Getting into writing (about my area of "expertise" ;)- advice really appreciated

(10 Posts)
WellTravelledPrawn Thu 14-Feb-13 11:14:24

I am looking for advice about how to get into writing published articles about my area of 'expertise' (the '', suggests a slight nervousness, doesn't it?!).

I resigned from my job as an educational psychologist last year and now work as a freelance educational/child psychologist. I'm really enjoying the range of interesting work I am doing now, but am interested in getting into writing/ publishing/ media work. I guess my areas of expertise would be children with special needs, family issues and child mental health. I am told that I am good at communicating and enjoyed writing during my early career and as a student. Although I don't think I'm more special or expert than other psychologists, I do read articles in newspapers/ magazines or hear people on the radio and think 'I could do that' and would love to give it a go.

Until last year, I was just a jobbing psychologist in a local authority, so don't have any contacts in this area.

Any ideas about where I can start? I thought about offering my services for free to the local children's listings magazine, but any other thoughts would be apprecitated.

Thanks smile

WellTravelledPrawn Thu 14-Feb-13 11:15:27

I don't know why there's a wink in my title....I guess I'll have to work on my proofreading skills!

WilsonFrickett Sat 16-Feb-13 13:32:07

Write some samples and pitch them to local press/magazines (you can offer for free at the beginning to get some bylines)
Get a hold of the Writers and Artists year book, they have good guidance and also listings of all the magazines and newspapers that take freelance articles.
Get yourself a list of newspapers and websites and when something happens in the news that you could give comment on, email or phone them that day. For eg, the thing about the meteroite - is there an EP 'take' on that? Pitch it to your local paper.
Invest in a couple of magazine subscriptions, I rate Writers' Forum and they often have 'how to' articles.
And sharpen your writing. Practice, practice, practice. You have a better chance as a niche writer than as a generalist, but you still have to be good.
And don't expect to get rich of it, unless you manage to land a book deal and a TV series I'd expect it just to be an interesting sideline for you.

MakingAnotherList Sat 16-Feb-13 20:19:14

I think an article about selective mutism pitched to a magazine like "Junior" or "Practical Parenting" would be great. That subject just isn't written about. I had so much trouble trying to find written information about it that was up to date. Most articles I found referred to it as 'Elective Mutism' and suggested that overbearing mothers or abuse caused it.

MakingAnotherList Sat 16-Feb-13 20:21:11

Or for a magazine aimed at school staff.

FriendlyLadybird Mon 18-Feb-13 14:59:01

Writing 'expert' articles and talking on the radio are often part of PR strategies to raise people's profiles and get them more work. As a PR consultant with knowledge-based clients I place articles like this all the time (and ghostwrite them too).

I say this partly as encouragement -- of course you can do it -- but partly as a warning: most people that you have read or heard are doing it for free. It is not going to be easy to get editors to pay you. But you could always sell in a few free articles to start to create a portfolio, and then you may find that you could extract a fee?

WellTravelledPrawn Mon 18-Feb-13 17:50:50

Thanks for your advice everyone. I am happy to do some of this work for free, as I think that it will be confidence boosting and interesting. I will get a copy of the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook and have a go (perhaps starting with the piece on selective mutism, for our local free children's magazine).

Adair Sun 09-Jun-13 00:14:07

Hello, I know this is an old thread but if you message me, I'd love to see whether we could work something out together. I run therapeutic (with a small t!) drama classes and would love to start blogging-maybe we could combine somehow?

summerplease Tue 11-Jun-13 20:41:17

An old thread but OP I wouldn't bother pitching to Practical Parenting or Junior as both are closing very soon!
The state of the market is dreadful. You have been warned. Don't expect to make riches as a journalist.

Glenshee Fri 14-Jun-13 22:05:39

Join a local writer's group.

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