The Blog of John Hewitt

John Hewitt’s Writing Newsletter #8

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Writing Prompts

Writing Skill Builder (A Quick Exercise)

Write at least 100 words about a piece of clothing that you own or for some reason find interesting.

Poetry Prompt

Write a poem about giving away something you wanted to keep.

Short Story / Fast Fiction Prompt

Write a story in which a character must clean something.

Essay / Non-Fiction Prompt

Write about the first place outside your home you remember visiting.

How Important Is It for Authors to Do On-Location Research?

On-location research allows us to walk through the physical worlds we create as writers and lets us fully live in the fantasies we create. The stories we tell when we return from those journeys are the kind every eager reader craves.

  • Don’t Just Write Your Notes–Draw Them
  • Plan to Be Surprised
  • Beat the Bushes for Details
  • Live in the Fantasy

BRYAN WIGGINS

Nonfiction Authors: How to Find Your Ideal Reader

  • Identify your topic.
    • What topic-related problem is addressed in your book?
    • What is the outcome behind the need?
    • What is book’s tone and personality?
  • Hang out with end users: the people with the problems.
  • Create a Targeted Marketing Plan

Look at What You Have to Identify Your Audience

CATHY YARDLEY

Your Best Productivity Tips

Productivity Boosters

  • Accountability Partners
  • Public Accountability
  • Making Lists
  • Starting the Day Off Right
  • Having a Routine
  • Begin the Day Writing
  • Exercise First Thing
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Rising Early

KAREN MARSTON

How to Get Readers into Your Story—and How to Keep Them There

The Wilson Principle – To hook your readers and get the story going quickly, your POV character needs someone to interact with.

Create a Red Wine Disaster – Start in the middle is to open the scene just before the conflict heats up.

The “No Crystal Ball” Rule – If you wish to foreshadow knowledge the character will later learn, use hints of body language or show the character trying to pinpoint why something seemed familiar, ominous, or surprising.

C.S. LAKIN

A long list of technical innovations semi-relevant to technical writers

Github, Bootstrap, Wikipedia, jQuery, Responsive design, SVG (scalable vector graphics), HTML5, StackOverflow, Static site generators, oAuth, REST APIs, JSON, WordPress, Google search, AJAX, Instant search, Youtube, Facebook, Reddit, Smartphones, Twitter and hashtags, Fitbit, Big data, Amazon, Netflix, Internet of things, Augmented reality, Swagger, Safaribooksonline, LESS and Sass, Codeacademy, Fontawesome, Markdown, Heroku, Jenkins, DITA,

TOM JOHNSON

How to write your first “how-to” blog post

  • Simple but effective headline
  • Introduction to the process
  • Titled steps
  • Conclusion
  • Additional Information

SARAH ARROW

How to Become a Leader within Your Freelancing Industry

Education

  • Read Books
  • Read Blogs
  • Read Magazines, Journals, and Papers

Communication

  • Create a Blog
  • Network, Network, Network
  • Join a Community

Stay Balanced

  • Get a Life
  • Read Other Literature
  • Use Time Wisely

ENVATO

Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan

Things to look for:

  • Weak goal-conflict-stakes
  • Lack of character motivation
  • Sparse or missing descriptions
  • Heavy (or missing) backstory or infodumps
  • Slow or uneven pacing
  • Lack of hooks
  • Faulty logic
  • Weak or missing foreshadowing or clues
  • Areas that need more emotion

JANICE HARDY

How to write Release Notes

About This Release

  • Where to find the software to download
  • Prerequisites
  • What’s New
  • Compatible companion products
  • System requirements
  • Documentation and Examples
  • Known Issues
  • Enhancements
  • Deprecated features
  • Removed features

IVAN WALSH

Freelance Gigs

Freelance Content Writer – Robert Half

Robert Half Technology is searching for full time and freelance Web Content Writers for various clients in the Tampa Bay area. The Web Content Writer creates clear and compelling website content, including articles, product descriptions, online advertisements, promotional copy, social media content, e-newsletters, blogs and podcast scripts. The Web Content Writer edits and repurposes existing print copy for the Web, and plans and crafts email marketing campaigns. Requires strong writing and editing skills. HTML and search engine optimization skills are a plus. Candidates without professional writing and content samples will not be considered.
View at Robert Half

