Thursday, December 6, 2007

Never Throw Anything Away!

One of my students (Helen Baggott), has just had a success with a piece of her work. Her letter to Writer's Forum magazine is the Star Letter (£50) in the January 2008 issue. Her story though is a great example of how nothing is wasted in this freelance writing game.

Remember my article on writing reviews etc? I was going to submit it to Writers' Forum, but they covered the topic in their next issue. So, I reworked it as a letter and I've won £50 as their star letter in their current issue!

At first, many writers would be dismayed to see that an idea they had just had, then turn up in the next issue of the magazine they were targeting. Ironically I think many writers should be pleased with themselves - it proves that you are thinking along the right lines for your target market! But that didn't stop Helen. Instead, she used the article that had been published as her reason for writing the letter - and then went on to use some of the information in her article to expand her letter further. It is the perfect letter - it refers back to a previous article, yet it also gives readers additional information - which is why she was rewarded with the Star Letter.

The best bit is that this doesn't stop Helen from targeting another suitable magazine and rewriting her original article to fit her new market.

So the lesson is - never throw anything away. You never know when you may be able to rework it to fit an opportunity. And Helen has just proved it.

Incidentally, there's an article about Letter writing in the same issue, as well as an interesting article about DIY Writing Retreats. I know it's interesting - because I wrote it!