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Live Skills Training

Many in our industry are introverts, so when freelancers attend conferences or other events, they may feel out of their comfort zone.

First, know that you are not alone. You may feel alone, as you watch other people chat, but know that some may be talking with people they know, some may be venturing into conversations with new acquaintances, and others may be wishing they were elsewhere, which leads to my advice! Just fake it! Pretend like you belong, and before the event is over, you will!

To help you prepare for the in-person event, you may want to look for other opportunities to attend that you perceive as less overwhelming where you can practice your in-person communication skills.

NAIWE’s monthly webinars allow participants to chat with the speaker. Attend one or two of these webinars and make a goal of asking two or three questions. It is much easier to ask questions online because you don’t have to think about the number of eyes that potentially could be looking at you.

Also, NAIWE interviews members for its podcast to discuss their business or recent accomplishments. Using this as a stepping stone can help you to become more comfortable talking with others.

If you have other ideas for how NAIWE can help you build up your interpersonal skills, please let us know!

April Michelle Davis
NAIWE Executive Director

September Webinar: The Eight Stages of Story

We wanted to get to know Greg Smith (NAIWE's Novel Writing Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some thoughts he shared with us.

Is this a guide to follow at will?

The Agile Writer Method is something you can do at your own pace and on your own schedule. However, it is structured for 10 pages per week for 25 weeks. I recommend you find two critique partners and have weekly meetings where you review your weekly 10-page output. This creates a sense of accountability that motivates you to write each week. However, you can follow the program and write your novel at whatever pace works best for you.


Storytelling is as old as the human race. Over the ages we’ve come to expect a pattern to storytelling. In this webinar, Greg Smith lays out this time-worn pattern. Based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, mythology, psychology, and screenwriting techniques, the “The Eight Stages of the Novel” will help you plot your story before you put pen to paper.

This conversation took place on September 13, at 8 pm eastern. The recording will soon be available as an on-demand training for your viewing pleasure!

On-Demand Training: The Business of Being a Business

Guest: NAIWE’s Executive Director April Michelle Davis

It takes more than good writing skills, a sharp eye for typos, a love of reading, the ability to alphabetize, a cellphone camera, etc., to be a successful writer, editor, proofreader, indexer, graphic artist, or any other freelancer. Succeeding means taking seriously the concept of being in business. You can be brilliant at what you do and still fail if you don’t set up your freelance effort as a business and treat it as a serious venture. Find out how to incorporate key business skills and tools to make your freelancing a success.

Here’s what you can expect to learn in this class:

  • Office setup for good health and efficient work
  • Business goals to determine marketing goals
  • Business plan and marketing plan guidelines
  • Database benefits to assist with organization
  • Focus of newsletters
  • Ways to be more efficient with your blog

April Michelle Davis is the executive director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors and the founder of Editorial Inspirations. She has a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College, as well as certificates in editing, book publishing, and professional editing. April Michelle has presented sessions on what an editor does and the steps to becoming an editor, tips for and the benefits of working with an editor, indexing, macros, grammar, marketing, and Microsoft Word at the Be a Better Freelancer conference, Randolph-Macon College, Northern Virginia Community College, the Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, RavenCon, the Hanover Book Festival, the Editorial Freelancers Association, Copyediting newsletter, Editorial Inspirations’ trainings, and NAIWE.

April Michelle has shared insights by contributing to several books: When Talent Isn’t Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined, Ease into Writing, The Indie Author Revolution: An Insider’s Guide to Self-Publishing, and Juggling on a High Wire: The Art of Work–Life Balance When You’re Self-Employed.

April Michelle has taken her role full circle by becoming a published author: A Guide for the Freelance Indexer, Choosing an Editor: What You Need to Know, and A Princess in Disguise.

Better Outcomes Begin with Shared Understanding

When I came across this quote from developer John Cutler, I found it insightful both for its simplicity and the deeper questions it evokes. “Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, then figure out how to remove that mile altogether.” So, what exactly does he mean by “remove the mile”? One interpretation might be the distance between the process of doing and the achievement of done, and the speed at which we deliver for our clients. Another interpretation could be the distance in our understanding between what we think the customer needs and what they actually need. Or perhaps just finding more intentional ways to reduce our overall separateness – Client and vendor – us and them, getting better at aligning our shared goals. Perhaps all of these apply.

For most, the primary measurement of progress is tangible outcomes; seeing is believing. To begin removing the mile between ourselves and our customers, it behooves us to find ways to do the groundwork first, before jumping into action, going deeper at the outset to deliver on the actual need rather than just the perceived need. Instead of Idea>Action, the goal is Idea>Plan>Action. To create a plan, we first need to feel the pain our customers feel, to internalize their hard realities, for an hour, a day, a week, whatever it takes to achieve the “I get it” moment so we can begin to chart a course that will yield the desired result.

To read the rest of this article, please visit NAIWE member Stephen Colwell's blog.

September Webinar: Musical Line Editing for Authors

In September, we will be chatting with Claudia Suzanne, of NAIWE's Benefit Partner Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program, on the very important topic of line editing.

Do you know about the polish step between the final rewrite and line/copy editing? It’s called Musical Line Editing (MLE), and it’s the ghostwriter’s secret ace-in-the-hole to transform a good manuscript into a Marketable Literary Property. In fact, MLE is exactly the type of polish traditional publishers used to do on all their acquired titles, but now can only afford to do for their high-end authors. That’s why today MLE is a function of professional ghostwriting, but you can learn to apply it to your own manuscript in this mind-blowing webinar. (Follow-up workshops and private sessions available upon request.)


Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) trains writers, journalists, and published authors to be book-industry experts proficient in ghostwriting theory, skill sets, unique tools, and mindset transitions. The GPDP prerequisite Introduction to Ghostwriting is the 6-week GPDP prerequisite class to help you decide if professional ghostwriting is a good fit for you. NAIWE members receive 10% off Introduction to Ghostwriting!

There is no cost for NAIWE members, and non-members are just $20. To register for this webinar, which will be held on September 20 at 3 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

August's New & Renewing NAIWE Members

Nikki Bennett (Poulsbo, WA); Laura Briggs (St. Paul, MN); Katrinna Cherie (Sheffield, AL); Ronald Dula (Austin, TX); Linda Dunn (Hawi, HI); Sue Gillespie (Anchorage, AK); Carolyn Haley (East Wallingford, VT); Mengtsung Huang (Cherry Hill, NJ); Laura Hyler (Rensselaer, NY); Monica Kastle (Helendale, CA); Christopher O'Neill (Homer, GA); Heather Pendley (Imperial, CA); Don Stoll (Idyllwild, CA); Stephanie Thompson (San Diego, CA); Matt Wright (Rexburg, ID).

Be sure to post on your NAIWE website, and we will link to it when you renew!

October Webinar: You Have Questions about Grammar and Usage, and John McIntyre Has Answers

In October, we will be chatting with John McIntyre, NAIWE's Grammar Expert, about your grammar questions.

John, who was a working newspaper editor for 40 years, has watched writers grapple with changing patterns of English usage and wants to help you make reasonable decisions. You can send him questions that concern you, and he will answer them at the webinar. Anticipating your concerns, he is preparing advice on perennial concerns: Should we give up on “whom”? Is singular “they” here to stay and acceptable everywhere? What can we do about “lie” and “lay”? You will get the best advice available.


John Early McIntyre has been a professional editor for more than 40 years, more than 33 of them at The Baltimore Sun, where he has headed the copy desk. John earned an undergraduate degree in English from Michigan State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree in English from Syracuse University, where he was a university fellow. John taught editing at Loyola University Maryland for 25 years. A charter member of ACES: The Society for Editing, he served two terms as its president. John has presented workshops on writing and editing at conferences and publications in the United States and Canada.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on October 12 at 7 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

October Webinar: Encouraging the Writer Within You

In October, we will be chatting with Marcia Rosen, NAIWE's Public Relations and Book Marketing Expert, about motivating yourself to write.

From staying on track to not giving up or giving in, from not listening to negative voices, including your own, the purpose of this presentation is to encourage you to stay determined, confident, courageous, hopeful, inspired, and motivated with respect to your writing. Marcia will talk about some of what can inhibit and interfere with writing goals and how to move past them.

There are times it’s possible to be discouraged and unsure and wondering why you’re even bothering. But your soul cannot and does not really want to give up. So, write on, tell the negative voice in your head and from others to go away! Each writer needs the promise of possibility and hopefulness that their dreams and ambitions can be fulfilled.

In this presentation Marcia will cover:

  • Having your voice heard during this pandemic
  • Knowing you have the right to be a writer
  • Perseverance
  • Trusting your own voice
  • Dealing with and ignoring negative voices
  • Planning, preparing, pushing forward
  • Motivation and staying motivated
  • Setting a writing schedule or routine
  • Setting deadlines for yourself
  • Avoiding distractions and distracting people
  • Being comfortable with the plans for your work and your ideas on issues such as dialogue, character development, point of view, tone, and your storyline.

Marcia Rosen (aka M. Glenda Rosen) is a marketing and public relations advisor for authors and a senior team member creating out-of-the-box strategies for a marketing/advertising agency and client projects. She was owner and founder of a business/marketing and public relations agency and consulting firm in New York City; The Hamptons; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the company served as advisors to a wide range of national, regional, and local clientele. Marcia has presented book marketing and public relations programs at local and national events, including major book conferences, for nearly 20 years. In addition, she has worked with numerous authors developing and implementing plans to create an awareness of them as authors and gain recognition and sales for their books, including book launch campaigns and ongoing actions both through social media and traditional activities. Marcia is the author of ten books. She has published numerous articles and is a member of Sisters In Crime Los Angeles and Albuquerque, Central Coast Writers, Public Safety Writer’s Association, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on October 19 at 7 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

From CMOS Shop Talk

Q. In your hyphenation guide, adjectival phrases are addressed: “Hyphenated before a noun; usually open after a noun.” Would the adjectival phrase “one-on-one” apply? The dictionary lists it only with hyphens, but I’m dealing with a sentence where it seems the hyphens would be unnecessary: “Coaches are available to meet one-on-one.”

In your example, “one-on-one” functions as an adverb rather than as an adjective (it modifies the verb to meet). And in general, a phrase that’s listed in Merriam-Webster with hyphens retains its hyphens if used as an adverb. Compare “day by day.” That expression, which is listed in Merriam-Webster without hyphens, would be hyphenated only as an adjective before a noun. For example, you would “take things day by day” (adv.) but “make a day-by-day assessment” (adj.).


Your ad could be here!

For details on how to advertise in The Edge, NAIWE's monthly newsletter, please visit our advertising web page.

Member Benefit

Job Board

NAIWE members receive alerts from people looking to hire freelancers, along with specifics about the job postings. Members can then apply for the jobs by contacting the person directly.

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.

Why Should You Join an Association?

NAIWE provides you with an online presence, assistance in using your website, and marketing support through our social media channels and our monthly newsletters.


"Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation."

—Robert H. Schuller

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