First Steps in Networking
by Jackie Hosking
The world of writing can be an overwhelming one - once you step off the page. It's like being expected to
participate in a race when nobody has told you where the venue is let alone the starting line.
Here's where I come in. Being the editor of PASS IT ON, I cannot stress enough the benefit of networking. As
children we were taught to share, but in today's dog eat dog world this simple lesson is often forgotten. We can
all benefit from sharing and through this column I hope to share with you, my journey through the writing world. I
have found the venue, I may even have found the starting line - so come on, let's jump the hurdles together!
Now before I get too carried away with analogies and metaphors let me tell you a bit about myself. For a general
overview please see an article that I wrote for Writing for Success Newsletter - Issue 22 / Dec 2004 - Jan 2005,
titled - How I
Became Editor of a Writers' Network Newsletter. For a more detailed breakdown - please read on.
- First publication (non-paying market found in the Opportunities section of "Write On"). I read my piece at
the book launch - nerve wracking but very exciting.
- Second publication (same piece but I was paid this time.) Very, very, exciting.
- Same paying market bought and published five other pieces.
- Began to experiment with writing for children.
- Found Virginia Lowe's workshop in "Write On" then signed up for her Bulletin. (March)
- Attended Virginia's workshop (July) and received great feedback on a story I had written.
- Made contact with Dianne (Di) Bates via Virginia's Bulletin, when she was soliciting poems for a project
she was working on.
- Subscribed to Writing for Success newsletter - mentioned in Virginia's Bulletin. (August)
- Joined a number of online Yahoo writers groups (August) - see below if you're unsure how to do this.
- Finished creative writing course. Started a publishing course.
- Published "A House Full of Mirrors"
- Launched "A House Full of Mirrors" thrilling stuff.
- Joined a couple of online critique groups. I will talk about critique groups in more detail next month.
- Purchased The Australian Writer's Marketplace 2004 (QWC). The 2005 edition is now available.
- Worked with Anita Bell (children's author) researching web content for her Crusader Club Newsletter. Also
wrote four "Mad Scientist" articles for the website.
- Made contact again with Di Bates after reading her article: How To
Get Both Feet Past The Publisher's Locked Door in Issue 18/May 2004 of the Writing for Success
- Worked with Di for a few months as a research assistant and can I say that the relationship that has
developed between Di and myself has been invaluable. There is nothing more reassuring, when crossing a busy
road, than having a firm hand to hold. Make friends with an author - that's an order - but remember that this
is a two way street. You will find that, not only will your career progress more smoothly but, and more
importantly, you'll make a great friend too!
- Subscribed to and enjoyed Di's free online networking newsletter CAINON (Children's Author &
Illustrators' Network Online News)
- Volunteered to continue the newsletter under another name, which saw the birth of PASS IT ON. You can
subscribe to this free online newsletter by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Back issues can be found at http://uk.geocities.com/daisydoright2003/wordsbyjackie.html
So where am I today, exactly? Well thanks to my wonderful husband I am in my office - my very own office! This
is more important than it sounds. To be a professional you must firstly feel professional and I am feeling
extremely professional, which is a good start.
Okay, where am I really…I am a mother of three - 13, 11 & 4. I am the editor of PASS IT ON. I write
children's stories with one published online and one being held for consideration. I write children's poetry with
two published and two accepted to be published. I write humorous poetry with four published online. I write serious
poetry with five published in print and online. I write adult short fiction with ten published, again in print and
online. I have participated in three readings of my own work, which was both terrifying and exhilarating. Last, but
by no means least, I have been invited to contribute a regular column (this column) for Marg McAlister's
I mentioned Yahoo! groups before. So how exactly do you join a Yahoo group?
- Go to http://groups.yahoo.com
- Click on new user sign up.
- Sign up!
- Once you have registered you can browse through the listed groups or search for specific ones.
- In the search box type - 'writers' or 'poetry' or 'children's writers' or whatever takes your fancy.
- Scroll through the groups offered to find one that suits you. You can join more than one, of course but be
aware that some groups are very active and keeping up with their emails can be time consuming. An option is to
choose 'digest' rather than 'individual emails'. That way you receive one email that contains 25 messages or
less, every so often.
- Once you are signed up and receiving emails - ask questions - lots of them.
Before I close may I suggest some homework - for all of us.
I will create a Yahoo! group. It is your job to find this group and join it. I will call the group The Writing
Journey - I hope that doesn't sound too corny!
I'll leave you with the three "P's" - Be Proactive. Be Persistent. And as all writers know - Be
Till next time - enjoy the journey.
Your writing buddy
© copyright Jackie Hosking