Since this is a blog post aimed at people who spend much of their time writing for pleasure or as a profession, you are no doubt reading this article while seated in a chair in front of a computer. And like most computer users, you’ve probably been in this sedentary position for quite a while, shoulders rounded and neck forward. (more…)
These three words — Freelance Writers Wanted — instantly prompts any dedicated freelance writer into action. The opportunity to earn a living working from home and applying a skill that is also their passion, is a dream come true. While Confucius tells us to “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, freelance writers must nonetheless follow a rigid work ethic if they want to establish a solid reputation of being competent and reliable. (more…)
Imagnary House is a new boutique publishing house for children’s literature in Cape Town, South Africa. Founder and CEO, Brad Harris, says: “We are focused on building a larger market for African children’s authors and illustrators by both igniting the local readership and engaging with international readers.”
Imagnary House has just opened their submissions after launching their debut publication (Seven by B. D. Harris), and is now looking to build up their publication list for the next 2 years. (more…)
Tell your story!
Imagine a video presentation with zoom-in and zoom-out functions with music and narrative that draws the viewers’ attention to your branding message. Businesses can grow their reputation and identity by telling their company’s brand story. Why? Because consumers have for so long been bombarded with blatant marketing and advertising propaganda, to the point where they are reluctant to accept much of anything on face value. People generally hate being sold. (more…)
A question people of all ages from all walks of life ask today is “Will I succeed in this new world of work?” I’ve been told by many human resource practitioners that success in any profession has three prerequisites: knowledge, perspective, and attitude. While I support this basic notion I also believe the ground rules to becoming successful and continuing riding the wave, is way more involved. It stands to reason that the individual must be competent in the particular skills the task at hand requires, but acquiring the relevant peripheral knowledge goes far beyond basic skills. It is important to not only know the concepts and principles of the project or process, one must also be committed to lifelong learning, be prepared to take spur-of-the-moment risks, and have enough insight to circumvent threats. (more…)
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the humdrum pace your life has assumed, you will relate to the powerful magnetism of the law of attraction. Bear in mind that it works both ways. Think negative thoughts and you will attract more of the same. Think positive thoughts and you will set in motion an avalanche of occurrences that will surprise and delight you. Don’t be misled. Simply deciding you want some profound change to occur will not magically bring it to pass. You need to bring your mind and heart into alignment first, and make your aspirations totally believable before the law of attraction is triggered. Our brain controls everything we see, say, feel, and do. Yet internal programming acquired throughout our lifetime can block any significant change. (more…)
“Go Ahead, Rock the Boat” pitches a transitive action to be daring, different, and unreasonable, whatever it takes to assert constructive and positive change. Get up. Seize opportunities. Take creative risks. Learn from failure. Because life affords us with choices; we can either steer our boat into calm waters, paralyzed by fear and complacency, or we can purposely make waves so that we may raise the sails and soar in the breeze. (more…)
by LOUISE CARTER for TALK OF THE TOWN [Port Alfred, Eastern Cape]
THE stench of blood and death hung in the air last Thursday morning following the discovery of two butchered white rhino cows and a severely injured bull at Sibuya Game Reserve, near Kenton-on-Sea. All three rhino were older than 14 years, and one cow had a calf aged three, while the other had a eleven-month-old calf. The cows were de-horned and dead when discovered around 4am, while the bull’s face, according to owner Nick Fox, had been butchered. The massacre of the rhinos has devastated local communities as well as Sibuya Game Reserve staff, and has had anti-poaching teams and law enforcement departments on high alert. According to reports it is determined that the animals were darted and their horns sawn off at around 3:30am in a clearing in the reserve’s thick bush. (more…)
The Write Journey workshop for budding screenwriters
Following in the tradition of 19-years-of-workshops throughout South Africa, The Write Journey workshop is ideal for aspirant screenwriters who would like to sharpen their storytelling skills and is on at The Waterfront Theatre School on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 pm on March 6 and 14, and April 10 and 17.
With 33 local films released this year, it has never been a more promising time to be a screenwriter in South Africa. If you are a first-time screenwriter, this workshop explores the fundamentals of what it takes to be a screenwriter in South Africa and examines the fine art of writing visual narrative, mastering the skill of plotting and structure, and developing and fine-tuning ideas and characters.
The Write Journey is ideal for first-time writers who would like to define their writing skills, and also recommended for seasoned writers who are trapped in the web of re-writes and unfinished projects, or lost in the maze of the daunting writing process, and novelists or playwrights who would like to adapt their story to a visual medium.
