Inspired to Write?

If you’ve been inspired to write for a living by the features in this blog, you might be interested in two one-day workshops in London and Birmingham for freelance writers wanting to make more money.

In the course, Linda Jones, managing director of Passionate Media, in Cannock, Staffordshire, advises freelancers to find new income streams and offers guidance on how these can run alongside writing for newspapers and magazines. Linda, who is also author of The Greatest Freelance Writers Tips in the World, said; “For a long time, just selling features hasn’t been the best strategy for a blossoming freelance writing career. Lots of journalists successfully balance other writing projects alongside their journalism.

“But sometimes they are still missing out on opportunities that are out there and new ways of boosting their career. For example we are working on events such as book launches, podcasts, blogs and video scripts. A few years ago, I didn’t know that work was out there.

“To really thrive, you just need to diversify, think about new and different markets for your work or different types of work such as media training, exploring social media or media relations.

“Once you have identified that work you need to make sure you know how to hang on to it, how to get paid and how to be asked back. These all sound like obvious business lessons but sometimes freelance journalists can be too busy crafting or chasing their latest commission so really useful business systems and procedures are overlooked.”

Linda is joined by Passionate Media’s marketing director Carol Garrington, to help freelance writers learn more about dealing with more commercial clients, valuing their time and ensuring payment. Templates of correspondence needed to guard against misunderstandings or non-payment are included in the course.

The day-long sessions also include practical exercises on different writing styles, how to find work, ensuring you get paid, ethics and avoiding conflicts of interest, and how to network and build your reputation.

Linda added: “Feedback from previous attendees has been that the templates and instant feedback from practical exercises have been the most useful elements of the course. We are passing on lessons learned in six years of running a business and surviving.

“Some of these lessons have been very hard-learned so we want to share them to help freelance journalists avoid some of the problems we faced in the early days.

“As a former regional staff journalist, I know that it can be difficult to know where to turn once you look for work outside of newspapers and periodicals, but we want to show people there’s a wealth of opportunities alongside pitching editors.”

The London workshop is being held at Friends’ House in Euston Road on Saturday, November 14 whilst the Birmingham one is on November 28, at Priory Rooms in Bull Street.

Places are limited to ensure feedback is specific enough to attendees’ particular questionsand the cost has been kept deliberately low to ensure maximum value for money.

Itinerary:

This is a day-long training event including practical exercises with instant feedback.

Areas covered will include:

Ethics – Is commercial writing for you? How can you or should you juggle this with a career in freelance journalism? What are the conflicts of interest and how can they be avoided?

Writing style – How does it differ from more objective styles of writing?

How to get work – What’s the point of networking? Getting the most from contacts. Finding ‘strategic alliances’ to go after more/bigger work.

Getting paid – Advice based on experience of contracts and order forms, with templates provided.

Clients from hell? Guidance on how to deal with and strengthen relationships with corporate clients.

Exercises will include:

Writing different sorts of copy

Networking practice

There will be a 45 minute break for lunch. Two servings of tea and coffee are included in the cost of the workshops. Lunch is not provided.

LONDON –

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Venue: Room 18, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London

Cost: £125 including VAT

BIRMINGHAM

Date: Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Venue: The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre, Bull Street, Birmingham (Lloyd Room)

Cost: £125 including VAT

About the trainers:

Linda Jones:

Managing director of Passionate Media, agency working on copywriting, PR, blogging, podcasting and other marketing support/editorial services for a range of customers. The company was started in 2003 to allow Linda to work around her children. She is an established media trainer, working with in-house teams and with individuals. She is also the author of The Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World. As a journalist she has worked as an editor overseas, a regional news editor and a regular contributor to national magazines and newspapers.

Carol Garrington

Award-winning marketing director at Passionate Media and oversees sales, business development and the financial aspects of the business. Carol offers realistic advice on contracts, dealing with clients, charging and getting paid. She also runs a flourishing network for businesswomen in the West Midlands, Wings, and will give advice on where and how to meet potential customers.

If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Carol at carol@passionatemedia.co.uk for more to book your place.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis as places are limited.

What previous attendees had to say:

I thought it was the best course I’ve been on – full of practical advice and illustrative examples. It has really got me motivated and excited about getting out there and chasing down the commercial work. Thanks. Emma Jayne Jones

Thanks Carol and Linda for today and the kick up the bum, enjoyed course. Michael Cross

Had a great time on Saturday. Course was brilliant, thank you. Really useful. Siobhan O’ Neill

Thanks so much for the fab seminar – it was sooo helpful and have come away full of ideas and plans. You and Carol were both brilliant. Olivia Gordon

Thanks to you and Carol for a really great training day today – definitely the best course I’ve been on for a while. You two should add life coaching to your list of talents. Olivia Holcombe

Just wanted to say thanks for the fab course, Linda and Carol – very informative, inspiring and good fun too. Judy Yorke

I’d like to add my grateful thanks for the well-delivered and extremely interesting course – it was great to meet such creative, positive and friendly people and I now feel inspired and ready to take the plunge into a new and different world. Ruth Derrick

Brilliant, thank you both for a very informative and enjoyable day. I think much of what we learned will be of huge benefit in all areas of our working life. Amanda Lees

More details- linda@passionatemedia.co.uk

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