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Your Byline in a Magazine, Their Check in Your Bank:  Become a Successful Freelance Writer

Ever read a magazine article and had the thought, "I could have written that"?  Ever heard about someone making a living interviewing fascinating people or traveling to exotic destinations and craved that career for yourself?

My name is Marcia Yudkin, and I've taught scores of people how to get published in magazines and build an exciting freelance writing career.  Whether you're a hopeful, not-yet-published writer or one yearning to take a few successes to a richer level, I can help.

"As I reread my latest query listing four articles sold to three different magazines, it's hard for me to believe that a year ago being a freelance writer was all just a dream.  I am so grateful to you for your help, Marcia!" - C. B. Mather, Kula, HI

Like all the testimonials on this site, the customer comments on this page were provided without compensation, incentives or rewards.

Two Home-Study Courses:  Beginning and Advanced

The Breaking into Print course takes you from knowing nothing about how to write for publication to understanding the process of proposing publishable ideas to editors and practicing the skills you need to create and get paid for those articles.  The Breaking into Major Magazines course teaches how to rise above the would-be writers to snag assignments for well-known, prestigious publications and the higher pay that goes with that.

In both courses, you receive my personal feedback on multiple homework assignments, enabling you to learn from my experience and guidance instead of from years of painful trial and error.  

Why I'm in a Position to Help You Succeed

I successfully supported myself as a writer for more than 20 years, publishing in hundreds of magazines ranging from the New York Times Magazine and Psychology Today to Ladies Home Journal, New Age Journal and Business 2.0, in addition to delivering commentaries on National Public Radio.  I spoke at more than 50 writer's conferences throughout the United States and coached more than 200 aspiring writers one-on-one.

My 1988 HarperCollins book on getting started writing for magazines, Freelance Writing for Magazines & Newspapers, was a selection of both the Book of the Month Club and the Writer's Digest Book Club.  The word-of-mouth recommendations this book received were so powerful that HarperCollins continued to sell it through 2008, even though it was written prior to the rise of the Internet and was therefore somewhat out of date.

Having worked with some of the best editors in the United States, I enjoy passing along their wordcrafting lessons as well as what I've learned about the business of writing.

About the Beginner's Course

The Breaking into Print course consists of two components.  The first is a self-paced, 11-lesson curriculum that you can work through as slowly or as quickly as you like.  The second part, interlaced with the first, is nine assignments that let you practice the skills necessary for attracting the attention of gatekeepers at magazines and newspapers and dealing effectively with those editors.  You submit your assignments by email directly to me for my prompt personal feedback.

Nearly all of the assignments easily adapt to whatever subject matter you aim to write on for magazines, whether you dream of breaking into food magazines, outdoor publications, city magazines or publications connected to a hobby of yours.  It's applicable to you whether you live in the U.S., Canada, India, Italy, Tahiti, New Zealand or anyplace else on Earth.

"I am so grateful for the spot-on feedback and direction Marcia provided in her Breaking Into Print course. Frankly, I was a little put off by her directness when I began - she doesn't sugarcoat what needs to be said. But she is consummately professional in her admonishments to make it shorter and more vivid (like-minded with the editors, who don't read on if these techniques aren't mastered).  Marcia's candor and expertise have helped me craft queries and articles that I can now look back on without thinking they could stand just one more re-write." - Debbie Withers, McDonough, GA

Complete the course in a month or in a year, as you prefer.  Here are a few of the things you learn and master in this course:

  • Seven myths about getting published, and the three qualities you need to become successful as a freelance writer
  • What you must add to every article idea to make it tempting enough for an editor to give you an opportunity to get published
  • Three ways to exploit your personal experiences in proposing articles for magazines, including one where you never use the word "I"
  • Six factors that help readers - and editors - care about your article topic
  • Pitfalls to avoid when turning your own experiences into prose
  • How to cash in on your hobbies, your educational background, opinions and job experience
  • Are you a connoisseur of food, movies, technology or hotels?  Tips for getting gigs as a reviewer
  • Ten characteristics that might make people you know worthy of a magazine article
  • Meeting the challenges of writing profiles, Q&A articles, roundups and more
  • Why your home town and surroundings can become the basis of lucrative travel articles 
  • Thirteen reasons why news events and trends that you spot in your neighborhood can interest national publications
  • Just got your first contract?  No need to panic!  Get a rundown on the terms and clauses it undoubtedly contains
  • Five situations that are exceptions to the most recommended strategy for contacting editors

"Marcia is a superb teacher, and I'm so glad I decided to take her
beginner's magazine writing course. Every time I got her responses, I would shake my head in amazement at her ability to target weak spots and offer options for resolutions. It's like she was looking over my shoulder when I wrote the assignment and she knew exactly where I had an 'issue' or wasn't sure about something. I'm very happy with my learning curve in her course and feel confident about approaching editors and getting my articles published." - Laura Lea, Pleasant Hill, CA

