The type of freelance writing most often discussed here is business writing -- anything from copywriting to freelance blogging. But there are paying markets for just about any type of writing you can think of -- including creative writing like poetry and fiction.
That's what Daniel Cowick wanted to talk about when he submitted this question on freelance writing markets:
I write poetry, prose, lyrics, and some fiction and want to be a freelance writer. Any specific tips / advice for starting that type of career? Is self-publishing an effective route? Any information or advice is much appreciated. Thank you.
My Thoughts on Poetry and Fiction Markets
Well, Daniel, this is a rare freelance writing question I'm not 100% comfortable answering because, like you, I'm still hoping to break into some of these types of markets. I just submitted my first poem for consideration on January 1st, and I'm planning to start a weekly submission routine soon. Similar for short fiction, where I'm focusing on horror short stories more this year. I'd be thrilled to get one of each published in 2018. But I'll also be thrilled to get some rejections flowing just for the sake of knowing I'm trying.
So that's what I can suggest: if you want to get published in creative markets, you'll need to get used to the pitching and rejection process.
Relying on Writers' Markets
Sounds easy enough, but where can you find these kinds of markets to pitch? Here are a few places to get you started:
- The All Freelance Writing Markets Database (You can use the search for markets accepting poetry, or browse to the fiction category.)
- WritingCareer.com (Keep an eye on new calls for submission here to see what's currently in-demand.)
- DarkMarkets.com (If you write horror, sci-fi, or anything along those lines you'll find plenty of fiction markets here.)
Of course, you could also get a copy of Writer's Market to keep on-hand when you're looking for new publications to pitch. Or you can subscribe to their database.
If you already have a stockpile of work you'd like to pitch, a market directory is a good bet. Otherwise, call for submission lists could be a better fit. Those places will (hopefully) help you find homes for your fiction, prose, and poetry.
For lyrics, I'm afraid I can't be of much help. I'm long removed from my music industry days. And at that point, artists I worked with almost exclusively handled their own lyrics or had long-time writing partners. But Writer's Digest does have a Songwriter's Market book that might be of help.
What about you? Can you recommend any market listings or lyric-sales tips for Daniel? If so, tell us about them in the comments.