Author Archives: Susie

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Before you know it, the holidays will be here. For those of us writers-who-like-to-bake, that means one thing: it’s time to start thinking about making Christmas cookies and other holiday goodies. But don’t put away your writing tools while you’re mulling over recipe ideas. Instead, why not combine the two and craft an irresistible holiday treat recipe? You can share it with friends, submit it for sale, or just have it tweaked and ready to use when baking day arrives. Writing a holiday cookie recipe is also a fun diversion from the usual routine and a great way to learn about recipe writing. Here are some important tips to follow:

Make It Easy

Complicated holiday recipes aren’t just complicated to write; they’re hard to follow. Avoid too many steps, wordy instructions, and using unfamiliar baking terms and processes. Holiday baking should be fun, easy, and festive, not tedious and complex. The simpler and clearer the recipe, the better.

Be Fresh (Or Add a Fresh Twist)

Write a recipe that’s truly yours. Many Christmas cookie and holiday treat recipes are out there, but only yours is made by you. Make sure it’s unique. If crafting your own version of a well-known holiday treat, add a fresh twist to it—an unusual ingredient, shape, or texture that makes it one-of-a-kind.

Use Common Ingredients

Some of the best holiday recipes (or any recipes for that matter) are those made with common, everyday ingredients. No one likes to search far and wide for specialty baking items. In fact, most people will scan a recipe first to see if they have the ingredients on hand or they’re easy to buy. Keep in mind that most grocery stores carry popular holiday baking ingredients during the season.

Offer Extra Tips

What makes your recipe come out beautifully every time may be a baking technique you follow, like roasting nuts before adding them to the batter, refrigerating dough overnight, or using unsalted versus salted butter in your recipe. Be sure to include any tips that give your recipe that extra level of perfection and deliciousness.

Include a Picture

Pictures make all the difference when it comes to trying new recipes. If the end result looks tasty and appealing, chances are someone is going to want to bake it. Use an attractive display—a colorful holiday platter, for example—and photograph your masterpiece to include with your recipe.

Ready to do some recipe writing before you start your holiday baking? You’ll appreciate your well-crafted treasure for seasons to come—and so will others.

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Everyone’s got a favorite punctuation mark. As for me, I like the em dash. Seems like I often have something extra to say at the end of a sentence or find myself wanting to interject a thought between thoughts. I’ve got options, of course, but the em dash usually grabs my attention first. Em dashes are simple and clean, easy to type, and extremely versatile. They also make my writing flow the best. But take my advice: there are tricks to using the em dash effectively, and getting to know the ins and outs of this functionally fun punctuation mark is worth the effort if you want it to improve your writing.

What is the Em Dash?

The em dash is a dash that’s about as long as the letter m. Don’t mistake it with the en dash, which is shorter and typically used between numbers, dates, and times. It’s also not the same as a hyphen, the shortest dash and the one used in compound words.

While the em dash is often referred to as the long dash, it's a great way to bring tightness and focus to your sentences.

When is the Em Dash Appropriate?

If you’ve got an important detail you want to highlight or you want to show a sudden break in thought, the em dash may be just the ticket: Sarah decided to return the white dress—she never planned to keep it anyway—after her mother commented on how pale she looked.

It also works when adding a final thought: Eating healthy and staying fit and strong will improve your overall well-being—and keep you young at heart.

You might also use an em dash to set off an introductory series of nouns: Patience, empathy, and kindness—those were the virtues she preached the most.

Finally, em dashes make reading a sentence with other punctuation easier on the eyes: Fruits, vegetables, and protein—especially strawberries, cauliflower, and fish—are among her favorites.

Dos and Don’ts for Using the Em Dash

The em dash has a place in your writing, but it’s not always the right mark to use. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind:

  • Do place the em dashes in the right spot. When used with an interjected idea, put dashes on either side. When used for a final thought, place the em dash directly before the thought.
  • Do watch your spacing. Em dashes don’t need spaces between letters. Make them look neat on the page.
  • Don’t use the em dash if parentheses or commas make more sense; for example, when a detail is minor and doesn’t need amplification.
  • Don’t precede an em dash with a comma, colon, semicolon, or period. You may use a question mark or exclamation point, though: He made it on time—thank goodness!—and the meeting was a success.
  • Don’t overuse the em dash. If your entire page is filled with them, they backfire and become hard on the eyes. Place them sparingly throughout a piece of writing. And never use two or more em dash clauses in the same sentence

Got a propensity for the em dash? Me too. Use it appropriately and intermittently and make the mark work to your advantage.

