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This Blog Moving to as of December 30, 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:

And while we’re both thinking of it, would you please update your blog links to

2010 is going to be an exciting adventure.

I’d love to hear what you think of my new blog. Meet me over there, okay?

Writing for Radio: Radio-Related Websites to Bookmark

Laura BridgwaterBy Laura Bridgwater
Like a doctor checking up regularly on a patient, I, too, have regular rounds. But in my case, as a freelance writer I’m checking up on the Internet to read about new developments in the world of radio.
So to wrap up this year’s last “Writing for Radio” column, here’s a list of my favorite radio-related websites that are part of my Internet rounds. These websites will keep you primed for writing for radio for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.
1. British Broadcasting Company’s International Radio (BBC) /
What is it? The largest broadcasting corporation in the world.
Why browse it? Because BBC Radio takes submissions for its radio dramas and situation comedies.
2. National Public Radio (NPR) 
What is it?  A not-for-profit organization that reaches 27.5 million Americans each week.
Why browse it? Because NPR seems to be surviving the economic downturn and adapting to new media. Read about it in the Fast Company article Will NPR Save the News? 
3. Transom 
What is it? A showcase and workshop for new public radio.
Why browse it? Great information on topics ranging from radio equipment to “Beginnings”, a section of personal essays about starting in radio.
4. Current 
What is it? A newspaper and website about public TV and radio in the United States.
Why browse it? Truly all things public radio and public television.
5. PoynterOnline  
What is it? The online portal for the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists.
Why browse it? In addition to the latest news about the news, this site has information about radio journalism. Go to the search box on the homepage, type ‘radio,’ and start reading.
6. Mediabistro  
What is it? A website for a variety of creatives, from editors and writers to television, film, and radio professionals.
Why browse it? Practical advice about the business-side of being creative, such as How to Pitch pages. Some content is free; other content requires a subscription.
What is it? A not-for-profit storytelling organization.
Why browse it? Because it’s fun. And because The Moth Radio Hour takes pitches.
8. Your favorite radio station’s website
Why browse it? Whether you are currently writing for radio or hope to one day, reading your favorite radio station’s website will keep you informed on a variety of topics, from finding a new call for submissions to getting ideas about what you might want to write.
The Internet can be a huge time sink (think YouTube videos of the Keyboard Cat), but it can also be valuable. Click through the above websites and bookmark the ones that seem useful for you (most Internet browsers have a bookmark feature). Then the next time you sit down to surf the net, you’ll avoid the virtual rabbit holes during your Internet rounds. 
Laura Bridgwater is a freelance writer, teacher, and radio commentator. In 2008 she won first place for humorous personal essay writing in the National Federation of Press Women contest. Her humorous essays have been published in numerous parenting magazines and Funny Times, as well as being broadcast on public radio. To listen to her radio commentary visit KUNC.

Happy Harvest!

Happy Harvest! 
What are you harvesting from all of your efforts this past year?
Here’s what I’m prioritizing:
Teaching. My focus is working with writers from beginners with no clips all the way to seasoned writers seeking book deals. I will offer four classes that help build skill sets in 2010, plus e-books, workbooks, audios, and videos all geared towards helping writers find a specialty and get nonfiction published. I will be offering Dream Teams for article writers and aspiring book writers beginning in January. 
Writing. I will start my next book in January 2010. I will get some of my old reprints into circulation as well as pitching new articles. I will also begin publishing some e-books that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Speaking. I will travel to speak on my topics when hosted. I will also be hosting a few of my own events including a quarterly three-hour platform workshop and, possibly, launching an annual writer mama gathering.
Blogging. I will consolidate all of my blogs into one central blog, which will be located at I will begin video-blogging in the New Year. I will provide fresh content on my topics and invite guest bloggers to post.
Giving. I will continue to offer the following freebies: The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway, the December Former Student Sell-a-bration, and the Northwest Author Series. I will also continue to offer one scholarship every time I offer Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff (last class for 2009 begins in just two days, btw!).
My primary goal is to put my work with students first so that I can help more writers accomplish the goal of landing a first book deal. I am consolidating how I spend my time, money, and energy to better reach that goal. And I’m looking forward to being able to help more people, more effectively in the New Year!
Is there anything else you’d like to see me do? Send your feedback to me at writer mama at earthlink dot net.
Enjoy the bounty of fall!

