Saturday, February 8, 2014
Coming February 11, 2014 to a bookstore near you is Liza Monroy’s The Marriage Act, a brilliant memoir and a topical look at the changing face of marriage in America that speaks to the emergent generation forming bonds outside of tradition—and sometimes even outside the law.
Liza will be teaching the upcoming Mediabistro Personal Essay Writing: Advanced course, and would love to help you get your own essays published. Click here to sign up for the course! 

Coming February 11, 2014 to a bookstore near you is Liza Monroy’s The Marriage Act, a brilliant memoir and a topical look at the changing face of marriage in America that speaks to the emergent generation forming bonds outside of tradition—and sometimes even outside the law.

Liza will be teaching the upcoming Mediabistro Personal Essay Writing: Advanced course, and would love to help you get your own essays published. Click here to sign up for the course! 

Friday, February 7, 2014 Thursday, February 6, 2014 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do you look at this image and say “I know exactly which dress is best”?

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Do you have an interest in writing about the latest celebrity and entertainment news for national print magazines and websites? Do you want to editorialize exactly why one actor or actresses work is brilliant or lacking, and have that review seen by millions of people?

Our Celebrity and Entertainment Reporting class will teach you the fundamentals of celebrity reporting while you develop sources, learn red carpet etiquette, and find gossip. You’ll understand the differences when it comes to pitching for print and online publications, and review the important details for on-the-ground reporting, the key factors when conducting celebrity interviews, and how to optimize social media for gathering news. 

Sign up for the course here!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Monday, February 3, 2014 Thursday, January 23, 2014

What is Chick Lit?

While the last several years saw the chick lit-based feature films The Devil Wears Prada, Something Borrowed, and P.S. I Love You, the genre has begun to drift in a deeper direction, drawing closer to women’s fiction standards, with releases by Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve who consistently dominate the bestseller charts. Chick Lit has become a mix-and-match combo of Romance, Mystery, Political Intrigue, Thriller, Slice-of-Life stories, and Comedy, all staring kick-ass female protagonists.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a Chick Lit book, now is the time to do it. With the MediabistroEDU Chick Lit writing course, you’ll write a full-length Chick Lit novel in only 8 weeks, and learn about how to market it to literary agents and publishers. 

We hope to see you in class!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 Wednesday, January 15, 2014

5 Biggest Mistakes Side-Giggers Make

In her new book, The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life, financial columnist, successful sidepreneur, and Mediabistro student (pitching, food writing, and chick lit writing) Kimberly Palmer urges aspiring and newbie side-giggers to avoid these five common pitfalls:   

1.      Waiting until you’re “ready” to launch. Many successful side-giggers discovered their side-gigs almost by accident; a friend asked them for a favor, and suddenly they were in the floral business, or running a social marketing consultancy, or pet-sitting. Instead of first building a Facebook page or stocking up on inventory, they said “yes” to the opportunity in front of them, and their side-gigs grew from there. 

2.      Letting the first failure stop your progress. Almost all established side-giggers experienced some kind of setback early on, and many still experience occasional failures: a pitch gets rejected, a client gives negative feedback, or a new digital product flops. “But they keep going,” Palmer stresses, “because they know that one rejection doesn’t mean their contributions are worthless. Instead, they take it as proof that they are trying something new and taking risks, some of which are bound to fail.”

3.      Thinking you’re earning too little to make a difference. Many side-giggers make what seems like peanuts: $100 to $200 a month, or just a few thousand dollars a year. Over time, however, that money adds up—$3,000 a year equals around $40,000 after ten years if it’s in an account earning 5 percent interest. Plus, it represents new promise and potential in the event of a layoff. “An income of $200 a month, earned from working a few hours a week, can often be scaled up dramatically if time allows,” Palmer points out.

4.      Overinvesting in start-up costs. It’s easy to plow savings into a side-gig before it’s even launched: a beautiful website, a professional marketing plan, new certifications. But before investing a cent, successful side-giggers often look for ways to bring in revenue, while simultaneously testing the market. That might mean offering nutrition consulting services before setting up a new website, or selling an e-book through an e-commerce channel before printing paperback versions. 

5.      Working too hard for too little. When side-giggers are first starting out, they sometimes make the mistake of undercharging for their services, or setting up a business model that would require a 100-hour-a-week schedule to earn a living wage. A classic example is selling a handcrafted crocheted sweater for the same price as a store bought, machine-produced one. “Simply charging more for products and services can signal quality to potential buyers,” Palmer observes. “Testing the market to see what it can bear, and checking out competitors’ prices, can help side-giggers avoid starting too low.”

"My Mediabistro classes gave me the tools I needed to hone my writing and pitching techniques, and to really think about what I wanted to write about. They also opened up new possibilities in terms of the kind of writing I wanted to do." - Kimberly