MFA Programs: What are they and how do they work?


Cynthia RosiYou’ve been freelancing for years. Clients love your work. But something about your writing isn’t pleasing you. What do you do next?

Online classes, books on writing, and critique groups might not bring enough skilled analysis to guide you deeper into your craft. That’s when an MFA, two years of intensive study in Creative Non-Fiction or Fiction, can really help.

There are two types of MFA programs: low-residency, and on-campus. I didn’t have the option of moving cities to attend a university with an on-campus program focused on social justice, so a low-residency program was for me. Continue reading →

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Small Writers Group Nets Big Results


Theresa Sullivan BargerThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FastCompany.com, Columbia Journalism Review, Family Circle, Parents, The Atlantic.com, Philanthropy, Poynter Online – these are just some of the places the bylines of our small writers group members have appeared for their first time since we started meeting 10 months ago.

We originally formed as a monthly accountability group, but soon evolved into much more. We set up a closed Facebook page where the eight of us could post questions and share the wisdom of the group. Our virtual newsroom replicated the days when we could slide our chair over to a coworker to ask how she would handle that day’s challenge. We soon switched to meeting every two weeks. Continue reading →

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Take the Reins On Your Amazon Reviews


Tina TrasterYour book’s Amazon page is part orchestration, part free for-all. Your publisher will set up your book page, which includes title, pricing, formats available and a book description. Your publisher will, or should, also give Amazon Editorial Reviews. But 12 entries is the limit. Scroll down and you’ll find “About the Author” and “Product Details.”

All the above, except pricing, is information you or your publisher have control over. Continue reading →

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Why I’m Glad to be an Office Nomad


Anne Cassidy

For much of my freelance career I had a home office, a spare second-floor bedroom with a view of our garden and woods. I wrote a book there and hundreds of articles. I treasured that room, considered it essential. But for six years now I’ve been traveling light, roaming around the house with my laptop, freed from the dedicated writing space I once swore I needed.

Our laptops and tablets have liberated us from the physical office. Now we carry our offices with us — or they float around in the cloud waiting for us to access them. While I haven’t stopped lusting for the perfect writer’s cabin, I like being an office nomad. Continue reading →

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My Favorite Office Assistant: Freelancers have a special bond with their pets


Michelle V. Rafter

When he was with me, my office assistant always let me know when a package had arrived, or if it was time for a break. He loved hanging out in the car while I ran errands, and lived for walks we took when I was frustrated with an article, or needed to stretch my legs.

It’s been almost four months since I said goodbye to Riley, my family’s wirehair fox terrier. He’d been my faithful office mate ever since we brought him home as a tiny fur ball 14 years ago. Riley was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in April 2013 and hung on for more than a year before cancer got the best of him and we had to let him go. Continue reading →

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