“Breaking In” to Hollywood as a Screenwriter Outside the System

 Join Janice and Mitchell Peck on The Freelance Life broadcast, Wednesday
May 28, 2014 at 3:30 EST. 
Mitchell will shed some light on the often mysterious/opaque process of breaking in to Hollywood as a screenwriter outside the system by using real-life case studies of nine screenwriters who Mitchell has personally helped get represented by agents, sell their scripts to movie studios, and/or get their scripts produced by major movie studios.
Mitchell Peck

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The Freelance Life
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Mitchell Peck, founder of Hollywood Embassy, is a Producer of three studio movies (and numerous studio script development deals) — all based on screenplays he developed with first-time, unrepresented writers.  For 20 years in Hollywood as a producer, he’s specialized in working with aspiring writers outside the Hollywood system – developing their scripts, and successfully guiding them into top literary agency representation, studio deals, and produced movies (click here to view Mitchell’s IMDB page)
Mitchell recently decided to open a boutique screenplay consultancy, Hollywood Embassy – to help serious, aspiring screenwriters improve their scripts professionally.
Please CLICK HERE for a link to the “About” page on Mitchell’s Hollywood Embassy website; if you scroll a quarter of the way down the page, you’ll see a piece written by Mitchell titled, “How Hollywood Embassy Began.”
For more information about Producer Mitchell Peck and his boutique screenplay consultancy, please visit HollywoodEmbassy.com.
NOTE: NAIWE members can be featured on The Freelance Life sharing ideas, success stories, book chats and more.  Contact editor@naiwe.com if you’d like to get on the list.
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Create a Rough Draft in 30 Days During NaNoWriMo

Join us on The Freelance Life as we talk with Sarah MackeyWrite a rough draft in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month in November from The Office of Letters and Light about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is coming up in November.

You’ll learn about the origins of the event, writers whose NaNoWriMo books have been published, and how to use the month of November to create a complete 50,000+ word rough draft in just 30 days. Imagine what that can do for your productivity!

Here’s the recording:

Recorded Wednesday, 10/26/11 at 02:00 PM EDT at  The Freelance Life Online Radio Show.

Tinie Tao, October Member of the Month

Tinie Tao, a freelance writer and editor, is NAIWE’s October Member of the Month. Tinie effectively uses her NAIWE website (TinieTao.NAIWE.com) as a showcase for her fresh, accessible writing style. I think you’ll enjoy her interview. Join us for the audio interview at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, the 13th of October at The Freelance Life.

Q: Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.

I’m currently writing and editing for The Infusion Project, an organization that promotes and throws live art events downtown for artists to get their work out there. I also write blogs for New Evolution Video, a San Diego video marketing company.

Q: How and when did you make this business a reality?

I quit my admin/office job, which was my first position out of college, after about ten months there.  I knew from that experience that I wanted to jump into my passion and start enjoying every day of my life now.  I was already writing for New Evolution at the time, and I was able to ramp up the quality and amount of writing I did for them when I liberated myself from the day job hamster wheel.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career?

I actually create my highest quality writing when I focus on others.  I stay on track when I ask myself, “How can I help this client?  How can I best serve the readers?” My priority moves from being about  how much money I’m getting out of the deal to creating the most fun-to-read content I can for an audience.

Q: What are some of the teachers, books, or authors who have influenced your professional life in a positive way?

I love Carol Tice’s Make A Living Writing blogs and Steve Pavlina’s personal development blogs.  Steve teaches that we ramp up personal wealth by creating and delivering value.  We already know that we’re talented!

We create financial abundance by getting others to see our talents.  We profit when others recognize and purchase the enormous benefits to themselves from our products and services.

Q: As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?

Take risks, and try new things!

Q: What inspires you?

Sharing positive energy with entrepreneurs building amazing businesses.  I love that my clients’ industries (ie. art, entertainment, technology) are young, hip, and full of life.

Q: How has your membership in NAIWE benefited you professionally?

