What a blasphemy! To write for nothing? After spending hours writing and editing a manuscript, to then contemplate receiving nothing, not even a bean for it? Yes. That is exactly my suggestion.
There are rewards besides money that can be gained from our writing. Rewards such as, increasing our writing experience, bringing pleasure and enjoyment to others, being part of the community and of course, it leading on to other things in the future.
The writing that I have in mind is for local magazines – freebie magazines, leaflets and publications. These can include charity, church, small business and community magazines as well as magazines relating to a hobby group, school or allotment. In fact, there are magazines for almost every aspect of our lives. If you can’t find one, then start one yourself!
Many of the glossies feature topics covered above e.g. collecting and craft magazines, Christian publications, national charity and business magazines. These can often be written in-house or by established freelancers, making them hard to break into.
However, local businesses, charities and churches are often busy with the day-to-day running of their organisations, leaving little time for working on their publications, if they have one at all. They may be only too happy to have some help.
Not only do local publications inform the community about the organisation in question, they are also a valuable means of promoting up and coming events e.g. church bazaars, charity open days etc. So producing a publication which may bring in extra revenue/customers/clients and gain interest in the company will be something that many organisations will jump at.
The Cats Protection produce a glossy national magazine, which I have enjoyed writing for. However, I didn’t realise my local Cats Protection had a magazine of their own until I saw an advertisement for help with writing the magazine. The editor had a lack of material and the magazine was only being published half yearly instead of their wish for it to be at least quarterly. I was only too pleased to help and my few articles have now turned into my being editor of their Junior Magazine.
It is all for free, but the feedback and thanks I have received means more to me than being paid. It also looks good on my writing CV and I believe it has helped lead to further publication and payment elsewhere.
There are many charity publications out there. Just take a look through the Yellow Pages e.g. donkey sanctuaries, Home-Start (help for new mothers), volunteer bureaus, local societies for Multiple Sclerosis, organisations for the deaf and Riding for the Disabled. There is surely an area of interest for everyone.
Some churches already have magazines, whilst some do not. Either way, it cannot hurt to ask if they need help with the current publication or if they have considered a magazine if one isn’t available. Churches want to spread the word and increase attendance and interest. A magazine may be the way to do this.
Whatever business you are in, a magazine is a great way to inform employees and the outside world about what you do, sponsorship, events etc.
When working for a bank, I wrote a one-off magazine, giving a report on a fun-day out we out, what our section entailed, forthcoming plans etc. This was seen by the whole branch and I was asked to produce one regularly. You never know where small beginnings may lead and again, it can’t but help a writing CV.
If you go running with a local athletics club, play at a local golf club, are part of a reading group or studying at the local college, there are opportunities for writing everywhere. The worst thing that can happen is that you gain writing experience, which for even the most seasoned and published writer is always of benefit.