In four sessions writers will know what it takes to be a screenwriter and how to conquer the daunting writing process, how to read and evaluate film, what to write, who to write about, and how to write. Writers will look at the unique nature of their stories that reflects their culture, history and experience, push their ideas to its maximum dramatic, comedic or tragic potential, and learn how to dramatize ideas, bring these characters to life, and learn the art of plotting a story effectively. Writers will complete the first 10 pages of their screenplays at the end of the workshop that will be reviewed and developed through further one-on-one sessions.
The coach is Daniel Dercksen, the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio, who has been a published film and theatre journalist for 30 years and has been teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa the past 19 years. Hosted by The Waterfront Theatre School, The Write Journey workshop for screenwriters takes place on four Sunday afternoons, from 2 pm until 5 pm on March 6 and 13, and April 10 and 17. Daniel Dercksen is an independent educator and writing coach; film & theatre journalist; screenwriter and playwright. For more information and registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.writingstudio.co.za.
If all it takes to be a good writer is to read a lot of different genre to get inspired by others’ writing, then it should be logical to conclude that you will eventually recognize your specialty and join the ranks of professional writers. It’s not an overnight execution; obeying the rigors of a strict learning curve can be demanding of your time and energy. It usually requires that you enroll for courses in writing, attend workshops, join writers’ groups, shadow a seasoned writer, or revise your work numerous times to achieve the required standard.
Few other professions offer more career paths than writing. Choosing the right path requires a candid review of one’s interests, talents, level of creativity and language skills. It should not be assumed that every writer has the ability to pen a novel or develop a story that will captivate the imagination of young readers. However, to be a good writer you must be inspired to produce quality content that will encourage the reader to read your work. The reader is wholly dependent on the writers’ choice of words to create a mental image of what is being conveyed. Hence, the writer must cultivate the ability to first visualize the intended written text through content strategy.
In reality, most professionals make a living writing non-fiction for commerce or topic-specific publications. Lucrative writing careers include article writers, copywriters, ghostwriters, speechwriters, research writers [non-fiction] and journalists. Newspapers, magazines and website managers employ article writers to prepare non-fiction pieces on relevant topics.
While some writers are comfortable tackling any given topic as needed [apparently a sign of a competent writer], many prefer to specialize in subjects they know well such as food, travel, technology, fashion, politics, local issues and others. Copywriters write text for commercial advertisements and other marketing-related materials such as press releases, product reports, advertorials, and branded packaging. This type of writing must be concise and effective in capturing the attention of consumers.
A ghostwriter is a writer who authors books, manuscripts, screenplays, scripts, articles, blog posts, stories, reports, whitepapers, or other texts that are officially credited to another person. The writing process involves developing a purposeful relationship with the author to make sure the storyline is authentic and exemplifies their individuality.
A speechwriter is a person who is hired to prepare speeches that will be delivered by another person. Speechwriters are employed by many senior-level elected officials and executives in the government and private sectors. The writer must be thoroughly acquainted with the rules of public speaking, including cultural etiquette, when not to use humor, body language, using visuals, and duration of the speech.
A research writer, or non-fiction writer, typically works independently to develop their manuscript or partners with a book publisher or other business on a freelance or contract basis. They write general-knowledge, academic, technical, or biographical books on an extensive range of subjects. Web content also falls in this category.
Writing a manuscript intended for publication usually requires the author to possess extensive specialized knowledge of the subject. Non-fiction book writers are generally hired to write one book at a time, working from a well-planned brief. Journalists, in the employ of newspapers, magazines and online services, investigate and report on people or events. Journalists must be able to instantly gauge whether a story has newsworthy appeal, write quickly, effectively and meet deadlines. Other writing paths include translators, screenwriters, reviewers, columnists, content for gaming applications, and novelists.
Writing can be a challenging career choice, and requires extensive knowledge and skills, as well as years of actual writing experience and being published. Anyone considering a career as a full-time writer must determine what style of writing they excel at and who their target market is. Important qualifications include a degree in English, diploma in Creative Writing & Editing and a working knowledge of publishing. Showcase samples of your work on the Internet; your dedicated Web site should be easy to navigate, provide an outline of your education, professional experience in developing a manuscript, preferred genre, writing samples, and related services. Decide whether you want to work at home as a freelancer or if you would prefer a more traditional employment environment?