Christina Katz
Publisher and Editor

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What’s the Best Way to Publish Your Work? Come Find Out at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC This September

Use my conference discount & get $50 off: Code = KatS8

The Writer’s Digest Conference:  The Business of Getting Published is designed to guide any author through the new dynamics of today’s publishing world.  This three-day event takes place Friday, September 18, through Sunday, September 20, 2009, at the New York Marriott Marquis, on Times Square in New York.

With emphasis on platform, networking and social media, The Writer’s Digest Conference is an innovative and ground-breaking conference, featuring the industry’s top forward-thinking speakers, leading sessions on topics relevant to the current and future state of the publishing world.
Chris Brogan, social media genius, is the keynote speaker.

Other speakers include Kassia Krozser, editor/publisher of;  David Mathison, whose online sales success is the new business model;  Mike Shatzkin, the industry’s top publishing consultant, Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler, whose own podcasts and videocasts have made them superstars in the business;  and many more, plus the editors of Writer’s Digest!

Complete program information, including speaker bios, special events related to the conference and registration is now available here.

Hope to see you there!

Understanding Personal Essays: What’s Your Opinion

Abigail GreenBy Abigail Green

Think op-ed pages are all angry letters about parking meters and people spouting off about politics? Think again. The op-ed pages of many newspapers are great places to publish timely, topical personal essays.

Depending on who you ask, op-ed is short for “opposite the editorial page” or “opinion-editorial.” Either way, it’s often a spot that’s open to non-staff writers of first-person pieces.

Yes, sometimes these essays offer up a political viewpoint, but not always. I’ve published essays in the op-ed section on topics including my imaginary conversation with Jennifer Aniston following her break-up with Brad Pitt, and going to see the Sex and the City movie.

The key is that your essay has to be timely. If you breed Portuguese water dogs, you would have been in like Flynn with an essay on that topic when the Obamas chose the White House pet. Of course, you also have to beat other writers to the punch. That means if your piece is about the American Idol finale, you’d better write that sucker the minute the show’s over and fire it off to the editor that night. If you wait a couple of days, it’ll be old news. This is one instance where simultaneous submissions are fine.

Essays on the op-ed page are often in the 500-700-word range. Your best bet is to study the print version (at a library if you don’t subscribe), since essays can be hard to find on newspaper web sites. It should be easy to find the right editor’s e-mail address. Pay can range from nothing to several hundred dollars. If a piece has the potential to be reprinted, you may come out ahead.

More and more these days, newspapers don’t have the budget to pay for unsolicited freelance submissions. Consider whether the clip and the exposure are worth it. I once negotiated with an editor who couldn’t pay for my essay to print my blog address in my bio at the end. That was worth it to me. Besides, the topic was so time-sensitive that I couldn’t possibly have sold it to any weekly or monthly publication.

If you’re an opinionated writer with a finger on the pulse of current events, the op-ed page may be just the place for your personal essay.

Abigail Green has published more than 150 articles and essays in regional and national publications including American Baby, Baltimore Magazine, Bride’s, Cooking Light, and Health. Her work also appears in the new book, “A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers.” (Adams Media, 2009). Abby holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. in publishing from the University of Baltimore. She writes the “Crib Notes” column for The Writer Mama e-zine and the “Understanding Personal Essays” column for Writers on the Rise. A mother of two boys, she blogs about parenting, publishing and more at

Early Fall E-mail Classes Begin on August 12th & Run Six Weeks

Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff
Especially For Moms (But Not Only for Moms!)
With Christina Katz
Class Begins August 12th
Prerequisites: None
Finally, a writing workshop that fits into the busy lives of moms! You will learn how to create short, easy-to-write articles-a skill that will make it easier to move up to longer, more time-consuming articles when you’re ready. Try your pen at tips, fillers, short interviews, list articles, how-tos, and short personal essays-all within six weeks. Now includes markets!
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at

Platform Building 101: Discover your Specialty
(Formerly “Targeting Your Best Writing Markets”)
With Christina Katz
Class Begins on August 12th
Prerequisites: None
Identifying your writing specialty is one of the trickiest and most necessary steps in launching a writing career today. This class will help you find your best audiences, cultivate your expertise, manage your ideas, develop marketing skills, claim your path, serve editors and become portfolio-minded. You’ll learn how to become the professional you’ve always wanted to be and, most importantly, how to take your writing career more seriously.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at