 

 

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Summer’s nearing an end and it’s time to start thinking about hitting the keyboard full force. But while you’re busy collecting ideas for your fall writing schedule, here’s one more idea to consider: planning a fall vacation. Wait a sec, didn’t I just take a vacation, you ask? Whether you did or not, fall’s one of the best times to travel, especially if you want to make autumn a lucrative, productive writing season. Here’s why:

You Need a Fall Vacation to Recharge

Let’s face it, summer vacations aren’t exactly restful and rejuvenating. Bustling beach adventures, hectic air travel, and multi-stop road trips to visit the relatives can be exciting—and exhausting. Fall vacations, on the other hand, tend to be less chaotic and tiring, giving your brain and body time to refresh and recharge so you can write full force when you return to your desk.

Fall Vacations Offer a Multitude of Writing Ideas

Beautiful colors, perfect weather, and popular destinations for less money describe a fall vacation. What more could you want? Actually, there’s plenty more. Vacationing during the autumn months is also an ideal way to jumpstart a new season of writing. All the advantages of fall travel translate to a long list of writing ideas—from interesting vacation spots to unique fall foods, activities, holidays, and foliage.

Motivation Comes from Something to Anticipate

You don’t have to take a fall vacation at the beginning of autumn, but you can start planning and getting excited about it, which will help motivate you to work hard now so you can relax and enjoy the trip in a month or two. Knowing you have something to look forward to in the short-term can be just what you need to be productive after a long, unstructured summer.

You Can Make It a Writing Vacation

A vacation doesn’t mean you have to stop writing. If you love your craft (and most writers do!) and it relaxes you, why not take it along? Choose a private, quiet spot to travel, and bring your writing materials and creativity with. Or, sign up for an autumn writing conference or retreat, where you get the opportunity to mingle with other writers, enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, and spend time honing and broadening your skills.

Fall is a great time to write. It’s also a great time to get away. Do yourself a favor and plan a fall vacation. It’ll do wonders for your mind, body, and writing life.

Image by David Whelan

 

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Blog and website owners are always in need of professionally-written web content, which is good news for freelance writers. Not only is web content in high demand, writing it is lucrative, fun, and open to just about any level of experience. But here’s the catch: While anyone can write web content, writing cash-worthy content takes patience, practice, and some important pointers. Here are six tips to help you craft the best content you can—and land a sale every time:

Be Fresh

Let’s face it, everyone’s written about practically every topic out there. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write one more article or post on a used idea—just make it fresh. In other words, find a new angle, a different perspective, or an interesting update. Of course, you can always come up with something completely untold, like a unique, personal experience. Best advice? Do some research before you start writing to rule out overdone topics. And remember, when it comes to selling content, fresh is the name of the game.

Know Your SEO

Using keywords that will help your content rank high in search engines is, well, key. If you don’t know SEO practices for writing web content, study and learn them. Content that’s SEO-friendly is going to help it sell. Bear in mind that SEO needs to be balanced with good, readable writing that delivers valuable advice or high entertainment value to the reader. Over-stuffed keywords in content that has more fluff than function won’t be worth anyone’s time—including a buyer’s.

Watch Word Count

If a blog owner specifies a word count, adhere to it. When you don’t have a word count to follow, aim for 2,000, say recent studies. Years ago, short blog posts and web articles of 500 or so words were the way to go. Now it appears that, for SEO purposes, longer posts have better sales potential. Check out this article about word counts for more information.

Avoid Haste

While it’s true, some readers scan through content looking for tidbits of information, others take their time and read entire posts, including several thousand word ones. The point is, never take your writing lightly. Hastily putting together an article that contains errors and useless advice won’t sell. Instead, write carefully and offer something relevant, include strong titles and bold subheadings for those who like to skim, and edit, edit, edit. In fact, set aside your work for a few days and review it with fresh eyes before submitting.

Price It Right

Be mindful when setting a fee or pricing your content. You may think your time and work are worth gold, but a buyer is looking for a reasonable price. Check around and see what the going rate is for content similar to yours. Consider your experience, the amount of research you’ve done, and the time and effort you’ve put in. You don’t want to underprice yourself, either; well-written, useful content will eventually sell for a fair price. If you’re writing for an article database or catalog, take into account the percentage the content distributor keeps when pricing your work.