My NAIWE membership equipped me with the tools I need (ie. WordPress platform, examples by other members) to create and publish my online writing portfolio.

Benefit Chat with Bowker Manuscript Submissions

Bowker Manuscript Submissions (BMS) offers a valuable benefit for writers.We’re looking forward to talking with Charlie Friscia and Natalie Piccotti of Bowker Manuscript Submissions (BMS) at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life, Wednesday, 3 August 2011. Bowker is our newest benefit partner, and we are looking forward to learning more about them and all they can do for writers.

Being a member of NAIWE means that you have discounted access to BMS services. It’s an online tool that connects authors with publishers to streamline the publishing process like never before.

Currently, Bowker Manuscript Submissions has over 300 publishers actively using the site, searching for good work to publish. BMS has also partnered with the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), which
means that there are over 3000 publishers with access to your manuscript proposal, and BMS is working to expand its reach to even more publishers to give you a better chance of getting published!
Later: Natalie and Charlie had some great information, plus a few tips for writers and editors. Enjoy!
Here’s the recording:

What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants

What to Charge by NAIWE Expert Laurie LewisKnowing what to charge is one of the biggest challenges of the freelance life.

Join us at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life as we interview Laurie Lewis, the NAIWE Pricing Expert about her book, What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants. If you missed the live show, here’s the recording:

You may purchase the book at our new NAIWE Bookstore. If you’re a member, be sure to take advantage of the member discount!

June Member of the Month: April Michelle Davis

April Michelle Davis of Editorial InspirationsOur Member of the Month for June is April Michelle Davis of Editorial Inspirations. April has recently celebrated her tenth year of editorial freelancing. She has a strategic approach to her career that any freelancer would benefit from studying. She shares many tips in this interview, and even more in the audio version that aired on The Freelance Life. Here’s the recording:

Q: Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.

I have been a freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader for 10 years. I have a master’s degree in publishing from The George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College, a certificate in editing and a certificate in book publishing from the University of Virginia, and a certificate in professional editing from EEI Communications. My clients are both authors and publishers, and I work in a variety of genres.

Q: How and when did you make this business a reality?

I officially began my business in May 2001, but at that time I had little experience. I was literally working on books for food. I would edit books for authors, and they would buy me breakfast while we discussed ways to improve their manuscripts. From that, I worked in-house for a few years while obtaining my certificates and then my master’s degree. And at the same time, I worked to build my freelance business. In 2007, I had enough clients to quit my day job and freelance full time, and that is what I have been doing since.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

To be successful at freelancing, I have had to learn to be very determined. I am a stubborn person, so this does come easier for me, but sometimes I just get tired and want to give up. However, after an hour of feeling that—not even an entire evening—I know that I can’t. I love what I do, and it is my passion.

When I teach high school students, I ask them what they love to do. After they respond, I ask them how they can do what they love and make money. I have always loved books, and I have found a way doing what I love while supporting my family. That is key to not having just a job. Editing, indexing, and proofreading is not a job or even a career for me—it is my life. I live and breathe it.

Q: Are you working on any special projects you’d like to tell us about?

I just finished up a year-long project revising a volume of ten books. During this past year, I edited the books, made corrections in InDesign, corrected any layout errors, input proofreader changes, indexed the books, laid out the indexes, and wrote and laid out a compilation index. This volume is in its seventh edition, and I worked on a few of the older editions as well, so it has been great seeing this volume progress through the years.

I have also begun teaching a lot more. I host Editing 101 and Editing 102 classes, which are specialized classes designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). Editors who have been in the field for more than twenty years have told me that they are great refresher courses, and people thinking about entering the publishing industry have been able to make educated decisions about their future. More details about these classes are on my website: www.editorialinpspirations.com/services/classes.

Q: What are some of the teachers, books, or authors who have influenced your professional life in a positive way?

