Word on the Street.

September 29, 2008

We read to know we are not alone. ~ C.S. Lewis


On the weekend, I attended Word on the Street – a book and magazine festival held in Queen’s Park, Toronto.  It was a booklover’s paradise that showcased hundreds of book and magazine exhibits, readings, performances, workshops, and panel discussions.  I was in heaven.  I can’t say how refreshing it was to see so many people gathered to appreciate and celebrate literacy in Canada.  It was also encouraging to see the number of children getting involved.  I personally think reading and creativity is a fundamental aspect of early childhood development, so it was uplifting to catch families sitting under trees together reading newly bought books.


I attended a talk by freelance writer Nate Hendley entitled “Survival Tips for Freelance Writers”.  It was quite enlightening on some topics such as financial and business matters.  He also offered some great motivational strategies.  However, he did preach about rules that I have heard can be beneficial to break.  For example, he emphasized the one-page query letter rule, which I don’t totally agree with, especially after reading through the Renegade Freelance Writer book series.  He also suggested that freelance writers begin at the very bottom and work their way up.  While I agree that landing the cover story of The Globe and Mail is highly unlikely for a newbie, I’m not so sure going for less is a strategy that should be adopted either.  I think it’s better to aim high – really go for what you want – and if you aren’t successful, accept that limitation temporarily.  But never just settle for the lowest paying gigs or the ones that offer the least exposure if you don’t have to.  Who knows if that query you only presented to smaller publications might have been accepted by your dream magazine?  I think you at least owe it to yourself to try. 

The worst you can get is a “no”.  And who knows, you might be surprised by the response.


One comment

  1. Sounds like a really nice event. You’ve got a pretty blog home here too.

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