Interview: Emma Krieger

Emma Krieger: journalist, editor, aspiring author and cupcake connoisseur. A woman after my own heart! Freelance frosting and frivolity at her fresh-baked web site if you'd like to learn more. Here, she shares her secrets to a fantastic freelancing career.

Emma is a journalist, sub editor and copywriter. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from La Trobe University.

Emma's love affair with glossy magazines began when she received her first DOLLY magazine at 13 and since then, she devours up to 20 magazines a month (which now have the added bonus of being tax deductible!).


Emma's work has appeared in Notebook, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health & Fitness, Wellbeing, Jetstar, Good Health, HealthSmart, Emirates Bride, Australian Natural Health, Studio Brides, Studio Bambini, Bambini Directory, Perfect Wedding, Masters of Cuisine, My Wedding, Melbourne Bride, Black+White, Diane, Fitness First, Balance, Holidays for Couples, Wellplan, A&K, Fitness Life, Music Australia Guide, En Route, Stratosphere and Body Fit.

1. How did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

Strangely enough it took me awhile to figure out I wanted to be a full-time writer/journalist, although it should have clicked early on as I was always writing short stories and devouring as many books and magazines as I could get my hands on! At 17 I started writing for street presses for free (and for free gig tickets), but I always just viewed it as a hobby. Then I realised, hang on - I can make money from this!

2. In which other fields have you worked? How did you transition into becoming a freelancer?

While completing my degree I did a short internship with Network Ten News, before being offered a job as a production and news research assistant for 5pm News and 9am with David and Kim.

After two years with Ten, I moved to Sydney where I became features writer and sub editor at Studio Magazines, before returning to Melbourne to work for Private Media (http://www.smartcompany.com.au/) as their chief sub editor. During my time at Studio I started regularly freelancing for other magazines, and now I just freelance as much as I can while subbing full-time.

3. What were your first goals as a writer?

When I first started writing at 17 I was doing it all for free so to finally be paid for my first piece was huge at the time!

4. What was your first paid (or breakthrough) article? How did it come about?

I first started getting published in all of Studio magazines as I was their full-time feature writer, but my first commissioned piece was something I did for Jetstar. Because by that time I had a pretty full portfolio I was able to start pitching with work to show editors, which suggested my writing was publishable!

5. What is the most enjoyable article you have written?

I probably enjoy writing first person pieces the most – as it’s from your point of view and you don’t need to find interviewees, research, etc, it’s easy to bang out a piece fairly quickly. I did a story for Wellbeing about my stay at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, which was fun to write.

6. How can a beginner writer compose a winning query letter?

When pitching to editors keep your email brief and always mind your manners - it goes a long way! Keep pitches to about two or three sentences, with a working title and suggested word length.

7. How has your Bachelor's Degree in Journalism helped you establish your career?

I think these days a journalism degree is pretty much a prerequisite. You can still definitely crack the media industry by working your way up the food chain, or completing any kind of degree really, but it just sets the foundations. You learn the basics and get to hone your writing skills.

8. What's your best tip for beginner freelance writers?

I think you really have to have a genuine love for writing to really make it. You can't just decide to be a writer because you love seeing your byline in a magazine!

The best way to get published and then eventually paid for it is to start out writing for free. There are loads of reputable websites that accept content and once you build up a healthy portfolio, you are much better placed to start pitching ideas for paid work.

Also, scour news sites to see what's happening in the world and then formulate pitches for readers of particular publications based on current events.

And don't get disheartened if your pitches are knocked back or you don't hear anything straight way - editors are extremely busy people and receive tons of feature ideas from freelancers everyday!

15 comments:

  1. Hi Becks! What an encouragement and inspiration are you! Thanks for visiting and following my blog - I'm absolutely, with pleasure, following you back! I'm going to enjoy reading your blogs. Oooops, I see you have a magazine writing guide...let me go peek at that and see if it can help my inner writer break through. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

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  2. New follower! http://tospendorsave.blogspot.com

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  3. Hi there! We are already following you, but wanted to invite you to our Saturday hop! The link list is open now, swing by at www.justmarriedwithcoupons.com

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    -Dawn & Raphael

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  4. Hi I am Nicole from ColiesKitchen.com I found you on a blog hop and wanted to drop by and say hi. I really like your blog, and am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

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  5. Hi im your newest follower from Fridays Blog Hop, come on by and follow back:).
    Naomi
    Na-miart.blogspot.com

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  6. Hi - Thanks for the follow - Am following back!

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  7. Hi there! I am your newest follower from the weekend blog hop! Lovely blog:) You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

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  8. Nice interview! And thanks for following Bocci's Beefs-I just returned the favor:-)
    My Parental Unit has an interesting road to published freelance writing if you need another interview!

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  9. I love these interview posts .. not only an opportunity to discover other aspiring writers ( and published ones!!! which is always inspiring to read about someone who has do it!!) but great tips and suggestions.. XO HHL

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  10. Hi Everyone -- thank for commenting!

    Thanks Haupi and High Heeled -- glad you find the posts helpful. I've learnt so much from interviewing other writers like Emma. And they've been really generous with their advice and time.

    I think I am now following all of you guys back. If I've missed anyone, let me know!

    Bocci, I'd love to hear from your Parental Unit about a potential interview! I am most intrigued. Could you ask her to email me at: beckemail@gmail.com?

    Cheers,

    Becks

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  11. Thanks for join my blog hop,
    Have a nice day,
    Nan
    http://beonefineday.blogspot.com

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  12. fabulous interview, really enjoyed reading it! finished the same degree as her last year, seems like she has had an awesome career!

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  13. I have an award for you on my blog: http://glamourgirlreviews.blogspot.com/2010/09/ive-received-stylish-blogger-award.html

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  14. No worries, Nan!

    I was curious about the journalism degree as well, Gen Y. I did an English major as part of my degree, but now wish I'd done a full-on media/journalism degree. I would've been so much fun!

    Thanks for the blog award Krystal! That's so awesome of you. : )

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  15. Hi Becks, I love your interviews! They are so inspiring and helpful. x

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