Freelance Headline Writer/Editor – Bloomberg

Bloomberg TV is searching for Freelance Headline Writer/Editors in our New York Office. Headline Writer/Editors are responsible for the new bulletins which appear on the screen. The role has two responsibilities: – Keeping up with breaking news and writing text for a TV audience. – Writing the ongoing news headlines that appear in the distinctive Bloomberg j-screen.
View at Bloomberg

Freelance Web Producers – YourTango

We are seeking freelance web producers to create content on our Drupal-based platform. This position involves taking already-existing content and inserting it into our system, making sure to fix formatting and to insert heds, deks, categories, tags, etc. The producers would also be responsible for conducting photo research, resizing and cropping images and uploading them to our site.
View at Indeed

Freelance Writer – UrbanBound

Freelance Writers for UrbanBound use their expertise and insider’s perspective to create content that acclimates fresh and soon-to-be-fresh residents to their new home cities. They research information about local hotspots and write about a range of topics based on their city’s unique qualities. Denver native? We might ask what outdoor excursions are musts (and how you cope with the weather). Live in Austin? We may ask you to create a guide to some of the top food trucks in the city. Other times we’ll rely on a writer to surprise us with information about a city’s unique awesomeness. From comprehensive City Guides to Top 10 Lists, projects span a wide range of subject matter and scope.
View at Urbanbound

Freelance Writer – Thrillist

Thrillist.com is hiring a freelance writer to contribute bar, restaurant, nightlife, and event articles for its Pittsburgh edition (launching soon) on an ongoing basis. Thrillist provides an opportunity to create exciting content that both local and visiting readers will find entertaining and informative, as well as share with friends on social media. The ideal candidate has an intimate knowledge of the restaurant and bar scene in Pittsburgh, as well as experience as a food, nightlife and/or destination guide writer in digital media. Additionally, candidates with strong photography skills are preferred. An understanding of SEO and social media is critical. This is a chance to work with a winning team in the men’s interest space and help build its future.
View at Indeed

Freelance Proofreader – Javelin Marketing

Javelin has an immediate opening for a FREELANCE Proofreader/Copy Editor onsite in our Irving, TX office.

Arguably one of the most important yet least heralded roles in the agency, the proofreader represents one of the last lines of quality control before work is released. This role reviews all assigned materials for accuracy, clarity and consistency of content/format. Strong knowledge of Chicago, AP and/or MLA style guides is a MUST.
View at Javelin

Freelance Soccer Editor – Heavy Inc.

Heavy.com, a news and information site with 13 million monthly unique visitors worldwide and a rapidly growing sports vertical, seeks a freelance writer/editor to plan and produce soccer coverage.

Join a lightning-fast newsroom that reacts in real time to breaking news and emerging trends. Get training on methods to rapidly add value and harness massive audience. We’re seeking motivated self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to make Heavy the go-to destination for soccer coverage worldwide.
View at Indeed

Freelance Junior Marcom Copywriter

Liaison has a range of upcoming project opportunities for an Austin-based freelance Junior Marcom Copywriter. Our Round Rock high tech client would like to build a long-term relationship with a new go-to pool of freelancers to help us serve all of our clients on an as-needed basis. The ideal candidate would help in creating quick turn collateral for a variety of programs and products, including infographics, solution kits and tool kits to name a few.
View at Indeed

Jobs

Content Writer – Insight Global

Insight Global is looking for an experienced Content Strategist to join a versatile, strategic and entrepreneurial team. The right candidate will be a talented high-performer who is able to hit the ground running and take ownership of content strategy. This position will be focused on planning, creation, management and analysis of content to align with marketing and business objectives specifically maximizing customer conversion and retention.
View at Insight Global

Content Writer/ RFP Specialist – FlexPrint

The Marketing team is responsible for organizing, writing, publishing, and responding to request for proposals (RFP). As a Content Writer/RFP Specialist, you’ll be responsible for managing internal relationships with our business partners to understand our solutions. You will gather the necessary information needed to design and develop relevant and complete content, analyze submitted content and review for accuracy, relevance, brevity, and readability, and above all, ensure our audience finds our content useful and easy to understand. You’ll be expected to collaborate across multiple teams and locations in order to provide the best information possible. Researching, reviewing, creating content and RFP development will be your primary responsibilities.