Be Efficient

Writing web content can be time-consuming, but you can find ways to speed up the process, increase your output, and still produce quality work. For one thing, try coming up with several writing ideas at once. Often, this comes naturally. After gathering research for a topic and putting together an outline or draft, you might discover that you could turn your article into two or even three pieces. Most important, write when you’re able to fully concentrate so that your writing session consists of quality time. Efficiency goes a long way in helping you write—and sell—web content.

Writing web content is a fun way for writers of all backgrounds to earn money and get published. Learn the ins and outs of writing cash-worthy web content, and see how lucrative this writing niche can be.

 

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Have you been wanting to start journaling but can’t seem to take the first step? Maybe you’re worried you don’t have anything to write about or you won’t remember to do it every day or you’ll be lousy at it. Well here’s some good news: when it comes to journaling, there’s nothing to fear! In fact, journal writing is about the most laid-back, carefree activity around. It’s also one of the most rewarding.

But don’t just listen to me. Follow these tips for getting started journaling and see for yourself how fearless and fun writing in a journal can be.

Take a No-Pressure Attitude

Simply put, journal writing is a way to explore your creativity and just be yourself. No one but you has to see your journal, which should take the pressure off when it comes to rules and expectations. Don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure, neatness, or tone; journals are no place for perfectionism. Dismiss the notion that you have to write daily, too. Think of your journal as a whatever-you-want-it-to-be book, a place to do your thing however you wish anytime you choose.

Get Some Ideas

Don’t worry if you can’t come up with something to write about. Many others have and they like to share their ideas. In fact, there’s a whole world of journaling topics out there, and a quick search will reveal them. Check out this post of 33 journal writing ideas for starters. Or, come up with ideas on your own. Jot down a list of places, people, foods, animals, seasons, emotions, colors, books, you name it. Then choose a subtopic and get writing. It’s as simple as that!

Be Choosy About Your Journal

Since your journal is something you’re going to use regularly, make sure it’s a size, style, and format that’s attractive—to you. Everyone has different preferences on details, so take the time to look at many journal options and decide which is the most appealing. Some writers prefer lined pages, for example, while others like them blank. You might favor a small journal that fits in your purse or a larger one for your briefcase or gym bag. Be choosy and find a journal that's welcoming and functional to use.

Consider a Bullet Journal

Many writers are turning to the bullet-style journal for journaling. If you’re just getting started journaling, this can be a great option. Bullet journals serve multiple purposes. They’re a place to record writing activity, sketch out goals, manage submissions, brainstorm for writing ideas, take notes, store research, doodle, and of course journal. To learn more about bullet journaling, see The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling for Writers by Writer's Edit.

Do a Practice Run

If you're afraid to open that crisp, new journal you bought or got as a gift, why not ease into it. Grab a sheet of scratch paper and do some practice journaling. It doesn’t matter what you write—a description of your mood, a short acrostic poem, or a paragraph discussing your writing goals for the month—just start writing. A practice run will confirm how easy writing a journal entry is. Once you get comfy with this new activity, open the first page of your journal and let the words flow.

Excited to get started journaling? You should be. Take the fearless approach, and enjoy the fun, fulfillment, and productivity that await you.

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Ah, summer in Minnesota, the season of cool lakes, warm breezes, lush parks, and spectacular wildlife. But don’t just soak it all up; write about it. If you’ve been itching to try your hand (and talent) at writing and you live in Minnesota, you’re in luck. The best time of year to get started is right around the corner. Summer in Minnesota offers writing opportunities and ideas galore, plus you’ll have plenty of resources at your fingertips thanks to the state’s thriving writing community.

Ready to delve into a writing career? Make summer in Minnesota the time and place you begin. These three tips will help you get started:

Attend a Summer Class or Conference

Taking a class or attending a conference or workshop is a great way to learn the craft of writing, get some feedback, and practice your skills. The best part? You can find just about any type of class or conference in Minnesota during summer. Got a passion for Christian writing? Check out the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul in July. Interested in writing poetry, science fiction, or memoir? Head over to the Loft Literary Center, where you’ll find plenty of writing class pickings. Young writers can enroll in Hamline University’s Young Writers Workshop in June. Or, check out your local community education program for a list of summer writing courses nearby.

