Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Freelance Writing Library

 Post by Kerrie Flanagan

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a well-stocked bookshelf to make a successful freelance writer. As Stephen King reminds us in his memoir, ""If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write." So today I am going to share with you some of my favorite  writing books that I think you should have in your personal library.

We can always improve our craft and these books get help us do that.

Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer
Beginning with plenty of realistic words of caution, veteran freelancer Glazer provides a practical guide for aspiring writers who want to earn a living doing what they love.

Secrets of a Freelance Writer, How to Make $100,000 a Year or More
Secrets of a Freelance Writer has long been the authoritative guide to making big money as a commercial freelance writer.  

Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing
Written by two freelancers who broke the rules to win the game, this handbook contains a wealth of information for writers who are frustrated by the seemingly limited ways to operate in the freelance market.

On Writing Well
This book has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail.

Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock
This convention-defying follow-up to The Renegade Writer ensures that freelance journalists get the assignments they want more quickly and for better pay with the right query letter.

All writers should surround themselves with great resource books in order to keep their writing as a strong as possible.

Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript
Features more than 100 example query letters, proposals, and synopses.  Increase your chances of publication by submitting your manuscript the right way.

The Elements Strunk and White
Grammar book written with a unique tone, wit and charm that has conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers.

Flip Dictionary
A great reference that offers cues and clue words to lead writers to the exact phrase or specific term they need. It goes beyond the standard reverse dictionary format to offer dozens of charts and tables, listing groups by subject (such as automobiles, clothing types, plants, tools, etc.) 

All these market guides provide writers guidelines (contacts, pay rate, types of articles needed...) for different publications. They differ in their layouts. You should find the one that works best for you.

Writers Market
Publications listed by subject (women's, travel, home...)

The Best of the Magazine Markets for Writers
Publications listed alphabetically

The American Directory of Writers Guidelines 
Publications listed alphabetically. Details guidelines. 

Christian Writers' Market Guide
Publications listed by subject (women's, travel, home...)

Writing is a lonely business so we should set aside some time to be inspired by other writers.

On Writing
Stephen King's memoir  begins with a series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie and offers a fresh and often funny perspective on the formation of a writer.King then turns to the tools of his trade, examining crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection
Writing Places, Life Journey of a Writer and a Teacher
William Zinsser delightfully recalls the many colorful and amusing locations where he has worked and taught. Written with humor and with gratitude for a lifetime of change and self-discovery, relishing a rich cast of characters who peopled his world from Yale's president Kingman Brewster to actor Peter Sellers to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson,  Writing Places never loses its anchor in the craft of writing how it's taught, learned and brought to a high level of enjoyment. 

Bird by Bird
If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to live a writer's life, this book is for you. Ranging through all aspects of writing - from faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy and fear - Anne Lamott shows you how to keep your eyes open and write about what you see. 

What are you favorite books in your writing library?



Kay Theodoratus said...

The office library is one of the resources that makes the Northern Colorado Writers outstanding.

Bob McDonnell said...

I like the book list. I would include Julia Cameron's Right to Write along with the ones already here.

Name: Luana Krause said...

Great list! I especially like Stephen King's On Writing. I refer to it quite often. Especially when I'm going through a dry spell.

Ryan said...

I haven't checked out "On Writing" yet, but I'll be sure to take a gander at it. I have this dogeared copy of "Writers Inc" that I can't ever seem to part with and I usually buy a new AP Styleguide every few years. In terms of inspiration, I'm a big fan of Tim Pond's The Three Insights. I feel like in terms of personal enrichment and success, it really helps put your goals into perspective, which can be difficult in the freelance biz.

Lynn Carlson said...

My new favorite writing book is Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, by Roy Peter Clark. Geared toward journalists but applicable for every type of writer. Clark breaks writing issues into bite-size pieces and gives you plenty to chew on. Clark has also offered mini versions of his 50 strategies as podcasts, available through iTunes FREE! Thanks for the list Kerrie!

Thomas said...

Nice blog!! i also know a very good site for Freelance

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