Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Published: Tip #5 (or "How to Get a Job")

Most writers eventually learn the truth--it's not how well you write, it's who you know. There are exceptions of course, but I've learned the hard way that I couldn't just sit at my computer, write what I felt like writing, and then send it out cold to magazines where I had no connections.

When I told my family and friends that I was having trouble getting my short Christmas story about my daughter, Elizabeth, published, I asked if they knew anyone who might be able to help me. The next thing I knew, my sister-in-law Kathie called me. "Lisa, I just met the editor of a magazine on disabilities at a party, and she said she would be interested in considering your story about Elizabeth. She especially liked your title , 'Elizabeth: A Christmas Blessing,' because she's working on the December issue now."

Another lesson learned: you don't need to have a great story to get published--just a great title!

The other day, I asked a successful theatrical producer in NYC on LinkedIn if she had any advice on publishing or publicity. She said, "Network as much as possible. These industries are about making connections through networking. Sending blind submissions rarely works." Sandra Nordgren, Artistic Director at Merit Theater and Film Group, Inc.

So, I asked my dad who works in the personnel industry for his advice on how someone should network. He gave it to me from the point of view of someone who is looking for a job, but the same principles apply in getting published. He often mentions that when you contact people, you should ask them for their advice. Why? Because people feel honored and important when you ask for it. It's human nature for people to want to help their fellow man.

Published: Tip #5


1. Contact people at your previous employer and ask them for advice.

2. Contact the placement office of the last educational institution you attended even high school and ask them if you could send in your resume in case anyone asks about a possible job placement.

3. Let all you friends and relatives know that you are looking and ask them for their advice.

4. Always check back periodically with people in your network to let them know you are still looking.

Dick Avazian, National Field Service Corporation

P.S. If you see any typos or have advice, please post in "comments" below.


Lisa Saunders

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