Ask The Freelance Dude #20 – Shopping Around


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m gearing up to start pitching some things but have always wondered what the hard and fast rules on pitching a single idea or spec piece are. Is pitching one piece to multiple outlets a bad idea? Also, can you keep pitching a rejected piece to other outlets until it’s picked up? Are there any other tips to speed up the process or is it best left alone?

Signed,
James A.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #19 – Pack A Parachute


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’ve been writing for a volunteer website doing news, reviews, and features – mostly news. However, being recently laid-off has forced me to search for paying opportunities, and I feel I don’t have the experience yet to attain one, freelance or staff (I’ve only been in games journalism for six months). Should I focus on writing features to submit to other websites or should I continue developing my skills until I feel ready?

And are there websites that hire staff writers that work remotely or is that, basically, freelancing?

Signed,
Anthony S.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #18 – Unresponsive Editors


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m trying my hardest to break into the world of freelance games journalism. I’ve had a couple of paid assignments which I managed to land without needing to submit any pitches. Since then, I’ve followed your advice about what makes a good pitch, and have tried several ideas tailoring them to several publications. After waiting a reasonable time, I have not had any responses whatsoever. What can I do if I’m simply being ignored?

Signed,
David O.

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Book Kickstarter Update: The Big Push (We Need One)

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who’s been pitching in to help spread the word and contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for my book: Up Up Down Down Left WRITE – The Freelance Guide To Video Game  Journalism. It’s been a wild ride so far, with lots of ups and downs, and we’re nearing the end – for better or worse. I’ve added a lot of awesome bonus rewards and incentives in the past week, and we still have a LOT to raise in the remaining 8 days before the funding deadline, so I figured a big update was in order.  Please read on, because I super need your help.

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Shop Talk: R.I.P. Nintendo Power

Though I’m still a relative youngin’ compared to lots of other gaming folks in our midst, I remember a time before the NES existed. And I remember subscribing to Nintendo Power magazine when it first was launched. Many years later, I was lucky enough to fulfill a childhood dream when I scored a steady freelance gig writing for the magazine. I’ve really enjoyed penning articles for the mag the past few years and working with some great folks on their editorial team, which makes today’s news that Nintendo Power will be closing down all the more crushing.

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Shop Talk: Developing Ideas for Articles

Hunting down games to review or preview is as easy as looking at online retail lists of upcoming games or fire up a web search to see what’s cooking in the development world. Coming up with good ideas for articles and columns, on the other hand, takes a lot more effort, but it doesn’t have to be a total drag. There will be times when your creativity wanes and good ideas don’t come as easily. You can overcome these mental droughts with a little research and some brainstorming. Here are a few quick tips on how to get the noggin juices flowing and track down leads for ideas to pitch.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #17 – Writing on Spec


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m a student and games editor for our university newspaper. Being a student, my loan is covering me and allowing me put time into my degree and other hobbies. I’ve secured interviews with some big names and am planning to write some features. My goal is for these to be of a good enough standard to get paid for the writing. Yet, I’m going to write these regardless of whether a publication agrees to pay me for it. Can I pitch a feature I have already completed/ partially completed? How would I go about doing so?

Signed,
Marcus B.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #16 – Pitching Reviews


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Dear Freelance Dude,

You’ve talked about reviews, but I’m curious about how pitching reviews differs from pitching features.  For instance, do you need to find a way to secure your own copy of a game or does the outlet you’re writing for take care of that? And how does the approach of pitching reviews differ from other pitches?  You wouldn’t pitch a review to a features editor when there’s a reviews editor on staff, so how would you best make the transition from one editor to another?
 
Signed,
Derek T.

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8 Stellar iOS Apps for Star Wars Fans


“It takes a certain measure of courage to admit you’ve still got a model of the Millenium Falcon sitting in your closet next to your collection of Darth Vader figurines, an autographed picture of Carrie Fisher in a metal bikini, and a family of stuffed Ewoks. But you don’t have to worry about ridicule around these parts; we’re down with the force. Even better news: so is the App Store. If you can recite every memorable line from the original Star Wars trilogy along to the films, rest assured you’ll get a kick out of these Force-tastic app picks.”

Check out the full article here at Mac|Life.

Indieverse: Four Fun FPS Indies Under $5 (@OXM)


“Some enjoy reciting flowery prose to express themselves. We, on the other hand, occasionally find our best poetry comes out of the barrel of a gun. For those times when you just need to indulge your itchy trigger finger in some no-nonsense hot lead-spraying action, the Xbox Live Indie Games channel is packing some heat with a few great first-person shooter games to lock-and-load. Go ahead, make your day with these FPS indies under $5.”

Check out the full article here at Official Xbox Magazine.