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Monday, June 29, 2015

Moving Right Along (with a quick recap)

First, the Recap

Wow. Things are really moving along with the new site. I am going to publish this post in both and so that it's part of the new blog history but everyone on the yet-to-be-moved-over email list will receive it in their email from the old blog. All this will get cleaned up soon. I was able to get some advice on moving the list over.

I'm getting some recurring questions, so I am going to address some of them here. I'll set up an FAQ page on the new site soon (after the email list move).

  • The new website address is
  • The old blog address is
  • The old blog address is where you have been receiving emails from Writing for the Education Market.
  • This will be changing very soon, so you need to
    • read all then WEM emails or blog posts from last week and this week to stay updated on the move
    • go to the Writers page on the new site and Join the List (I've had 46 new writers join since Sunday noon)
    • Check the job board on your own until I can get the email thing sorted out (HINT: There is already a job posted there!)
  • You can't edit your profile (yet), so if you need to change something, fill out the form again and then email me at and let me know to delete your other one.

Moving Right Along

First, I got to meet Laura Bresko at ISTE today! Yay! Laura's been a subscriber from the beginning and hires writers through WEM. It was a pleasure to be able to talk to her in person. Laura also introduced me to someone who could help spread the word about WEM. It was exciting!

Then, I stopped by Gale Group booth in the expo hall and the person in charge of content development was super excited to hear about our community. That was a great feeling. So tomorrow, I plan to stop at a few more places to see if I can make some connections.

If you know of someone who hires freelance writers, perhaps you'd be willing to send me their contact info. Those folks know others of their ilk and I bet we could get it moving along at a fast clip just by being social.

Next Steps

  • Move the email list over
  • Figure out how to let writers edit their own profiles
  • Notify all the folks who link to the blog of the new address
  • Close down the site

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Website Update - 55 Writers Listed Already!

I'm really excited to see the list of writers. We're at 55 writers at then end of Day 1. Woo hoo! What was most exciting to me was to see the names of people I've talked to over the course of the blog. I have the email list, but it doesn't have names. The names are what helps me make the connections. It's good to see you guys. (Hey! Maybe I can figure out how to add pictures of ourselves...)

I'm still using the old blog to send you this update because I haven't transferred your email addresses over to the other one. That's next on my list.

The job board is up. I'll spend the next few days making contacts (in between going to sessions and learning stuff, of course) and see if we can't get some listed posted directly by companies. Wish me luck!


Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Almost Time!

As part of the re-design, the blog has moved to from it's previous home at

Here's what the new site will have:
  • A database (eventually searchable) of freelance education writers, correlators, and editors
  • The ability for writers to create their own profile
  • A job board for companies to post job leads directly
  • A blog focused on the business of freelance writing for the education market.
We're going to start with the searchable database. This means I need you to go to the Join the Writer List page and create your profile. This information will automatically populate in the Writers page. The ability to search will be in place by July 8.

My next steps are to move the email list over so you continue receiving blog posts and job leads. More on that later.

I am heading to ISTE tomorrow and plan to visit with several education companies to tell them about this service. I'd love for them to come to the site and see a huge list of writers!

You can reach me at or comment on this post. I get all the comments in my email. Please let me know if there are any glitches that I need to fix.

Monday, June 15, 2015

We Learn So Much When We Fail

"Ever tried. Ever failed.
No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." ~ Samuel Beckett

One of the recurring themes in all the listening and reading I’ve been doing lately is that other people’s failures are interesting. It’s not that we want to look at something terrible and say “Oooh, I’m so glad that’s not me.” It’s the idea that we can learn from other people’s mistakes or failures without having to make them ourselves. There is not enough time in a lifetime to make every mistake there is (not that we'd want to, of course), but when you have a community of people with the same interests and goals, those failures become gold.

In working on this redesign (coming soon), I have gotten a lot of feedback from writers who want to know how other freelancers deal with problems. This is definitely a case where the smartest person in the room is the room itself.

Salvaje .Model&Photographer.

I imagine every member of the Writing for the Education Market community has made mistakes on this freelancing path. Yucky ones. The kind that make us cringe and hope no one ever finds out. But those are the stories we need to hear from each other. Freelancing can be isolating. You feel like you are ‘on an island’ as one reader said. That aloneness is heavy. When you hear a story of failure that resonates with you, you sigh and say, “Oh, I thought that only happened to me,” and the weight lifts a little. It’s always easier to carry something when it’s shared, right? 

