Friday, April 17, 2009

Writing Tips from HARO, part 2

Here are some more tips from writers on HARO. Some of you have emailed asking, “what is HARO?” It means Help a Reporter Out at and if you subscribe, you’ll get requests from reporters re stories they are working on. I posted a request for tips for writers, and got a great crop that I’m stretching out over several posts.

Write each day—even if it is a stream of consciousness or the same word over and over...just do it for an hour every day. Kelley Rexroad America’s HR Strategist™ The HR expert with front porch common sense and www.krelleyrexroad/

POLISH POLISH POLISH: One draft is not enough. Two drafts are not enough. Nor are three. Once you get the story just the way you want it, go back and read it again and again and again. Somewhere in there something is not right, or a comma is out of place, or a whole paragraph (or maybe a whole chapter) is crying out to be deleted. Have a brutally honest friend read it. Have a professional editor go over it. Go over until you can't stand looking at it anymore. Everyone in the book world is crazy busy. Acquisitions editors really appreciate a clean manuscript--and they are much more likely to read it to the end if they aren't mentally making corrections along the way. From Joan Schweighardt, a four-time award winning published author, a former publisher, and currently a freelance editor, ghostwriter, publicist and sometimes agent. []

Budding writers should not be averse to doing "minor" sorts of writing jobs while they await the big break. Although my own (brilliant!) novel is still languishing in a carton, waiting for an open-minded editor or publisher, I have taken all sorts of odd jobs that involved writing in some aspect. I was (and still am) a stringer for the newspaper, covering human interest stories. I also do some freelance editing for other aspiring writers. I do research and editing for a best-selling author and life coach. And I edit and semi-transcribe the minutes of Town of Woodstock board meetings. My labor of love is writing for and associate editing a grassroots animal welfare organization's quarterly newsletters. ( No, none of these jobs help to get my novel published, and none of them pay very well, but they do give me a wide experience and help me hone my skills. From Eileen Fay.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Hi Writers! Here is the first installment of HARO input on tips for writers. I’m going to repeat the one I put in the comment below, because I don’t want anyone to miss it: Here is a tip from Melissa Hart. You may have seen her reviews of Literary Magazines in your favorite writing magazine. She has a new book coming out this fall, Gringa, a Contradictory Girlhood, so watch for it! Here is her tip: "Do you have a talent for telling a good story in just a few minutes? So many magazines publish one-page essays; at approximately 800 words, the piece leaves editors just enough room for a photo or other art. Some of my favorite markets for this type of essay are Horizon Air Magazine, High Country News, and Skirt!, but you'll find that there are hundreds of other publications that look for poignant, oftentimes humorous short essays. Don't be afraid to pitch your own photos to illustrate your essay, as well. The first photo I ever had published was a picture of a weed in Horizon Air Magazine. I'd written an essay about flunking my nature photography course, and this was the only successful picture I shot." Melissa Hart, Author/UO Journalism Teacher, Writing Blog at

And here is another tip: “So my tip to writers is to write what you know. If you have knowledge of the subject matter AND contacts who can suggest stories or serve as sources for you, you'll have much better luck getting assignments. I look forward to seeing other tips." Lisa Tibbitts, Public Relations & Marketing, +1.917.674.8060 Follow me on Twitter:

Stay tuned, there are lots more coming! Laura