Okay – last week I decided I wanted to work on my platform, so I brought up a few topics of interest:
1) Expanding my readership (large-readership submissions)
3) Public Speaking
I had a few ideas for each, but was really on a fact-fining mission…but I didn’t really get as many suggestions as I had hoped. I even put the question out to the ACFW email loop, but all I got were a couple of other people asking me to share what I found out. Never one to be discouraged (okay, have a quick giggle…lets keep going), I looked for some extra answers to share. And I found them!
Today I’m going to tell you what I found out about creating a portfolio. I have two main sources for this: Lisa Lickel and Dr. Dennis E. Hensley (two of my favorite people in the whole world!).
Lisa is a multi-published author with another book due in May. Here’s what she has to say on the subject:
“I’d use something like this for a job interview,which auditioning for publication sort of is, but with a twist. By the time you’d get to show a portfolio to land a permanent job, you’d have passed a lot of tests. With landing that writing contract, you have one short chance.
Think more like auditioning for a temporary theatrical part. Ninety percent is on how you look on your glossy 8×10 to represent the part, and there are hundreds out there just like you. The casting department already thinks you can act if you got that far. That’s first impression, which in publication translates to your pitch/one sheet. Ninety percent of the time, getting a contract has to do with that old first impression. How you present yourself, and whether what you’re pitching is right for their production needs at this moment. Get the goods first by looking at what and who they publish, then go, and submit likewise.
By all means, gather clips–your best ones. List your social on-line networking presences and the organizations to which you belong, how often you show up at events, and name-drop like crazy.”
My second main source is Dr. Hensley. Dr. Hensley runs the Professional Writing Program at Taylor University. I met him last summer at two conferences (and if anything ever happens to my dad, I’d like to ask him to adopt me). He is a regular contributor to The Advanced Christian Writer, a publication of the American Christian Writers Association, and his last article got me thinking about portfolios. That’s why I asked him for some advice – with his permission, here it it:
“I have my students buy a three-ring binder. They set tabs in it for:
Business and Technical Articles
Each time they get something published in one of these categories, they insert a copy of that article or story. At the very front of the portfolio they have a copy of their resume, which gets updated every six months as they complete more classes and earn more bylines.”
So there you have it – the professional recommendations from the professionals!
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