Shop Talk: Queries – From Pitched To Published

Querying publications with feature pitches is still among the best ways for freelance writers to break into new outlets, but there’s more to a killer pitch than simply coming up with a good idea. I’ve been getting quite a few inquiries lately asking about the best way to craft features pitches. I plan to cover that topic more in-depth at some point in the near future, but in the meantime I thought it might be fun to give a concrete example of a successful pitch that made it to publication…using myself as the guinea pig. Now I remember why I never delete old crap from my inbox.

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Introducing: “Ask The Freelance Dude”

Greetings people of the Internet. You like to write. I like to write. That’s lovely. Give yourself a hug. I just did. You have questions about writing, freelancing, game journalism, or whatnot. Also lovely. I have answers. Except when I don’t, in which case I’ll put on my detective cap and get to the bottom of it for you. I’m going to try out a new thing around these here work blog parts that I’d like to call “Ask The Freelance Dude” where you, dear virtual reader person, can write in with a question or problem related to the aforementioned topics. I’ll answer it.

Here are few guidelines to follow:

1) Don’t be a dick.

2) Even if you’ve got a problem or story to share, please wrap it up by asking an actual question.

3) Try to limit your inquiry to around 100-150 words or one paragraph.

4) Please be patient, as I might not be able to get to your questions right away.

5) Don’t ask a (yes/no) question.

6) Please keep questions within the scope of writing, freelancing, game journalism, publishing, etc). I may expand down the road, but I want to stay focused on writing-related topics to start.

7) If you would not like your real name published, please provide a (non-offensive) alias.

Now that we’ve laid that down. Got a question or problem you’d like answered? Hit me up with an e-mail at:

Note- Depending on the volume of inquiries, I may answer several in each installment or one at a time. I’ll do my best to give an informative and hopefully entertaining answer, and I’ll publish the best questionsand answers here on a regular basis for all to see and benefit from. Kapich?

Also- Questions/inquiries may be edited for basic grammar and punctuation, though I won’t mess with it if I don’t have to.

Game Journo Gig Alert — DIY Gamer is Hiring

Red alert! Red alert! Freelance gig in sight! Since it’s not always easy for budding freelancers to hunt down elusive paying gigs in the video game journalism world, I figured I’d take to passing along news of paying gig opportunities when I stumble upon them. That’s not too often, but I’ll ping folks here on ye olde blog as I see them.

Looks like indie-focused site DIY Gamer is looking for some steady bloggers. Paying gig. More details after the jump.

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Shop Talk: You Do WHAT For A Living?

It’s like clockwork. Meeting new people and engaging in the usual exchange of friendly chit-chat is always a bit of an awkward experience at first, because it’s only a matter of time before they ask me about what I do for a living. Should I be embarrassed? No. I have a legitimate job just like anyone else. But it’s a gig some people would all but kill for. My response to the inevitable question almost always elicits some kind of animated reaction – ranging from enthusiasm to quasi-disbelief.  “Me? I get paid to play video games.”

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Feature: 9 Money-Saving Tips (to stretch your gaming dollars)

“The current wave of economic hardship continues to necessitate a tightening of purse strings, but the prospect of giving up on buying games is completely out of the question for many avid players. Though we’re forced to make some tough spending decisions, there are ample ways to help keep a fresh supply of games on tap and weather the economic storm without being crushed under the weight of financial despair. To that end, we’ve gathered some helpful tips to give you the biggest band for your gaming buck.”

Check out the full story here.