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The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Success

(Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell - Marion Street Press, 2003)

Reviewed by Beth Morrow

Copyright 2005 - All Rights Reserved

From guidelines and deadlines to interviews and editors, there's only one thing is missing from The Renegade Writer: a necessary disclaimer warning against reading the book before bedtime.

I speak from experience. After finishing the "No Fear Querying" section of The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Success, the thrill of being a rule-breaking writer kept me awake with anticipation. I finally gave up on sleeping and dragged myself out of bed to scribble a query for an old idea I didn't think had a shot at publication.

In their own conversational and entertaining way, Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell will show you why these freelancing rules were meant to be broken--and how to become a Renegade Writer yourself. From brainstorming to signing the contract, these veteran writers offer a wealth of advice on every aspect of your freelancing career.

The main topics of The Renegade Writer include:

Breaking in By Breaking the Rules (Getting Started);

Cranking Up the Idea Factory;

No-Fear Querying;

Signing On the Dotted Line (Contracts);

Mining for Information (Sources);

Talking the Talk (Interviews);

Putting Pen to Paper (Grammar);

Getting the Green (Payment);

Thriving, Not Just Surviving (Top Jobs)

Formichelli and Burrell aren't satisfied in just presenting the rules to be broken, however. Each renegade rule is accompanied by advice and illustrated by stories from other successful freelancers who challenged the myths and lived to tell about it.

With that said, The Renegade Writer might be most useful to freelancers with some knowledge of the rules--but the wealth of humor and real-world advice will appeal to the newer freelancer as well.

If you've ever wondered about asking for a better contract, the perfect formula for a query or if you should be friends with your editor, it's worth your time to pick up The Renegade Writer for fresh insight and guidance in your freelancing life.

Just don't read it before bed. Then again, it can't hurt. My editor loved my late-night query and gave me the assignment--courtesy of The Renegade Writer.

About the author: Beth Morrow is a freelance writer who earned her two last assignments in true Renegade style: by approaching the editor directly. In addition to both national and regional writing credits, she authors a daily blog of writing resources at www.writers-loft.blogspot.com, compiles a monthly column on small press and independent publishers and is working on her first nonfiction book on writer's retreats.


         Last updated: February 19, 2007