Barbara Hart was my first editing teacher at the University of Virginia. She was very tough, and it was tougher for me because most of the students in my class were seasoned people in the publishing field, whereas I was just getting into it. I learned a lot from her, and I still have all of my class materials that I periodically review.

Q: As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?

People don’t always want to be mentors, and even when people find mentors they don’t always know what to do with them. However, I found it greatly valuable to take many classes both related to my degrees and certificates and other classes not related to them. From those classes, I did more than just learn the content. I critiqued the professors. I examined their qualities to see if I wanted to pick up any of them. I examined the way they edited, managed their business, or marketed, and I decided whether I wanted that to become something that I do. Therefore, I recommend finding mentors in everyone—even those people who don’t want to be your mentor.

Also, the publishing industry is incredibly difficult to enter. You need to stay determined. You will fail multiple times; learn from these failures and continue your efforts.

Q: What inspires you?

I love when authors and publishers send me packages. I still get excited to see a package at my front door step. I grab it as soon as I see it and run to the kitchen to grab the razor blade. I have to open it right away. And there, sitting in that brown cardboard box is a beautiful, shiny, new book that I helped to create. In the foyer of my home, immediately outside my office, I have a bookshelf that everyone must pass when entering my home. This bookshelf is only for books that I have worked on. I don’t brag about them and show them to everyone, but if someone asks about those books, I light up and begin showing them my work. If someone asks what I have worked on, I take them to my special bookcase.

Q: How has your membership in NAIWE benefited you professionally?

I have been a member only since the beginning of the year, so this is a difficult question to answer. However, I do have Google analytics on my website, and in those six months that I have been a member, several people have gone to my website from my NAIWE web page. I think that’s pretty good considering that I am still working on my NAIWE blog to get more content up on it. Also, when I Google my name, my NAIWE web page is listed six, bumping another April Davis to the second page and making a Google search for “April Michelle Davis” include on the first page nine of ten web pages about me.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Whether you are new to the publishing industry or have been in it for years, you can always learn new things and can grow professionally. Remember to stay current with the industry by taking classes and networking. With the publishing industry changing so rapidly with technology, those who don’t will be left behind.

April’s member website is AprilMichelleDavis.NAIWE.com.

Tom Copeland of Bullworthy: Member Success Story on The Freelance Life

Tom Copeland of Bullworthy & member of NAIWEAre you thinking of making the leap into full-time freelancing?

Do you struggle with the connection between your creative work and the necessity for being a competent entrepreneur?

Join us for The Freelance Life on Wednesday, December 8, at 3:30 p.m. EST as we interview Tom Copeland of Bullworthy on how he’s gone from zero to “more than enough to survive” while doing something he loves. Tom will share the Top Five Things You Need To Do in Order to Make It as a Freelance Writer or Editor, and he’d love to answer any questions you’d like to ask. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Tom is a freelance writer, Web developer, and founder of Bullworthy, an online content management firm for small business. Tom’s work has been published on Equities.com, The Business Insider, The Working Writer’s Coach, and more. You can read more about him and his work at his member website, TomCopeland.naiwe.com.

Here’s the recording of Tom’s interview:

Four Things Publishers Expect From Every Author

Call in to join us on The Freelance Life!NAIWE’s Publishing Expert Jerry Simmons will be talking about the Four Things Publishers Expect From Every Author during the next episode of The Freelance Life online radio show.

What do you need to know to succeed? Listen in for Jerry’s good advice (added 10/6/10):

You can also read an overview of this interview on Words Into Books.

The Top 5 Advantages of e-Books over Print Books

Call in to join us on The Freelance Life!NAIWE’s Publishing Expert Jerry Simmons will be talking about the Top 5 Advantages of eBooks Over Print Books during the next episode of The Freelance Life online radio show.

There might be more advantages to the e-book format than you expected. Join us to learn what they are!

You can hear this episode live on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, at 3:30 p.m. EDT at Talkshoe or on the phone at 724-444-7444; Call ID: 38165.