Learn how you can develop an effective online writing portfolio with NAIWE Expert Ruth Thaler-Carter.
Join us for a NAIWE Teleclass May 1, 2013, 3:30 p.m. EDT Instructor: Ruth E. Thaler-Carter joined by
NAIWE Director Janice Campbell
Developing an Effective Writing Portfolio
In the past, a freelance writer’s portfolio was a notebook or binder holding copies of published works, called clips (for “clippings,” as in articles clipped out of the newspaper or magazine where they were published) that writers toted along to in-person interviews. In today’s electronic age, freelance writers often need—or want—to present their work to prospective clients, agents, editors or publishers whom they cannot visit in person. Today’s portfolio has to be more flexible and beyond faxing or mailing a couple of published articles.
This one-session class will look at ways to develop an effective, modern portfolio that creates opportunities to share your work, both published and in-progress. You’ll gain insight into what a portfolio should contain, as well a ideas for how to present it most effectively. You might even find yourself inspired to spend the afternoon adding things to the Portfolio page of your NAIWE member site!
Members will find call-in information for the classes in the member area of the NAIWE.com website. You’ll find it by logging in on any page of the site, then going to the Library link, then to the Expert Teleclasses link. NAIWE teleclasses are totally free for members ($27 each for non-members).
If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for the teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so by visiting the Teleclass page. We hope you’ll join us!
Here’s an interview with long-time NAIWE member Ruth Thaler-Carter. She’s been freelancing for many years, and has created an interesting, profitable career with multiple streams of income. We’re delighted to have her as our Member of the Month for April 2011. You can read the review, or click on the audio recording to listen to it.
Q: Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.
Oh, gosh, where to start? I write articles for association and independent magazines and for several newsletters; write, edit and produce newsletters for associations, nonprofits and businesses; edit manuscripts for magazines, a series of regulatory courses, a World Bank division and more; proofread marketing materials for a law firm; and teach classes for a local writers’ center.
Q: How and when did you make this business a reality?
Technically, by selling my first articles to a local weekly newspaper while still in high school, but formally, by recasting a full-time association communications job into a consulting arrangement, adding two part-time onsite editing assignments, and just plunging in, back in 1984.
Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career?
Never give up, and always do your best work.
Q: Are you working on any special projects you’d like to tell us about?
Writing four-part series of articles on eldercare for a regional lifestyle magazine, a book on the same topic with a good friend, and articles for Copyediting newsletter and the magazine of an association for owners of animal hospitals, and writing parts of and editing a book celebrating the 35th anniversary of my writers’ group. My goal for this year was to do more writing, and it’s already coming into being.
Q: What are some of the teachers, books, or authors who have influenced your professional life in a positive way?
My sixth-grade English teacher, Miss (Louise) Thomas, who taught us how to diagram sentences and instilled grammar and usage into my very being, and Miss (Elizabeth) Hart, my 11th-grade “Critical Reading and Writing” and 12th-grad AP English teacher, who gave me the organizational skills to write fast and accurately, and strengthened my belief in my writing ability.
I can’t think of any particular books, but the works of Josephine Tey, Dorothy Dunnett and Susan Roberts Shreve are long-time inspirations.
My parents, by the way, who taught me to love reading, learning and books in general; backed me up on every major decision; and demonstrated their pride in my independence.
Q: As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?
Never whine. Learn from colleagues. Give back as much as you get. Join and be visible in at least one professional organization. Don’t sell yourself cheap. Don’t give up!
Q: What inspires you?
The thrill of seeing my name in print and of feeling like I’ve contributed something to colleagues.
Q: How has your membership in NAIWE benefited you professionally?
Not sure yet, although this kind of opportunity should enhance my visibility, I hope!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I really appreciate your creating the NAIWE. The more opportunities for us to interact with each other, the better professionals and more successful we all should be.