Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer: How to Win Top Writing Assignments By Jenna Glatzer

ISBN: 097220265x.
Nomad Press Publishers
Contact Reviewer:
Rating 5 of 5

Inspiration in a How-To Book

Jenna Glatzer Shares the Essence of Freelancing

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered and The Frugal Book Promoter: How to do What Your Publisher Won’t

Funny how inspiration can attack you in unexpected ways. In terms of career development, I have been motivated twice this year. Earlier in the year I attended a lovely luncheon sponsored by Smith Barney. “It’s sure to be more social than anything else,” I thought. Barbara Stanny, author of The Secret of Six Figure Women was the keynote speaker and she encouraged women to both ask for more money for the work they do and to donate more of the money they earn to charity. It was one of those “Duh?” moments.

This week Jenna Glatzer was my fairy godmother. I offered to review her Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer because I thought if I knew a little more about managing the freelance portion of my writing business it couldn’t hurt. Instead I learned tons about the whole span of the writing business, not because Jenna didn’t stick to her subject but because so much of what she has to say has a broader application than a reader might suspect. Because I read Freelance I’ll be better at managing the creative side of my business (like poetry and fiction) as well as the freelance and nonfiction portion of it.

Jenna answers question like:

“What does a magazine’s editorial meeting have to do with your query (p. 123)?”

“When should I follow up on a query (p. 125)?”

“What does a ‘follow-up letter’ look like (p. 137)?”

Once a writer has a grip on these subjects she’ll realize that they are useful for more than getting a freelance assignment. They little nuggets than will improve an author’s approach to selling a novel, a poem or anything else and to promoting it once it’s sold.

Each chapter is a virtual trampoline for bouncing ideas around. Jenna starts with practical advice but the creative mind will soon have a list of new schemes for promotion, fresh angles for stories, and firm resolutions for improving the business and the life of writing.

I can list the topics covered by this book: Pitches, style, queries, spin-offs, interviews, markets and more. They sound essential but not like something any freelancer worth her salt doesn’t already know. Writers everywhere should do themselves a favor and not pass on this book based on such an assumption. There is more here than one would suspect. This book isn’t just for the writer breaking into the freelance business. It’s for writers, period. Even seasoned writers will find much here to love.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Her newly released Harkening, a collection of stories, has won three. A UCLA Writer’s Program teacher, she is soon to release An Author’s Guide to Penny-Pinching Promotion. Learn more at:?


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