Tandem Freelancing:
Don't take the plunge alone!

AlaskaWriter Parachute Figure

I apologize, but due to other commitments, I have put my coaching services on hold as of November 2007 and am taking only a very limited number of clients in 2008. If you would like to be on a waiting list, e-mail me at sonya@alaskawriter.com. Thank you very much for your interest and patience.

Putting yourself “out there” as a freelance writer can feel every bit as exhilarating and terrifying as a skydiving freefall. Especially if you're hoping to support yourself with your writing full-time.

(That first step is a doozy!)

Maybe that's why so many writer friends have confided in me that they wished they had the "guts" to make the same move.

Usually they say things like:

• “I could never do what you do, because I hate selling myself.”

• “I just don’t have enough discipline (or connections, or money).”

And the biggie:

• “I just wouldn't even know where to start.”

You know those parachute jumps where the instructor comes along for the ride?

That's what my nonfiction freelancing coaching sessions are like — only there's no videotape to share with your friends.

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Avoid beginner's mistakes; get into print with a writer by your side

I've taken the freelance plunge twice. The first time, I messed up royally, making nearly every mistake in the book. Then I put in more than a decade as a professional staff writer before coming full circle and deciding it was time to try freelancing again.

The second time, I did it right. I chose a specialty (science writing), and I leveraged my previous work to help get clients. Soon, I found myself at the top of a cliff digging dinosaur bones above the Arctic Circle one week, turning in stories to editors in New York, DC (and locally) the next.

What I want to give you is the one thing I didn't have starting out: The guidance of an experienced writer. With my experience behind you, you can save time and energy — and be on the road to meeting your goals sooner.

Two tracks to help two kinds of writers: beginners and pros!

Fast-Track 1: The First Step — For writers with less experience who want to get into print, build a portfolio and take other steps to establish themselves professionally.

This package includes something that your friends and family can't (or won't) give—an honest assessment of your current ability level and how editors are likely to view you, as well as a personalized roadmap showing you steps you should take to go pro. I also provide extensive resources suited to your needs, connecting you with appropriate associations, networks or individuals. Areas covered vary by individual. I work mainly with nonfiction writers, but will consider others. I suggest 1-2 months' commitment, with a follow-up in 6-12 months.

Fast-Track 2: The Next Step— For motivated, experienced, published nonfiction writers seeking a transition to freelancing, or looking to freelance on the side.

I expect your work already to be publication-quality, or nearly so. We'll be spending most of our time preparing you to turn your writing into a business. Fast-Track 2 coaching begins with an assessment of your available resources as well as abilities. Areas covered include:

• Transitioning to the freelance life
• Musts for your home office
• Marketing your services (online and off)
• Networking with editors, from anywhere
• Evaluating your market
• Creating story idea lists and query letters
• Using the Internet to expand beyond your local market

In both tracks, our meetings take place by phone (I call you) and are scheduled weekly or every other week. I call you, unless you request otherwise. Unlimited e-mail follow-ups are included.

Ongoing clients pay by month:Two phone sessions + e-mail follow-ups: $200/month

Four phone sessions + e-mail follow-ups: $300/month

Or, pay for 6 months in advance and get one month FREE.

I work with writers anywhere in the United States, not just in Alaska.


“The sessions were much more than I expected! You helped me consider aspects of becoming a freelancer that I hadn't even thought about, including working out a financial plan. Most of all you helped me get over the fear of making initial contact with clients by showing me how to prepare my approach.

“You supplied an invaluable collection of resources and networking opportunities that I will continue to draw from long after the coaching sessions.”

— Rose Marie Mayer,
Anchorage freelance writer


"This sounds great, but how do I know it'll be worth it?"

Like any writer, I have often informally helped out others by sharing my experiences or offering advice. But at a certain point, what a person really needs is someone to lead them through the steps, help when things get rough, and hold them accountable to their plans. My desire is to work with highly motivated nonfiction writers who seek to duplicate (or surpass) my own successes, and to whom I can afford to give plenty of time.

My hourly rate actually works out to less than you might think, because of the time I spend in between sessions preparing for our calls, reading your messages/manuscripts, doing research on your behalf and other services. I've just chosen to break down the rates "per session" in order to make your costs more predictable. (Of course, it's up to you to make the most of the time between calls.)

If it's credentials that concern you, I have a Master's degree in Journalism, plus more than 12 years as a professional writer under my belt. Additionally, I have previously been an adjunct professor and writing tutor as well as a daily newspaper writer and copy editor.

Add Web site services to your coaching order and take $25 off your total. Requesting information does not commit you to purchasing a coaching package.

Still not sure?
Try a no-risk trial…

Trial 1/2-hour phone session: $45*

*Trial phone session guarantee: Not quite ready to take the plunge? Wondering if I can help you? (Or maybe you have an issue that can be taken care of in a single call?) Try my no-risk trial phone session (including e-mailed links/resources just for you). Guarantee: If you don't end the call motivated to move forward and energized by the wealth of specific resources and information I've provided, just let me know by the end of the call, and I won't bill you.

By the way, the difference between what I do and what you get in a classroom is that my coaching is not pre-packaged. It's designed to change to meet your specific needs, all the while helping you work toward your own stated goals.

All services provided through AlaskaWriter LLC.

Order your trial session.

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