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2001 Writers Market 8,000 Editors Who Buy What You Write

ISBN 0898799775 / 9780898799774 / 0-89879-977-5

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Miniature Donkey Talk. Shaman's Drum. Tattoo Revue. Mountainfreak. The Electron. Sticky Buns. Muzzle Blasts. There is, it appears, a publication for everyone. You may not find the one for you at your local newsstand or library, but you will surely find it in Writer's Market, Writer's Digest's annually published godsend for freelance writers. Acquiring this 1,112-page behemoth is just about the best investment a freelancer can make. In what other single place can one learn both that there is "an urgent need for literature for young atheists" (so says American Atheist Press) and that DogGone will pay $15 for fillers about upcoming dog-friendly events?

This year's edition features--in addition to the invaluable listings of 1,400 consumer magazines, 450 trade magazines, 1,100 book publishers, and 200 script buyers--interviews with six freelance writers, including Helen Zelon. While many freelancers struggle to tailor their stories for a particular audience, Zelon finds it simple. "It's like talking to different people," she says. "We do it every day without thinking." Don McKinney offers advice on avoiding the slush pile. Don't send your piece to the editor in chief, he says, or even the managing or articles editor. "I'd pick somebody lower down on the masthead," he says, "somebody ... who will win recognition by discovering a new writer." There is a query-letter clinic, a 10-page list of what one should charge for various gigs, and a book-contract clinic. And while most freelance wisdom advises one to start at the bottom and work one's way up, it would be prudent to heed the words here of writer Julie JoElle. "You might not be rock bottom," she says. "Start where you feel capable of starting, then work backwards, if you must."

Note: the CD-ROM version of Writer's Market has been replaced this year by an Internet edition, which combines the search capabilities of the CD-ROM with the Web's currency. (It also includes markets that didn't make it into the print version.) 2001 Writer's Market--The Internet Edition comes with a one-year subscription to the www.writersmarket.com Web site, which can also be purchased separately (whether or not you have either book) on the site itself. --Jane Steinberg [via]