Writing for the Web
With Jennifer Applin
Class Begins August 12th
Prerequisites: None
These days virtually every business and industry needs to have an online presence. With a growing trend in Internet marketing, e-commerce and online publications, the need for creating well-written web content is more important than ever. If you are looking to make a name for yourself, and a living, writing for the web, then this course can help you. Students will learn how to develop a writing style that is suitable for the web; provide a variety of services (online articles, website content, blogging, editing, etc.); establish a fair rate and avoid scams; find paying assignments and secure steady accounts.
Cost: $250.00
More/Register at

Invest In Your Writing Career Today
& Reap Greater Rewards Tomorrow.

Writers on the Rise was mentioned in the New York Times!

Meryl Evans mentions Writers on the Rise in her recent article in the New York Times, Web Worker Careers: Writers and Editors.

Here’s a taste:

Ninety-nine percent of authors don’t make money on their book projects, 99 percent of publishers lose money and 1,500 books are published every day, reports Clint Greenleaf. With those stats, why does anyone consider a career as a writer or editor?

Because even with those stats, it is possible to make a good living. Especially now, as the growing number of online publications means there are many writing and editing opportunities that go beyond traditional books, newspaper and magazines.

Could you consider writing or editing as a career?

More in the NYT…

Reporting from the Tools of Change Conference in New York

I’m reporting live from the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in New York City:

You will find photos on The Writer Mama Riffs.

Off to lunch with the Rock and Roll Mama!

Wordstock Festival of Books is Happening Now at the Portland Convention Center

I’ll be there on Saturday teaching a workshop from 12:45 – 1:45 on Nonfiction Writing Rhythms.

And I’ll be signing books at the Willamette Writers booth from 3-5 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Write on, writers!

And good luck with those NaNoWriMo wordcounts!

I’ve decided that my next book is going to be…a novel. (!!!)

Fund Your Writing Projects: Adjust Your Attitude

Gigi RosenbergBy Gigi Rosenberg

Nobody likes a “needy” person, least of all funding organizations. Although you will never actually write on the application, “This project will happen with or without this grant,” this is the attitude that you must foster; it will be reflected in the language you choose and in your budget.

Granting organizations want to fund writers who take responsibility for their own success and who are not always waiting for something else to take their work forward. Therefore, your application must convey that you are so devoted to your project that you will ensure that, no matter what, your project will come to fruition.

Think about it: if there are two writers who both have talent but one has chutzpah and the other doesn’t, who is going to receive funding? Chances are it’s the writer with chutzpah who will get the money because, no matter what, she will persevere.

How do you show this attitude on the application? One way is through the use of verb tense. For example, when you are editing, delete any conditional verbs. Change all “coulds” “shoulds” and “woulds” to “can,” “shall” and “will,” as appropriate.

Readers of your grant should feel that your project is already happening or is at least well on its way. Your answers should enable a reviewer to hear, feel, smell, see and, if possible, taste your project. But hey, if you make your living as a writer, this skill is in your toolkit. Use it in your grant applications like you use in your short stories or creative nonfiction.

Another way to show your grit is in your budget. If the application has a budget form, it will probably have a line to note other grants you’ve applied for. Nobody likes to be the first one or the only one to finance. In the best case, you will have already received money from another source. Funders feel more secure when they see that other individuals or groups have already contributed to your project.

Next month, we’ll discuss the details of how to show your determination in your budget. For now, try this month’s assignment: What actions can you take to make your project more “real”? Is there anything about the project you can put into motion and write about in your application? Now change the conditional verbs to present or future tense and see how this enlivens your application.

Gigi Rosenberg writes about motherhood, relationships and the writing life. Her latest essay “Signora” appears in the Seal Press anthology The Maternal is Political. Her work has been published in Parenting, Writer’s Digest, The Oregonian, The Jewish Review and featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting. Gigi coaches writers on how to read to an audience. She is currently writing Get Your Art into the World: How to Fund Your Creative Endeavors a book to supplement her national workshops on grant writing.

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  • This Blog Moving to 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: And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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