Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writing Workshops in Switzerland this Spring

For those writers living in Europe (or those just looking for an excuse to visit), there are several writing workshops coming up this spring in Switzerland that should give you the inspiration you need to either get started as a writer or take your writing to another level.

First off, yours truly will be teaching a two-hour workshop at the American Women’s Club of Zurich on March 26 on how to make a living as a writer abroad. The course costs CHF 30 and you must register by March 15.

Secondly, The Zurich Writers Workshop has announced its spring workshop and registration opened today. The workshop will take place May 6-8, 2011 and is divided into two sections, memoir/creative non-fiction and fiction. Guest instructors include New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Jane Gilman and award-winning Novelist Janet Skeslien Charles. The workshop costs CHF 250 and includes 9 hours of instruction, a literary tour of Zurich, instructor readings, coffee/snacks, and more. Registration is limited to 15 writers per section and is filling fast so it is advised to register as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about either workshop, leave a comment. And if you know of any other writing events going on in your part of the world, please let me know. I'd be happy to post them.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The secret to making a living as a writer abroad

A lot of people want to know: can you really make a living as a writer abroad?

It sounds so glamorous, after all.

Well, last week, writer Alexis Grant challenged the myth that it’s possible to make a living as a travel writer. It’s about time someone did this. For instance, the travel website Matador pays $25 for stories, but that will barely buy you lunch in Switzerland. And I’ve pitched enough higher-paying publications to know that a reply is so rare that I cheer even when I get a rejection. Of course, if you’re a writer abroad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a travel writer. In fact, I hope for your sake, you’re not.

Next month, I’m teaching a course on how to make a living as a writer abroad. But here’s a secret—there is no secret. It's not easy to make a living as a writer, abroad or at home.

Most writers can’t just write novels, can’t just write travel articles, can’t just blog. In most cases, if you want to do those things and make a living wage, you must do all of those things. And more.

For instance, in the last five years, I have done copywriting, blogging, journalism, essay writing, PR writing, translating (bad English into good), radio writing, memoir writing, novel writing, teaching, and more. Sometimes I do all of these things at once, at other times, I concentrate more on just one or two of them. Over on the Urban Muse, you can see which kinds of writing were the most profitable for one writer last year.

But let’s hear from you. If you make a living as a writer abroad, what’s your secret?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing Conferences, Competitions, and more

There will be a lot going on in the writing world this spring. So without further ado, here's the latest international writing round-up.

The Zurich Writers Workshop will be announcing its spring writing conference next week. To be the first to find out the details, join the mailing list.

The Bridport Prize, an international creative writing competition for poetry, short stories, and flash fiction is now open for entries.

The American Women’s Club of Zurich will be hosting a workshop week from March 21-26 and Writer Abroad will be teaching a two-hour seminar on, what else, How to Make a Living as a Writer Abroad. The class will be held on Saturday, March 26 from 10:30-12:30. Stay tuned for registration details.

Brighton Cow (COW stands for "community of writers") will run four short story competitions in 2011. The next deadline is the end of February. Entries cost 4 pounds.

If you’re interested in how to go pro as a blogger, Writer Abroad was interviewed in the article Expat Bloggers are Going Pro over on Expat Women.

Great post by writer and journalist Alexis Grant a few weeks back on how to write a press release for your book.

It's not too late to register for the Amsterdam Creating Writing Weekend, held April 15-17, led by Amal Chatterjee, Fiction Tutor at the University of Oxford.

Writer Jenny Rough posts personal essay markets on the final Friday of every month on her blog, Roughly Speaking.


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