Freelance Writing: A New Midlife Career?

  BY GINA PAYNE   Changing careers is scary. While fear can hold back writers of any age, embarking on freelance writing at midlife might be harder still. Perhaps it should come with a warning:   “risk of implosion ahead”.   With midlife commonly a time of re-evaluation, career changes at this life-stage are often driven by a desire for greater meaning from life. So imagine this. You’re considering freelance writing as an alternative career. Then doubts swarm. Why? Because the move will take you outside

What is Magazine Journalism? By Nichola Meyer

Read between the lines of a magazine article, and you will see that magazine writing is not solely factual – although it is based on hard fact. It is not personal opinion, although a hint of an opinion is allowed. It is not fiction, although elements of fiction writing are often used. It is also not meant to be a moral essay, although in places, a magazine piece may provide social commentary. If this sounds like a bit of a riddle

Become a magazine journalist with these 10 tips – by Jezemae Cogan

So you want to flip open a magazine and see your article standing proud? Here are 10 tips to get your career started as a magazine journalist. 1. Find ideas to write about - Sometimes finding an idea to write about can be the hardest part, but look into what interests you and what your hobbies are. - Listen and watch people around you; you may just pick up an idea. - Look at articles in the newspaper and create a completely different angle

How I started writing – by Helen Brain

I started to write years ago, when I had small children. We’d moved to a fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa – a bleak, sandy place, where the people were poor, and the environment harsh. I’d always wanted to write, but because I hadn’t studied English at University, I thought I couldn’t. But stuck in the back of beyond with no friends and no job, I had to do something. I began to write a novel based on

10 tips to succeed as a magazine journalist – by Tancrid Muller

  Being a magazine journalist can be one of the most fulfilling and interesting jobs out there, but it’s not a job that will suit everyone. If you’re not afraid of mountains of work and tight deadlines, follow these ten tips and you’ll be an ace magazine writer in no time. Research is Essential This doesn’t mean only verifying facts and figures; you need to learn about the magazine industry. Learn what to expect, before jumping in. Read about... everything. Stay up-to-date on the

Use Your Eyes … to Help You Write – by Trish Nicholson

  For those of us blessed with sight, vision is the most important sense through which we recognise the world around us. Before we are old enough to understand words, we see images that awaken in us the wonder and curiosity of our future creativity. It is important for writers to realise this. If you can ‘see’ your characters, scenes, and settings, you are half way to showing them to your readers, so they can ‘see’ them, too. This applies equally to

Ten foolproof tips to turn you into a magazine journalist – by Mishka Lawrence

Getting started as a magazine journalist is no walk in the park, but here are a few tips to help you sell your first articles.   1. Passion fuels performance Write about what you know. If you’re passionate about diet and nutrition, write about them. If you’re crazy about cars, there’s your starting point. Because of your strong interest, you’ll want to find out about the latest trends, news and developments in your chosen field. Your passion for your topic will make your writing

Starting out as a freelance journalist: where to even begin!? By Samantha Moolman

So – you’re committed to this writing thing and you’re raring to go. Good for you! But now what? Do you have a particular article topic you want to write about? Do you have a particular publication in mind? You might feel like you’ve hit a brick wall and don’t know where to begin. You might be drowning in a sea of countless writing opportunities that you can pursue, but you can’t decide which one is right for you. Without

My Writer’s Toy Box – by Trish Nicholson

Writing courses

IF I wake up in the morning with perfectly formed sentences scratching at the inside of my skull to get out, I leap at the laptop and bash away at the keys like I’m playing ragtime on the piano. But on the other 360 days of the year I need my toy box. My favourite toys are three books; a wooden egg; a tiny woven basket with a lid; a picture of Gaudi’s workshop, and a portrait of Beethoven. In case the

Breaking into Journalism (Part II of II) – by Sam Moolman

Authenticity is as important as it ever was in journalism. Authenticity, and transparency. You might have a fantastic blog or website, be a religious tweeter, even win yourself some attention from the world online, but if your writing is not up to scratch then things are just not going to pan out. The argument these days is that good quality work is just not good enough anymore. Branding yourself Working hard at being a journalist doesn’t just mean that you produce good content.

Breaking into Journalism (Part I of II) – by Sam Moolman

The journalism industry can sometimes feel like a secret society that you need a special key or password to get into. The old adage ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’ is an undisputed fact, and especially depressing if you don’t ‘know’ anyone on the inside. I know how disheartening it can be to have all this passion and talent and no platform from which to share it. The walls of a newsroom or magazine publishing house can seem

So You Think You Can Write for Magazines? – by Tracey Hawthorne

  A student halfway through his course emailed me recently, ‘I thought that because my friends told me I wrote good emails, I could easily write for magazines. I didn’t realise just what was involved in researching and writing a good magazine article.’ ‘Just what’s involved’ is that old equation: 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration. That doesn’t make it particularly difficult or any less fun. It just means that writing 1 200-1 800 informative, accurate, entertaining words about a certain topic,

Words for Freedom – by Trish Nicholson

Every nano-second, millions of bloggers and twitters around the world communicate with each other and the universe at large with a freedom everyone takes for granted. Well ... not everyone. Could you go to prison for your blog? It happened to 19-year-old high school student, Tal Al-Mallouhi, a blogger and poet in Syria. Summoned for questioning about her blog entries a year ago, she has been imprisoned ever since. For the first nine months she had no contact with her family or a

Freelancing is for Lazy People, says Karin Schimke

It’s eleven on a Tuesday morning. I’ve been lying on the couch reading and I must have nodded off because an sms alerts me to the fact that it’s almost time to fetch the children from school. I call this work. It’s not the whole picture of course, but it’s the part of the picture I like most about freelancing. Last night I worked till past midnight on an article that’s been hanging over my head for three weeks and with which I’ve