  • The four-part structure of a typical magazine article, and which one of those ingredients can sometimes be left out
  • Twenty ways to start an article, with warnings about a few risky or weak openings
  • Extras!  Extras!  The "side dishes" that make your article especially mouthwatering to an editor 
  • Tips for identifying and approaching interview sources 
  • Guidelines for getting paid what a magazine or newspaper owes you
  • What to do when you suspect someone has "stolen" your ideas 
  • How to build your freelance writing career from the bottom up or from the top down
  • Part-time vs. full-time:  considerations for making this and other career decisions
  • Do you know what a "kill fee" is, what a "fact check" involves and what a "stringer" does?  Such mysteries are dispelled once and for all in a handy glossary

Including my personal feedback on your assignments, the Breaking into Print course costs $295.  ORDER IT NOW.

About the Advanced Course

Not long ago, I set out to study the differences between freelance writers who make good money, publish in well-known magazines and love their work and those who can't snag assignments paying more than a couple of hundreds dollars each.  And I discovered that the super-successful magazine writers indeed had certain abilities and habits that the not-successful writers lacked.

The successful writers weren't born with the winning abilities and habits, however.  They learned them.  And you can too.  Based on observations of and interviews with scores of freelancers over many years as well as my own practice and analysis as a successful writer for top magazines, Breaking into Major Magazines teaches these advanced stylistic, strategic and business skills so that you too can enjoy impressive assignments and a better-than-decent income.  

"Less than two months after completing the Breaking into Major Magazines course, I made a sale to Health, a high-paying magazine. The principles outlined in your course are a winning formula, and I'll continue to use them." - Ann Anderson, Sherman Oaks, CA

Breaking into Major Magazines assumes you already know what a query letter is and why you'd write one, and that you have already published at least a few nonfiction articles.  If that describes you, feel free to start with this advanced course, which uses the same general format as the beginner's course.  Here, you complete seven assignments that you submit to me by email for one-on-one feedback, so that you can make sure that you are on track in developing the skills that advanced, high-earning writers have.  

Six of the seven assignments easily adapt to whatever subject matter you aim to write on for magazines.  So for an aspiring food writer, you get feedback on queries and articles dealing with food while if you aim to write about adventure travel, you get practice and guidance in that field during the course.  Wherever you live, this course helps you move ahead.

The valuable points you learn in Breaking into Major Magazines include:

  • How to analyze a magazine so you know exactly which twist on your topic to propose to its editors

  • Eleven ways to make a positive impression on editors, some of which you probably hadn't thought of

  • Doís and doníts for five types of queries to editors, maximizing your chances of hearing back "yes, please go ahead"

  • When and how to ask for an in-person story conference with an editor, and how to handle this privilege for best results

"Just when you think you've nailed the nugget of a query, or found an angle you think no one else has yet discovered, Marcia Yudkin challenges you to dig deeper and offers specific, concrete suggestions of how you might go about doing this. Though I'm now published in several international glossies and newspapers, I continue to value and appreciate Marcia's sage advice, regardless of whether I'm approaching a new market or continue to be the star, go-to freelancer for markets I already write for. She offers so much more than the usual 'know your market' advice." - Marisa D'Vari, New York City

  • Quickest, most reliable methods for digging up needed facts

  • Tips for using online search engines and directories efficiently, with examples

  • Finding experts and other sources and winning their cooperation

  • Advice on problematical interview situations

  • Thinking up topics that make editors salivate

  • Ways to add human interest and drama to a dry subject

  • Developing a distinctive voice worthy of top magazines

  • The structural element of an article editors care about most (not the lead!) and how to nail it

  • Understanding why and how to negotiate terms with editors

  • Handling necessary rewrites properly, making sure your piece gets edited but not over-edited

  • Tips for getting paid in difficult situations

"I'm only on Lesson 7 and the Breaking into Major Magazines course is 'working' already.  The features editor from Mother Jones called today with my first major magazine assignment.   Thanks so much for your guidance on that query and everything else in the course!" - Kristin L. Johannsen, Berea, KY

  • Advice from successful writers who specialize in the in-flight market, celebrity journalism, sports, business writing, narrative nonfiction, travel and health for major publications, as well as local profiles 

  • Candid intelligence on how much you can make as a freelance writer and whether you're best off specializing, collaborating or covering everything

  • Techniques for staying organized and getting things done

  • Suggestions for maximizing your earnings while still enjoying life

Like the beginner's course, Breaking into Major Magazines costs $295, including the personal feedback you receive from me on your assignments.  ORDER IT NOW.


 

 
   
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