sure that your expert is the right source for your article, do a pre-interview scouting session. 
 
The Writer's Digest Guide to Query LettersWendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer, editor and copywriter with more than 1,000 published pieces. Her work has appeared in such varied publications as MSNBC.com, NYTimes.com, Family Circle and American Fitness. She is the author of three books: Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick’s Guide to Fun for Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick (McGraw-Hill, 2003); and The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters (Writer’s Digest, 2008). Visit her at http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com 

or her blog, http://askWendy.wordpress.com.

Today is Wendy Burt Thomas’ Amazon Spike Day!

Happy Monday, writers! I’m very pleased to share information about Wendy Burt Thomas’ Amazon Spike Day news with you. If you’ve been reading Writers on the Rise for any length of time, then you are already familiar with the reliable, helpful advice that Wendy Burt Thomas has been sharing over the years as part of her “Ask Wendy” Column.

I hope you will join me in purchasing Wendy’s new book, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters on Monday, December 1st. I’ve already made my purchase and I’m encouraging everyone I know to join me.

I’ve taken the liberty of pasting Wendy’s letter here:

Dear Friends,

Have you ever thought of making money from your writing? Perhaps you’ve got an idea for a novel or nonfiction book. Or maybe you’ve got some magazine articles swirling around in your head. If you (or someone you know) would like to know how to sell your work, I invite you to buy my new book, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters on December 1.

The 30+ samples of good and bad queries walk writers through the “must-have” and “don’t-even-think-about-it” points with a balance of clear instruction, examples and humor. Where similar query books just tell you to write a hook – it gives insight into what makes a good opening paragraph for an article, novel or nonfiction query. There are special considerations for book queries by genre (from Romance and Mystery to Speculative and Thriller – plus everything in between) and the FAQs come straight from the author’s experience as a writer, author, magazine editor and book copyeditor. The “what editors / agents / publishers like” and “what editors / agents / publishers don’t like” are incredible resources, offering a look into water coolers throughout the publishing industry. Plus, it’s funny.

Why December 1? It’s my official “Amazon Spike Day,” where I attempt to bump my book up the rankings. The better my book sells before its December 5 release date, the more often Amazon will recommend it to shoppers and the more likely bookstores will order extra copies.

Here’s a link to check out the book: http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com

So what’s in it for you (besides knowing you helped an old friend!)? Everyone who orders The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters from Amazon on December 1 receives:

1. My free e-book, “3 Years of Ask Wendy; Your Freelance Writing Questions Answered” (a $9.95 value!) – featuring Q & As on everything from how to sell greeting card copy and fillers to making money from personal essays and short stories. (This e-book is compiled from my “Ask Wendy” column for Writers On The Rise, one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Top 100 Web sites for Writers.)

PLUS….
2. A chance to win one of 6 books:
o Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (author of Writer Mama and founder of Writers On The Rise, http://www.getknownbeforethebookdeal.com)
o Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (www.thewritermama.com)
o Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick by Wendy Burt and Erin Kindberg (our second book in the Hip Chick series)
o A Christmas Dozen; Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart by Steve Burt (award-winning writer and author of 12 books)**
o Odd Lot; Stories to Chill the Heart by Steve Burt (winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award; winner of 6 Honorable Mentions for Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror; Honorable Mention Best Horror Book by ForeWord Magazine and Honorable Mention Best Genre Fiction from Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards)**
o Oddest Yet; Even More Stores to Chill the Heart (Bram Stoker Winner!)**
**Steve Burt is not only my dad and mentor, but also an award-winning author. In fact, he won the Bram Stoker Award, the highest honor in horror writing!

PLUS…
3. One winner will receive a free email or phone consultation and editorial feedback on the topic of their choice: writing for magazines, novel queries, greeting cards, nonfiction book proposals, freelancing for a living, etc.

Just order the book from Amazon (there’s a link to Amazon through http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com) on Monday, December 1 and email me your receipt. I’ll email you the e-book and enter your name in the drawing!

Please don’t feel obligated to buy the book. But if you choose to, let me say “thank you” in advance!

All my best,

Wendy Burt-Thomas

www.GuideToQueryLetters.com

Guide to Query Letters Amazon Spike on Monday, December 1st

Participate in the December 1st Amazon Spike for Wendy “Ask Wendy” Burt Thomas’ new book: The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters.Details coming soon!

Mark your calendar for Monday, December 1st.


October 2007 Family Fun Magazine



Books for your library by Writers on the Rise Contributors

Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz


By Christina Katz
For Writer’s Digest Books

The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters

Coming in December!
By Wendy Burt Thomas
For Writer’s Digest Books

Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen

Coming in March 2009!
By Sage Cohen
For Writer’s Digest Books

Writing for Newspapers by Sue Fagalde Lick

By Sue Fagalde Lick
For Quill Driver Books

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine
By C. Hope Clark
For Funds for Writers


Writer Mama by Christina Katz

By Christina Katz
For Writer’s Digest Books

All The Querying Help You’ll Ever Need from a Name You Trust!

Participate in the December 1st Amazon Spike for Wendy “Ask Wendy” Burt Thomas’ new book: The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters.

Details coming soon!

Mark your calendar for Monday, December 1st.



October 2007 Family Fun Magazine



Ask Wendy: Your Writing and Publishing Questions Answered

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine

By Wendy Burt Thomas


Q: In terms of managing a writing career, what are the best lessons you’ve learned in 2008?

A: In my fifteen years of freelancing, I think 2008 was my best “revelation” (not “resolution”) year yet. Many of my writer friends and I learned these lessons this year:

  1. I do not have to take every opportunity that comes my way. This is an especially hard lesson for intermediate/advanced writers who got to where they are today by taking low-paying projects. We often develop a mindset that we shouldn’t pass up any project that’s offered because the gigs may dry up. The truth is, there’s plenty of work and we deserve to make great money. We need to raise the bar for ourselves. Creative people are incredibly undervalued.
  2. I need to take care of my body. If I worked my body as hard as I worked my brain in 2008, I’d be fit, healthy and free of back problems.
  3. I need to have a life. I love what I do-perhaps a bit too much. I need to remember that all work and no play makes for a dull mommy, wife and friend. A successful writing career is as much about balance as talent.

···································································
Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer, MSNBC.com, NewYorkTimes.com, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit www.BurtCreations.com to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.

Ask Wendy: Your Writing & Publishing Questions Answered

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy Wendy Burt Thomas

Q: Some argue that there’s no such thing as “writer’s block.” But procrastination is certainly real. How do you avoid it?

A: There are a few tips you can use to help fight procrastination on almost any project.

1) Always get plenty of information on the direction of your assignment. Beyond word count and deadline, this means asking specific questions about content. I’ve found that in nearly 100 percent of the cases, the projects that keep getting bumped off my daily to-do list are the ones that I feel somewhat confused about. Then, because I’ve waited too long, I’m embarrassed to call my client to ask for clarification. I’ve learned to ask a lot of questions up front and no one has ever complained!

2) Break your project down into specific and small tasks. Instead of “write 3,000-word feature article on public policy,” try:
· Make phone call to set up interview with lobbyist.
· Create list of questions for lobbyist.
· Find paragraph that explains what bill H-2356 is.
· Email chamber to see if they have any info on their public policy stance.

3) Make your first step the one that will likely garner you the most information: a phone interview, a visit to a website, or an email to a company’s media relations department. Oftentimes, just a short summary of the topic will create a snowball of momentum to help you (at least) write an outline.

···································································
Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer, MSNBC.com, NewYorkTimes.com, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit www.BurtCreations.com to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.


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  • This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com. And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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