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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2012
Catherine Quinn has managed to put all of her experience into a manageable, easy to follow and enjoyable book which should be seen as the definitive starting point for anyone wanting to get into freelance feature writing. I had no clips, no contacts, no experience and no idea where to start. In 3 months, I had two features published, four commissions with editors for final copy editing, lunched with two editors who I now speak to regularly, and a plan to make freelance writing a career in the near future. That is the power of her book - it sets out in a clear way the processes required and is realistic. This book does not address how to write well - Miss Quinn rightly assumes you can already write - it simply helps you sell yourself to others.

I would say that there are other books you should also look at - Brendan Hennessy's Writing Feature Articles is a great supplement to Miss Quinn's book, and there are plenty of internet resources which will expand your knowledge further. However, if you do not know where to start, start here.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2010
When you're starting out as a freelance writer, it is difficult to see how you can possibly gain acceptances for your articles with nothing behind you. You're completely unknown, little or nothing published before, you've never contacted a magazine before.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and this book shows you just how you can do this. It is well written by Caroline Quinn, as a complete and comprehensive guide, in fact, a training course, to pitching to magazine editors in the most effective way possible, even as an unknown writer with no contacts or previous history.

The book shows you how to narrow your options to the subjects you know best, how to research and analyse magazines, tailor your articles to suit exactly the target magazine, and most importantly, the pitch, selling your idea to an editor. There is also a website, only accessible if you have the book to hand, which backs up and gives further examples and information.

An easy to follow guide to pitching your ideas, with a common-sense approach, with the simplest of advice to be professional at all times, this book is highly recommended for anyone wishing to become a freelance writer.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2010
Buoyed on by favourable Amazon reviews, I decided to take the plunge and buy this book. Despite placing the order, I was still dubious about the credibility of this book as I have bought similar volumes, previously, and felt shortchanged. I had no need to worry as the book does everything it says on the tin and a whole lot more.

I would say that this book's 'unique selling point' is that Caroline Quinn delivers a seminar on how you can gain freelance commisions without any previous experience of the field. This no-nonsense guide shows you how to take the professional road into freelance journalism and candidly explains the pitfalls and the perks that you may encounter. In fact, what I find helpful about 'No Contacts?.....' is that it doesn't outline freelancer tips in a dry and trite manner: Quinn provides realistic and comprehensive tips on how to get your work in print and backs up the core narrative with case studies and anecdotal asides.

What does the book cover?

* How to do a credible pitch
* How to evaluate the freelance market
* The best way to get 'clips' for a portfolio
* How to maintain professionalism when dealing with Editors
* How to 'chase up' pitches without looking like a novice
* Tips on writing a freelance article
* How to replicate your success
* A four-week plan to get your article in print

The above list is not exhaustive. Indeed, you'll be amazed that this book is less than 200 pages long as the content is concise yet detailed. If this has whetted your appetite then you will be pleased to know that Quinn signposts you to her website for further information and crucial tips. In addition, Quinn has included a further reading sections that looks like it might be quite useful.

I received this book yesterday and I have already read it cover to cover. I would suggest that 'No Contact?.....' would suit any aspiring freelance journalist who wants honest and realistic guidance on getting their work published. This book has inpired me to get cracking and I actually feel confident of success. However, I guess the 'proof of the pudding is in the eating'......
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2010
I have lots of books on my shelf about freelancing, and have attended NUJ courses on freelancing and none of them compare to this. This book actually delves into what it takes to break in and how to achieve achieve success. Quinn's book has given me so much confidence and is a fabulous no nonsense guide. If you buy one book about freelance feature writing, buy this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
This book is for confident beginners, so if you're not sure of your writing you should read a different book. It assumes you can already write, and fills in the gaps between writing a good feature and becoming a regular freelancer. This book has been really useful in taking me to the next level and the industry tips are proving invaluable. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
A few years ago I toyed with the idea of writing Feature Articles and becoming a Freelance writer. I promptly paid out several hundred pounds for a correspondence course which covered a lot of general stuff about Freelance Journalism. I applied myself to the course with very limited success outside of the marked assignments. As the pressures of my day job piled up, I gave up on the whole idea.

Several years on and my desire to write features has returned and I'm much more committed to the idea. I searched Amazon for anything that might give me "an edge" in getting properly started. Catherine Quinn has written the best information on the subject that I have come across. The premise of this book is that to be successful one must take a wholly professional approach to the subject. The advice is clear, precise and completely on-target. In the next few weeks I intend to apply the exercises and advice and with the right professional approach, I hope to be published.

I really wish this book had been available a few years ago. Not only would it have saved me a lot of money but I believe that it would have set me off in my new career then and there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
I would recommend using this book in conjunction with other writing books - The Elements of Style, and fundamental writing guides. The author writes about how to get published and it is a very hands-on book, but there is only brief information on how to put together a good feature. She covers how many interviewees you should use and so forth but makes it clear that she expects writers to use their own common sense in putting articles together once they get the commission. Pros - good for getting your work commissioned. Cons - less information about grammar and structure than other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2010
Finally! A book which actually shows first-time writers how to get in print. I've read every book on this subject and as yet nothing which shows what freelancers send editors to get published. This book not only lays out what to send but has thorough sections on how to chase up work, and how to generate clips. It's aimed at beginners although I would imagine those with freelancing experience could still pick up some tips.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2010
No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell Your Freelance Feature Writing (Professional Media Practice)

This book is such a little gem....as I'm sure is the writer herself. Catherine Quinn, actually does what she says on the tin.

I have more books in my attic on writing than Amazon does, and many years of trawling through them has not produced anything that could hold a candle to this book.

There is no flannel, no fluff but instead masses and masses of practical, useful and workable advice on how to freelance for a living.

Well done girl!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
Last night, I decided to read another chapter of No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell a Freelance Feature but the book grabbed me and wouldn't let go until it was past midnight and I finished the whole thing. I regretted the late hour because of all the work I needed to do the next morning.

What an incredible book! I highly recommend "No Contacts? No Problem!" Clearly expressed.m Easy to understand, in logically structured sections; perfect for a beginner like me. I think Catherine Quinn has covered everything I need at the moment.
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