Write Outside—or Lakeside

Embarking on a writing career begins with an interest in writing—and a lot of doing it. The great Minnesota outdoors has all the venues you need to inspire your creativity, especially during summer. Grab your writing materials and head to your favorite spot outside—a shaded park bench, beneath a tall oak, or nestled in the backyard hammock. For some extra inspiration, seek out one of the state’s many lakes. You’d be surprised at all the ideas that can pop into your head when out on the lake, sitting near one, or just researching the history and beauty of a Minnesota lake. Not only that, lakes bring on a sense of calm and serenity that can unclutter the mind and get your creativity flowing.

Connect with Minnesota Writers

While there’s a vast network of authors and writers in Minnesota, getting connected takes diligence. Start by contacting writing organizations that interest you and consider joining a local or regional chapter. Many organizations host meetings or summertime events and provide opportunities to meet new writer friends and learn the ropes of writing. You might also look into joining a Minnesota writing meetup, where you can connect with like-minded writers and attend gatherings or critique groups. For something less formal, network with Minnesota writers through social media and plan some fun summertime meetups of your own. Summer is an ideal time to get around town and make friends with other writers, when the weather is at its best.

There’s no time like the now to get started as a writer in Minnesota. Take advantage of the summer season and all the potential it holds, and watch your writing career blossom and flourish.

Image by Pete Markham

 

 

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Listen up Minnesota student writers: Nine fresh writing competitions are calling for your attention—and work. Whether you’ve entered a writing contest in the past or you’re waiting for the perfect opportunity, now’s the time to get crafting and submit. These nine contests cover the gambit of ages, topics, and genres, which means no student is left out. That’s right, there’s no excuse not to enter! So put down your phones, pull up a chair, and check out this listing of Minnesota student writing contests for Spring 2018:

Frankenstein Project – Novella Contest 2018

Theme: One or more fundamental themes of the Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein

Age: Any person living in southeastern Minnesota/SELCO library region

Contests participants are asked to write a novella on a Frankenstein theme, like vengeance and futility or creativity and the responsibility of what has been created. Submissions must be between 20,000 and 50,000 words. The contest is free to enter and includes monetary prizes and publication in an anthology. Deadline for submissions: March 4, 2018.

https://www.rochesterpubliclibrary.org/services/frankenstein-project

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis – Student Essay Contest 2018

Theme: Should the Federal Government increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour?

Age: All high school students living in the Ninth Federal Reserve District

Essays must be limited to three pages on the topic and under the direction and supervision of a teacher. Monetary prizes for 30 finalists, along with first, second, and third cash prizes and a paid summer internship for the first prize winner. Teachers can also receive cash prizes. Deadline for submissions: April 20, 2018.

https://www.minneapolisfed.org/community/financial-and-economic-education/student-essay-contest

Minnesota State Fair – K-12 Competition

Theme: Reports and Creative Writing

Age: K – 12

Teachers or students submit work as an exhibit. Online registration begins May 7, 2018. Students may submit a variety of items; projects executed at home and school are welcome. Projects include drawings, paintings, reports, and creative writing. Entry is free. Deadline for submissions: August 7, 2018.

http://www.mnstatefair.org/competition/edu.html

Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Youth Drawing and Essay Contest 2018

Theme: What Juneteenth means to you or your family or Why is Juneteenth an important historical event?

Age: 11-18

Juneteenth celebrates the end of African slavery in the U.S. Entrants must write a 250-word essay on one of the above themes. Contest is free to enter. First and second place winners are awarded prizes and honored at the Annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 16. Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2018.

http://www.juneteenthminnesota.org/JUNETEENTH%20FORMS%202018/YouthEssayWritingContest2018.pdf

2018 Lutherans for Life Minnesota Essay Contest

Theme: From Age-to-Age the Same and Bible verse Isaiah 46:3b-4

Age: Lutheran students in grades 6 – 12

Students must write a life-affirming essay on the topic, no more than 400 words for grades 6-8 and 750 words for grades 9-12. Monetary awards are given to top winners, along with advancement to the national contest. No entry fee. Deadline for submissions: March 18, 2018.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5122917ce4b08a7615958803/t/5a58c638ec212d907568a790/1515767352973/2018+Minnesota+Essay+Contest+RulesV1.pdf

The Great River Shakespeare Festival/Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest 2018 (Winona)

Theme: Sonnet (see information below)

Age: Youth Category, ages 17 and younger

According to the website: “Sonnets may be written in Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan or Non-Traditional rhyme schemes, but each must be in the fourteen-line, iambic pentameter form.” Best youth category for this contest awards three winners, who will receive cash prizes. No fee to enter for youth category. Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2018.

http://sonnetcontest.org/

The Great American Think-Off Writing Contest 2018

Theme: Which plays a greater role in shaping one’s life: success or failure?

