I've been diligently lining up all kinds of great interviews for this all-new Working Mom Wednesday column (which operates under the truth that all moms are working moms).
For today, however, I'm delighted to introduce you to Robert Brewer, the editor of Writer's Market. If you're not already familiar with WM, it's perhaps the most reputable and highly-acclaimed writing resource that is available on the market. You'll find information about submitting your work to magazines, newspapers, journals, and publishing houses...plus, much more!
Writing is an ideal career for moms because it allows you to create your own hours (think: naptime and bedtime) and you can work from home. Of course, the downside is that there isn't necessarily always a steady flow of income, but there are lots of moms who are making it work (you'll meet them on this column in the upcoming year).
And now, without further ado, please welcome...Robert Brewer!
ME: Tell us a little bit about your background.
BREWER: I’m just an English major from the University of Cincinnati who lucked into his dream job straight out of college. Started off interning at F+W in early 2000 and slowly worked up the editorial ladder to the editor position of Writer’s Market and WritersMarket.com. Along the journey, I was production editor of Photographer’s Market and Guide to Literary Agents and other stuff. Since early 2002, though, I’ve been primarily involved with Writer’s Market and WritersMarket.com. Currently, I also contribute to the Poetic Asides blog.
ME: How has the writing/publishing world changed over the years?
BREWER: Through this decade, the publishing world has changed in how information is delivered. However, there has been a consistent theme of identifying audiences and providing them with the content they need, whether celeb articles on websites or boy wizards in books. And that is something that will probably never change in publishing as far as writers are concerned.
ME: Is writersmarket.com just "the book" online or is there more to it?
BREWER:WritersMarket.com lists thousands of publishing opportunities that just can’t fit into the book because of page count limitations. The website is also updated regularly throughout the year—so the information is always more up-to-date on the website. In addition, the website offers subscribers marketing articles, publishing news, customizable favorites folders, submission tracking, and more.
ME: What will be new in Writer's Market 2009?
BREWER: We’ve got some great stuff planned for early through mid 2009, but if I’ve learned anything about promising things “to come” on the Web, it is don’t promise anything until it’s actually up and running.
ME: What are your top three tips for aspiring writers?
BREWER: First, learn all the basic tools of writing as well as you can. Second, figure out your goals as a writer. If you see writing as a means to make money, then you can rule out writing poetry. But business or copy writing may be just up your alley. Third, always look to improve. No matter what stage of your career, you can always improve both your craft and marketing abilities. If you get complacent, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually be forced into early retirement.
ME: What are your top three writing conference recommendations?
BREWER: I’d prefer not to make a top three recommendation, because I don’t want to offend the various organizers. However, if a writer’s goal is to get a book published, then I can 100% vouch for the annual BEA/WDB Writers’ Conference. This conference has a 2-hour “pitch slam” with face-to-face opportunities with dozens of literary agents that can be more valuable than years of submitting work blindly.
ME: What are the five writing "tools" that you use most often in your personal writing career?
BREWER: For my marketing, I use a combination of Writers Market and WritersMarket.com. For my first level research, I use Google. Of course, I’d be nowhere as a writer without my Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball pens with extra fine ink—preferably blue, though I’ve been known to use black, green, and red ink as well. Outside of that, I use Microsoft Word and my dictionary a bit. There are, of course, several tools out there, but these are my basics.
Thanks for sharing your tips, Robert!
WIN IT! One aspiring writer mama will receive a Writer's Market 2008 Deluxe Edition book (it comes with a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com!!!). To enter, simply leave your e-mail address and a comment about what genre of writing you're interested in on this post prior to Sunday, Jan. 27, at midnight. The winner be announced and contacted on Monday, Jan. 28. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATE * The winner is #16 ladyamanda. Congratulations!