Marketing Content Writer – World Wide Technology

World Wide Technology, Inc. is seeking a Marketing Content Writer to assist the Creative Services department to lead in the planning, development, coordination and execution of various written and visual marketing materials. This position is located at our headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The Marketing Content Writer is responsible for the positioning and messaging of products and solutions for various audiences in a variety of mediums. This role will interact with multiple areas of the company as well as vendors agencies.

Blogger/Content Writer – Abels & Annes, P.C.

Law firm seeks motivated writer to blog and create content to increase web presence in the Phoenix area. The position is unique in that it will allow the employee to work primarily from home but may require some in-person meetings with attorneys, clients or others associated with the firm. Desired candidates should be experienced writers and blogging experience is preferred but not required.

Content Writer – TiVo

We’re looking for a content writer to help us create technical documentation and training for internal Services & Support and Data Center audiences, and for external customers.

Work with technical subject matter experts to gather necessary information to develop content that is suitable for the intended audience. Write knowledge base articles, training slides, operations documents, and quick reference guides. Take direction from team manager or lead to develop engaging learning solutions that are consistent with department standards. Help identify and implement process improvements.

View at Jobvite

Staff Writer – California Medical Association

The Staff Writer will research, write and edit content of enterprise stories designed to elevate the image of CMA to public and non-member physicians. Help implement a comprehensive and proactive mass media strategy including newspaper, print, broadcast and web focusing on content around the areas of legislative, legal and regulatory advocacy. Develop content for hard copy and electronic publications highlighting the activities of CMA, targeted to recruiting new members and retaining current members.

Staff Writer & Communications Coordinator – Illinois IT

The CTBUH Staff Writer & Communications Coordinator will develop, write, and coordinate content for the increasing amount of written output of the Council, including digital and print publications; write and coordinate press releases and address media inquiries. The CTBUH is an international not-for-profit organization supported by architecture, engineering, planning, development and construction professionals, designed to facilitate exchanges among those involved in all aspects of the planning, design, construction and operation of tall buildings.

Staff Writer/Reporter – 1105 Media

We are expanding our editorial team, and seek an experienced staff writer to broaden our coverage of the business of federal technology.This individual will be an integral part of a highly collaborative newsroom, reporting and writing on both the latest news and big-picture trends. We need a hard-charging reporter, talented wordsmith and a curious mind to help tell our readers where their world is headed. Cover industry and government events, newsmaker appearances and other spot news throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, filing an average of 7-10 short articles per week. Research, report and write 2-3 longer pieces each month that get ahead of the story and can drive the conversation on key issues. Cultivate sources; deepen own expertise on the intersection of technology and government. Help conceive and develop story ideas both large and small

Staff Editor – R.H. Boyd

Reads and edits manuscripts for accuracy of doctrine and grammar. Reads and edits manuscripts for content of Baptist doctrine, grammatical errors, topic corrections, Scripture in printed text or added by writers. Deletes and/or adds material when necessary on the computer and hard copy.

Staff Editor – JSH Editorial

The staff editor is responsible for reviewing and editing articles, testimonies, and blogs for publication in The Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel or for posting on JSH-Online.com. The staff editor works with authors during the editing process or as authors revise their articles. Editing skills include writing and editing for a wide audience. The incumbent may be asked to write articles, features, and columns, and to conduct and edit interviews. He/she seeks and cultivates individuals to write articles and testimonies. This individual maintains a standard of excellence while editing a high volume of manuscripts and ensures that Mary Baker Eddy’s purpose for the Journal and Sentinel is evident in the magazines’ content.

Staff Writer – American Bankers Association

The successful candidate must have a background in legislative and policy coverage, whether in economics, finance, regulation, transportation, energy or the environment. The candidate will have demonstrated the energy and determination to dig into the details of policy and the ability to explain them in a clear, fast and smart way on multiple platforms including blogs, mobile, tablets and podcasts. Candidates with a background in parsing complicated sets of data and tracking the state legislative process are preferred. This is a senior role for an experienced journalist, who is comfortable both offering quick assessments of daily news events for the website, as well as producing reported long-form policy features.