Negotiating a Publishing Contract


Milt Toby

Identifying potential problem areas in publishing contracts is a primary focus of ASJA’s Contracts & Conflicts Committee. We’re good at pointing out troublesome language and suggesting changes to make a contract more palatable, but what’s a writer supposed to do with those suggestions? How do you convince an editor to make the changes you want?

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No Sweat: Six Ways to Build Your Fitness-Writing Muscles


Cindy Kuzma

You don’t have to complete Ironman triathlons, bench-press your own body weight, or have washboard abs to write about fitness. But it does help to at least hit the gym every once in a while. “Just like it’s a lot easier to write about pregnancy if you’ve been pregnant, it’s a lot easier to write about fitness if you work out,” Men’s Journal senior editor Marissa Stephenson told ASJA conference attendees in April.

Stephenson was one of four fitness editors and writers who spoke at the panel I moderated, “So You Want to Be a … Fitness Writer.” Their insights could propel rookie and masters fitness writers alike to new personal bests in their careers. A few tips they shared:

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Inside the ASJA2014 Long-Form Narrative Panel


Christopher Johnston

Anytime you assemble a crew like we had for the state of the long-form narrative panel on Saturday afternoon, you’re going to get a lot of salient information about what’s currently transpiring in the world of publishing long-form articles and e-books.

However, we also had some wonderful creative friction sparking between the lone long-form article writer and the two editors focused on e-publishing and one editor with both print and online publishing expertise, which led to a lively, friendly conversation amongst the four panelists. As moderator, I got the distinct feeling that each, although passionately committed to his approach, was open to learning from the others or at least to considering their perspectives.

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Write Tweets People Read


Rae Francoeur

What’s the secret behind a good Tweet? At this year’s ASJA conference, panelists Leslie Poston, co-author of Twitter for Dummies; New York Times social media editor Michael Roston; and BuzzFeed senior editor Jessica Misener led a fruitful discussion on ways that authors can distinguish themselves using Twitter.

As moderator, my hope was that authors and journalists might discover some new Tweet composition skills. My thought was: If I can learn to write a headline, a lede or a caption, then I should be able to write Tweets people want to read. But how? I was surprised by most of what I learned. Here are some of the key gems we took away with us.

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A Ghost’s Story: Can You Make a Living Writing Other People’s Books?


Judy Katz

The “Secrets of the Ghosts: Expanding Your Writing Horizons by Ghostwriting, Editing, and Promoting Books” panel for the ASJA 2014 annual conference featured three ghostwriters, one proofreader who emphasized the importance of line editing to make sure your manuscript is clean and not full of errors, and one publisher who hires writers.

Essentially this is what we told our audience: This is a wonderful way to make a living, there are endless potential clients out there, and essentially the only competition you have is yourself: put yourself out there, and people will want what you have to offer.

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