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Building Your Writers Cv Patience Required!
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A CV can be extensive - showing your complete work history - or simply some samples of your work. Either way; here are some tips to help you build your very own writers CV:
Start small. This will build your confidence and competence.
· For non-fiction: If you aren't confident about doing articles at the beginning, you could start with letters that are published in readers-write sections of magazines or newspapers, and then build up to articles.
· For fiction: Although short story writers are not necessarily good novel writers and vice versa, short stories are often best to start with.
Learning how to write for an editor is a discipline that will hold you in good stead; regardless of genre.
What should be on your writer's CV?
The reason for a CV is, simply, to reveal your qualifications and skills; experience and achievements; and character and aspirations.
How is a prospective publisher going to find these out about you?
If you wish to do freelance writing, you probably won't actually be asked to show your resume. Instead, your communication with an editor/publisher will function in its stead. I've been freelancing for about a decade now, and while I have seldom been asked to show for any official CV, I am very well aware that any letter I write to an editor - such as a letter of introduction, or a query letter - had better be the best I can write it, because it is.
A letter of introduction or a letter querying an editor about an idea may actually be the most likely way a publisher /editor is likely to find out about you. Not only should your writing skill shine brilliantly in this letter, but at least some of the following points should be included:
· If you have academic qualifications or achievements specifically in the writing field (such as degrees in journalism, for example), then certainly list them.
· If you have qualifications relevant to the subject you want to write about, these should also be noted. However, keep these brief and to the point, just as you should in any written CV.
· If you already have some samples of published items that are in a similar subject or style of writing that you are expecting to write for this editor, then offer to show a selection of those. (This is where a website comes in handy, because you can have samples on your site, and just give the editor its web address). However, if it is your first time, don't mention that you have none - just leave this part out.
· If you have other achievements that you are very sure would be relevant and of interest, you could also mention those.
· If this is your first article or story for this publication, and you don't have samples of other work you feel would be suitable, then send your letter with a complete article or story so the editor can see your style and ability. However, show a willingness to change your manuscript if it isn't suitable; such as being too long or short.
If you haven't had anything published at all, be willing to write for non-paying publications, such as a local community paper.
Just because they don't pay doesn't mean they won't be seeking quality work, but rather than grumbling about this fact, see it as an opportunity to grow and to prove yourself. Writing for free is not as demeaning as it may sound, and I've been grateful for the experience and opportunity. It's really no different to a teenager offering to work for free for a mechanic or other tradesman, simply for the sake of experience.
In order to gain that valuable writing CV, you can go the faster route by studying for qualifications; or you can go the slower route, and build up your resume bit by bit, or a combination of the two (as I have).
Whichever way you do it - patience will be required, but as 'patience is a virtue', that's not such a bad thing.
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