Age: All ages

Essays must be no longer than 750 words. Four winners receive cash prizes and an invitation to a live debate on June 9 in New York Mills, MN, to answer the question. No fee to enter. Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2018.

https://www.kulcher.org/think-off/the-great-american-think-off/

2018 SCSC Writing Contest (South Central Service Cooperative & Minnesota State/Mankato)

Theme: Conservation and Sustainability

Age: Students in grades K - 12

Write a poem, fiction, or nonfiction piece that relates to the theme. Word length varies. The contest was created to recognize talented young writers in south-central Minnesota. Awards include publication in an anthology and copies for themselves and their school. Additional prizes may be awarded. Entry fee of $3 per submission, multiple submissions accepted. Deadline for submissions: March 19, 2018.

https://mnscsc.org/scsc/media/student/docs/2018-writing-contest-flier.pdf

Lake Superior Writers 2018 Annual Contest

Theme: Rescue

Age: Must be 18 or older – open to college students

The LSW 2018 Annual Writing Contest covers multiple genres, including poetry, short-short fiction, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. Monetary prizes and publication for winners. Entry fees are free for members of LSW; $35 fee for nonmembers. Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2018.

https://lakesuperiorwriters.org/2018-writing-contest/

Good luck to all contestants!

Image by photosteve101

 

 

 

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In today’s world of loose rules and anything-goes sentence structure, bad grammar often gets a pass. But using effective grammar is essential for readability, credibility, and clarity in writing. If you think you could use a grammar refresher, look no further. These five tips will help you hone and improve your grammar—so you can give your readers a satisfying, stammer-free experience.

Take a Class

Why not enroll in a grammar refresher course? They’re fun and challenging and help sharpen this important writing skill. Recommended classes include the Editorial Freelancers Association's Grammar Combo course, ed2go’s Grammar Refresher, and Media Bistro’s Grammar and Punctuation. You might also check with a local college or community education program for onsite grammar refresher classes.

Download a Grammar App

There are many grammar apps out there, so why not take advantage of this useful tool? Grammar apps do everything from point out errors in your writing to offer quizzes and games to make learning fun. Some of the most popular grammar apps include Grammarly, Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation, and Grammar Up, but an online search will reveal many more.

Explore a Grammar Site

Websites set up to assist with grammar can be a great resource for those especially interested in learning more about the mechanics of good writing. Three to consider are GrammarCheck, Daily Grammar, and Purdue Online Writing Lab. These sites include newsy information on today’s use of grammar as well as helpful hints to keep your grammar spotless—and spot on.

Invest in a Good Style Guide

This is a must if you’re a writer. Style guides give rules for how editors (self-editors too!) should handle all kinds of grammar-related issues—from basic mechanics to word usage. For tips on choosing a style guide, check out Allena Tapia's article on the subject. Style and usage books, like the classic On Writing Well by William Zinsser and Strunk’s The Elements of Style, offer important grammar help for writers, too.

Read

You’d be surprised at how many grammar tips you can pick up by just reading a book. Plus, reading is an entertaining and informative way to hone your craft. So go ahead and read to your heart’s content. But instead of reading as a reader, try reading as a writer. Your grammar won’t just improve; so will your overall writing.

Don’t let your grammar fall by the wayside. Take it seriously, and make your writing as professional and crystal clear as it can be.

 

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Want to get more exercise this year? Join the crowd. Getting in shape has long been a top New Year’s resolution. But writing, like other sedentary jobs, isn’t exactly conducive to improving fitness. The good news is you can use one of your innate talents to get yourself moving: creativity. Try these tips, and see how easy it is for you to slip exercise into your daily writing schedule.

Exercise at Your Desk

Just because you’re working at your desk doesn’t mean you can’t be exercising too. Between tasks, try doing arm pumps, leg lifts, body stretches, and shoulder rolls. For a full list of ideas, check out WebMD's desk workout guide.

Get Fit Before You Sit

Why not start the day with exercise, before you even begin writing? You’ll get your daily fitness out of the way, put your body and brain in working order, and feel energized and ready to write your best.

Rely on a Friend

For many people, getting inspired to exercise requires a companion. If that describes you, enlist a spouse, friend, or even your dog to be an exercise partner. Find someone who’s dependable and motivating so you won’t let each other down.