But the real value is hearing how that person picked themselves up and carried on. What did they change because of this failure? These answers give us the tools we need to face those sticky situations ourselves, perhaps changing our outcome armed with that knowledge.

So here’s my question:

Would you be willing to share with this community a story of one of your failures or mistakes and what you learned from it? 

You can respond to the email feed or use the email address on the blog to write to me directly. I would love to collect your stories and share some with our community. Include #failup somewhere in the email so that I can search my inbox for them easily. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Publishing Solutions Group

Publishing Solutions Group has postings for freelance ELA writers and editors and all subject assessment writers, but they are also conducting their annual freelancers update. It sounds like a good time to get yours in. Check out their Careers at PSG page for more info.

Thanks to Carole Gerber for the lead. 


Property Management CourseWriters Needed

Job Description:
Professional Course Writer needed for a Nationwide association of Property Managers to rewrite existing courses and apply the course "looping" methodology to materials.
  • Ability to understand and grasp basic real estate management terminology, skills and procedures.
  • Scholarly Research will be required to provide additional reading and resources to support concepts taught.
  • Experience in adult education professional course writing required.
  • Excellent English/Grammar/Spelling/Proofreading skills required
  • Ability to Create Power Point show of Material for presentation by Association Instructors -along with Instructor Notes/Guide for presentation
Courses that require immediate work are on two topics:
  • Marketing
  • Advanced Personnel Procedures

Courses are 6 hours of class time minus breaks = approximately 4.75 hours of content required.
A 30 questions multi-choice exam will be required
Your responsibilities:
- Develop content themes based on the direction and creative brief provided by our team
- Create high-quality, original content designed to engage an audience in a business environment
- Take on ad-hoc writing and marketing projects as they arise
- Contribute ideas on improving existing messaging and content

Your qualifications:
- Fluent English including excellent writing, grammar, spelling and formatting
- A work style that is extremely detail oriented
- Strong communication skills
- An exceptional portfolio that demonstrates strong instructional.curriculum design (formerly: an ability to create compelling copy for a wide variety of brands, audiences and industries)
- References
Send resumes and letter of interest to Michael McCreary,
Start date: June 22, 2015
Laura's note: This came in by email but was also posted on

Monday, June 1, 2015

What Do YOU Want Response Compilation

Wow! I love the responses. They started coming in 10 minutes after the feed went out to email. There were also comments on the original post today. There's a lot here, so take your time, if you like. I think this discussion could stew all week and be the better for it.

I'm compiling what was said here so that you can see what the community is saying. Thanks, Marcy, for pointing out that this was all a whole lot and I probably would need help. That helped me step back and look at the bigger picture. I think what I'm looking for is a moonshot and the baby steps to get here. What percs out as the most useful will be implemented first. The rest can come as we need it.

