Although I’m no longer a member of the FWD I would like to recommend to all freelancer writers who are new to the game to join (or at least sign up to the waiting list) to the excellent site run by Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli.
Although aimed primarily at non-fiction writers producing articles for magazines, the FWD has something to offer everyone – even book authors and fiction specialists. The one criticism of mine (and the reason I’m no longer a member) is also its greatest strength – I’ll explain more about that later.
First, if you don’t know about Carol and Linda then I have to ask where have you been hiding?! These ladies are two of the sharpest writers in the business, writing from the experience of both their own immense successes as freelancers and from the mistakes they’ve made along the way. Over the years of building up my own freelance business I’ve found their advice rings true every time.
Linda is well-known as the author of the famous Renegade Writer book and numerous other titles (I reviewed her superb Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race last year);
Carol runs the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Both have newsletters which I recommend signing up for. They are still required reading for me – especially Linda’s Monday Motivations. These two know their stuff and are worth listening to.
The aim of the den is to be a place where writers can discuss issues important to them, receive advice, find paying gigs and have their work critiqued. With around 1200 members, the FWD only opens its doors once or twice a year to new members hence the reason for the waiting list. Here’s a run-down from the blurb for the site of what you can expect from membership:
- The forums, where you can get your freelancing questions answered, chat with other members, and even get query and website critiques from the Den’s skilled moderators.
- The Junk-Free Job Board. No penny-per-word gigs here!
- GOBS of free resources like e-books and e-courses.
- Access to boot camps on hard-hitting topics like self publishing, how to build a writer website that gets gigs, and the business of freelancing. (These boot camps cost $149 to non-members).
- Weekly Den calls where Carol and Sharon Baker interview top writing experts and take questions from listeners. There have been calls on grant writing, social media management, cold calling, Q&As with real magazine editors, and more.
- Recordings of all past boot camps and Den calls.
- And more!
For me, it was the resource material from all the boot camps and courses which was worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, it’s also the reason I left the FWD earlier this year. There is a monthly membership fee of $25 which really isn’t that much for the quality of the material and support you receive – honestly, it’s worth it. However, after a year or so of being a member I had collected so much material I just didn’t have time to process it all! I’ve had to cut back considerably on the amount of newsletters, writing blogs, books on writing and so on I receive because I really could spend my working day reading about writing rather than actually doing the writing itself!
So I’ve temporarily come out of the den to save a few pennies while I catch up with reading all the phenomenal material I’ve accumulated from there. I’ve got whole courses on: PR, Business writing, website designing, Article writing, journalism, Building a Sales page, marketing, social media and writing book proposals (plus a stack of other documents). I’m slowly working my way through it all and every single pdf I’ve read tells me something helpful I can use for my business.
I also came out of the den because I wasn’t making as much use of the support there as I could have and with membership limited I thought I owed it to den members to let someone else take my place. Maybe it will be you?
In short – join the Freelancer Writers Den today (or get your name on the waiting list if it’s too late this time around) and improve your writing, your business and your earnings within months!