In my quest for publication beyond my local area, I have become quite familiar with freelance writing sites. There are dozens upon dozens out there for all types of writers and all types of levels with all types of goals.
Since magazine-length features are my forte, I would like to highlight the four best websites I have come to use when looking for writing opportunities, or looking for places to “cold call”.
3. Wooden Horse
The granddaddy of freelancing sites, especially those looking to break into magazines.
I have been a member of this site since about 2000-as a freshman in college I stumbled upon this site and have been hooked ever since. As a paying member of their Freelance Marketplace, where you get to list a profile and portfolio, I have been found by editors of real, established and paying magazines! I have found story sources and have become a story source by being active on their message boards. And, I have been featured in a few of their blogs for some things I have done. (Really! Search mb for my name!)
Mb offers so much, it’d be hard to keep it to a minimum here. And, mb offers many things that all other writings site do not: hot job listings straight from the hot magazines themselves (no reposts from other job sites, like other freelance sites do-not that there is anything wrong with that), an extremely active forum, tons of real person-to-person networking opps through cocktail parties for members, how-to-pitch guides, industry news, blogs, newsletters, and so, so, so much more. Mb also offers writing classes, boot camps (online and in classrooms around the nation) and more taught by some of the best in the industry. They range from around $400 to over $1000.
Can you tell I really like this site? If you are one of the freelancers who have yet to discover this true gem, or have not really explored all it has to offer, put it on your to-list as a top priority!
You must be a member to access most anything at mb, however membership is free. There is a $49 a year AvantGuild membership which allows access to the extra trimmings, as well as discounts and health insurance for full-time freelancers, and is quite worth it for their “How to Pitch” series. There is also an option to be listed in the Freelance Marketplace, which is $19 a year.
A website dedicated to providing freelance writers with current masthead information from consumer magazines.
While I swear by my Writer’s Market book this annual publication still may not have the most up to date information on the correct editor to submit to. The Writer’s Market is the hands-down best tool available to examine which publications/publishers are best suited for your article on manuscript. The information about what they are looking for, what they pay, if they accept new and/or unagented writers and the other basics are sure not to differ much from year to year, however, even between yearly updates the editors may change. So, I highly recommend Mastheads.org. On a monthly basis it provides updates of the entire mastheads of nearly every magazine known to man, plus contact information. The site also offers industry news and the Glossy Lip blog.
You must pay $4.00 via PayPal for one week’s unlimited access. There are monthly and yearly packages too. But, to get such valuable up-to-date name is totally worth the price. This site saved me a few times.
Perhaps the best site for new magazine scouting!
Wooden Horse Publishing is a wonderful resource for freelancers who want to feel like an insider in the magazine publishing industry. This site has all the latest news in the industry-and most importantly, it is filled with news of NEW magazines. Knowing which magazines are soon to be launched is a great way to brainstorm some ideas for freelance pieces. New magazines may have less staff writers and therefore may be more dependent upon outsourced pieces. I have written letters to new editors just as an introduction, letting them know I am available. Of course I sent clips that best match their style and topics. Wooden Horse works well with the other resource sites I mentioned. If you see that a magazine is new, you can check MediaBistro to see if they are hiring or looking for freelance articles. Or, you can check out MastHeads to get the information on the editors.
The site is free to access. To get newsletters, email address is required of course.
This is perhaps the best-kept secret in the magazine world. Magazine gossip that can lead to internships, jobs and assignments.
I am writing an AC article just on this, too. I discovered this site while at the College Media Convention in New York City last March. I was an older college student (28), so I was a little out of place with all the youngsters. But the information I gathered there was not geared toward college kids- just anyone looking to become a media professional. On the last day of the convention, we attended a panel discussion where five journalism alums from John Hopkins who are all now at NYC magazines spoke. The one mentioned ED2010.com as her most valuable resource. It seemed that everyone in the entire convention looked around as if wondering, “What is ED2010?” For me and my classemates at Wilkes University, it became our new obsession.
The site provides that they call “Whisper Jobs” which are postings that reveal anonymous posts about who got fired, who go hired, who got promoted, etc-to show what opportunities are available. Plus, there are magazines that do post official listings, too. The posting will say if it is a real posting, or if applicants should not mention ED. Everyday, there are several new postings with lots of detailed info, some more detailed than others. There is a separate section for internships. The site also contains a totally comprehensive list of freelancing, magazine, writing and other professional resources. There is a newsletter you can sign up for, too.
**NOTE: While the site can reveal an opportunity for anyone, the site really is catered toward college students or, those looking for entry-level positions.