One thing I'd love to suggest is a "Yelp"-style review section for freelancers to review companies they've worked for. It would probably need to be monitored closely, and folks should be careful about how they word their reviews (or remain anonymous) but I think it could be really valuable both for freelancers and small freelance managers like me, who depend upon positive word-of-mouth to attract new members.
I am most interested in opportunities with companies needed educational freelancers.
I like the idea of writer profiles and company profiles.
I don't feel a need to add more, but I understand if you want to grow. If you would like to add articles to aid in the job search of education writing career, that might be a productive addition.
Mainly, I rely on your job listings, so thank you!
I love the blog as it is
I would like a place where I could find online curriculum and educational writing jobs.
I'd be most interested in these resources: (x 3)
  • guest blog posts with companies who hire freelancers
  • interviews with companies who hire freelancers
  • a writer page with short profiles of our freelancers
  • a company page with short profiles of companies who hire freelancers
You may want to add how-to articles, with a call to readers to send successes. You may also want to include the international market, as that would open the door to the world. To promote the redesigned site, you may want to ask readers to add a link on their blogs and websites to your blog.
Help in moving my (and others') long-term expertise into new areas would be great!! Many of us are print people with invaluable expertise into kids at a variety of grade levels. Our ability to motivate and engage children with content that is on target for their age and ability levels is something that can be invaluable to newcomers who are developing APPS and home entertainment experiences.
...perhaps, you can have an occasional FREELANCE post of people who serve particular age groups or content areas? ...I wish your name had more “cache” with companies for I find that once I see your blog, I still have to reach someone I know within a company to see if they, are in fact, staffing or have already staffed for a given project through their own network of people.
Personally, I find that freelance work has declined these past ten years, so expansion into new areas (with people who do not know us by name or expertise!) would be one area that would be great.
Also, may trade people do not know educational publishing people and I, personally,would like to see some cross-pollination into trade educational products to the home: Workman, Sterling, National Geo.. Even Scholastic do trade materials that are as engaging and high-interest as many classroom products but the two industries (and the people) are different.
Content about how to work effectively with freelancers would be helpful too. Most of my clients provide clear specs and strong editorial support, but I’ve had a few that have had me wanting to bang my head against a wall and scream “I can’t give you what you want if you don’t tell me what you want.”
Your ideas are interesting, but for me, I'd like more information about resources other freelancers use. For example: How do other freelancers deal with estimated taxes? What to do about clients who don't pay, or pay very late? Do other freelancers use a bookkeeping app?
Also, just another idea that came to mind is to have some sort of freelancer meet-up. I am part of a similar email list for educational writers in the ESL space, and they recently organized an event, but it was based in England! The event had a few guest speakers, including a hiring manager from Macmillan and a tax professional to help freelancers understand tax rules. It would be great to have a similar meetup for educators. It was just a one-day conference called Freelancers day away.
Maybe an online 'event' featuring interested and experienced participants?
Do you know about jobs for correlators for textbooks? I'm subscribed to this blog hoping to find a gig for correlating textbooks.
Seeing the leads is the biggest thing for me. I didn't know there was a forum. The idea of blog posts or interviews with those hiring would interest me. Reading about other freelancers, maybe not so much. I would like to see posts about the business of freelancing and how you find leads.
With regard to your questions, personally, I'd love to see a writer page with short profiles, particularly if those included website links. I think it would be helpful to companies and perhaps allow writers with similar backgrounds to get in touch with each other to ask questions or share information. I think it would be great to also have a company page. This would let writers learn more about a company before they respond to an advertised opening.
I also think having interviews with people who are hiring writers would be of value since that would enable writers to (hopefully) better understand what these people want. Interviews with writers would work for me if the interview focused on how that person lands jobs, mistakes or challenges they had that could help others, and so forth. I don't know that I'd do more than skim an interview that just told me about that writer.
So, yes, the current format is effective. Normally, I can't say that I'd explore the newer, upcoming features, but because I feel such a loyalty to the blog and trust it, I actually kinda dig them. I look forward to the changes.
From a publisher's standpoint, I'm happy right now. I like receiving job postings and I like offering jobs.
I have noticed that a lot of postings/jobs come from listings on other sites. I would like to see more publishers listing directly with you. That means that they need to know about your work.More publishers with better and more frequent jobs listed on Writing for the Education Market would grow your community in a positive way.
I think that all of your suggestions are great, but perhaps they would be too many to manage.Do you have any help?
Gosh— I need t pay more attn . . .I wasn’t even aware of the discussion site!
As to how-to articles, they're similar to success stories in that they often address a particular challenge, in this case, in education writing/publishing. Whether you write and/or solicit readers for these, you may want to view recent job postings to discern common challenges. You can also check for outside-the-box challenges, which are more specialized and would thus be helped by how-to information.
I like the idea of a discussion group, but honestly, I don't take time to use it and it looks like others face the same dilemma. Perhaps keep it, knowing that use will be sporadic depending on participants' time. Or, maybe it's time to move that aspect to facebook, since people seem a bit more willing to take time (via mobile) to fool around and discuss there. Either way, if there's a way to make it mobile friendly, I think you might get more discussion.
I'd love to see more information from companies - interviews and/or profiles.
The job leads have been what I was most interested in. I love having it come right to my inbox. I like your idea of short profiles of both writers and companies who hire them.

I think focusing on getting more publishing and online companies to send leads to the blog directly is going to give us a lot of value. I am attending ISTE in Philadelphia this summer. I may try to connect with those companies there. Anyone here going to ISTE or live in Philly? I'd love to meet. 

The writer profiles or database is looking like a great idea, too. It could be used by companies to reach out to freelancers, and it could be used by freelancers to connect with folks in their niche. (As if writing for the education market were not niche enough. Oy!)

Please continue sending thoughts and suggestions. I won't make any decisions until the weekend and your conversation is supremely helpful. It looks like I missed the feed for tonight, so you'll get this in your email tomorrow. 

Laura Coulter