Restructure Your Lunch Break

Used to sitting at your desk while you eat? Try something new this year. Head to the lunch room for a change of scenery, then walk the stairs afterward. Or, take your lunch outside and finish with a stroll around the block.

Write It on the Schedule

If you keep a daily task list, include an exercise session in the schedule and make it as important as everything else on the list. Out of sight, out of mind, but “exercise” written in large print is a great way to remind you to do just that.

Take Five between Projects

It only takes five minutes to get a healthy spurt of exercise. Situps, pushups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, you name it—you can work in plenty of exercise breaks between projects without infringing on your writing time.

Drink Up

Water isn’t just a hydrator; it boosts metabolism, aids digestion, cleans the body of toxins, and helps you lose weight. Plus, water encourages activity by motivating you to get up from your chair to use the restroom.

Becoming a nonsedentary writer is easier than you think. Resolve to meet your writing and fitness goals, and make this year the one you succeed at both.

 

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If you’re thinking about doing some charitable giving this holiday season, why not give the gift you know best—writing? There are many ways to put your talents to work for others, and doing it for free actually benefits you too. Volunteer work not only teaches new skills, it improves self-worth and confidence and provides an outlet for networking. You might even land some paying gigs in the process!

Ready to give a little year-end writing for free? Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

1. Write Grants for Nonprofits

If you’ve never done grant writing in the past, it’s never too late to start. Seminars and courses on grant writing are widely available, but you might also find a grant writing mentor to guide you through the process. Check with your favorite nonprofit for volunteer grant writing opportunities or go to volunteermatch.org for ideas.

2. Volunteer Your Editing Skills to Schools

Students of all ages and backgrounds could use a little writing help, and many teachers welcome writers to share their expertise. See how you can help a school in your community by volunteering your writing and editing skills—or just visiting to discuss your profession.

3. Guest Blog for a Website

Whether you get a link back to your website or not, guest blogging is a great way to volunteer your talents to another writing professional or startup business. Be willing to blog about whatever would help the website gain exposure and readers.

4. Write for a Community Newsletter

Newsletters contain valuable information for the community. If you have a newsletter you like to read, why not contribute to it? Animal rescue groups, arts councils, chambers of commerce, and other local organizations put out newsletters regularly. Find one that interests you and get crafting!

5. Write a Letter to an Inmate

Check with local and regional prison and correctional facilities for direction on writing letters to inmates. Or, see if a local church has a prison outreach program that encourages inspirational letter writing.

6. Draft a Response to a Newspaper Editorial

Did you read an article recently that got you thinking? Newspapers like to print responses to their editorial pieces from readers. You won’t get paid, but you will get noticed—and read.

7. Contribute to a Nonpaying Magazine

Nonpaying magazines may not be your first choice when it comes to submitting your work, but your contribution can pay off in more ways than monetary reward. You’ll help the editors fill their calendar, support your peers, and give readers the gift of the written word. Submit to a nonpaying children’s magazine or e-zine, and impart your knowledge for the benefit of the next generation of readers and writers.

8. Host a Writing Workshop

Got kids in the neighborhood who like to write? Invite them over for a fun day of writing activities. Play word games, write stories based on a popular theme, or have the kids rewrite a favorite fairy tale. You might also volunteer to host a writer’s workshop at your public library or other venue.

9. Help Fundraise with Free Content

Fundraisers help a worthy cause or an individual in need. Write content to help fundraise, and see how your writing can bring in money to improve the lives of others. If you don’t know where to fundraise, look online for fundraising options where you’re work might be needed.

10. Write a Review

Holiday books and movies are popular this time of year. Volunteering to write a review helps people decide which one to pick. When writing a review, avoid going on a rant. Try to find the positive in everything, but be honest about your opinions and experience. You might also write a review on a new restaurant in town.

11. Tutor for Adult Learners

Want to help adult learners become better writers? Sign up to offer tutoring help. Check with the library or a community center for information on volunteer tutoring work.

12. Volunteer with Distributed Proofreaders

If you like to proofread, volunteering with Distributed Proofreaders might be just the ticket. Distributed Proofreaders welcomes help from anyone who enjoys working with words. You’ll help proofread public domain e-books as part of Project Gutenberg and can do it a page at a time or whatever fits your schedule. For more information, go to https://www.pgdp.net/c/.

Image by Shayla