Monday, April 20, 2009

GUEST Q&A with C. Hope Clark

Our guest Q&A today is with C. Hope Clark, the editor of Welcome, Hope.

QUESTION: Since my blog is on editors and proofreaders, does Funds for Writers help editors and proofreaders?

ANSWER: FundsforWriters helps anyone in the writing business. While the majority of contests and markets posted lean toward freelance writers, the job gigs are open to editors, proofers, writers and even public relations. I like to think that editors like to stretch their talents and write on occasion, too, so FundsforWriters embraces them as well as writers.

QUESTION: How much of a relationship have you had between writers and editors/proofreaders?

ANSWER: Since I'm both a writer and an editor, I can say I go both ways - LOL. I provide opportunities for writers not only through the postings at the web site and through the newsletters, but I purchase first rights to features from writers for my newsletters, making me an editor. Gosh I hate rejecting people - at least those I can see have tried to present a decent piece. An editor can tell when someone's heart is in the words. Now, rejecting those who sling a first draft piece to me isn't quite so difficult.

The FFW guidelines are straightforward, frankly. 600 words of nonfiction on a topic that aids writers earning a living at the craft. I adore someone with experience in grants - applying, judging, attending retreats, etc. I also love someone with a new twist on selling articles - unusual topics, fun markets, tips on grabbing an editor's attention. But I definitely have to don the editor's hat when working the newsletters. I wish every writer could play both roles at some point in their careers, so they can understand the difficulty of an editor.

I believe everyone needs a proofreader, too. I have one in Ohio. Judy reviews my material each week. It never fails when she's on vacation that I make a silly grammatical mistake that results in a zillion emails from readers who love pointing out errors. A definite ARGH moment.

QUESTION: What are some of your experiences with editors?

ANSWER: I've had mostly good relationships with magazine editors. I do try to present as perfect a package to an editor as possible so we have to have as little exchange as possible. No point in wasting either of our times. While networking is nice, we all know that time is money, and I hate abusing an editor's minutes that could be spent elsewhere. I've had one seriously negative experience, and that was with a children's publication. I wrote the teeny little piece - 175 words, I believe - and had them completely rewrite it. I mean the end result wasn't even close to what I presented. Since they offered to pay me anyway, without question, I went along. It wasn't a major piece, and I had no professional equity in the column. Then they apologized about being unable to pay me due to the economy. Guess that was a combination of management and editor. I no longer recommend them to anyone and won't post their calls for submission - the advantage of having your own mouthpiece online - LOL.

QUESTION: Have you worked with an editor for your own work?

ANSWER: Frankly, no, I haven't. I use two critique groups to dissest and analyze my fiction. My nonfiction is self-edited or channeled through my proofreader in Ohio. But I'm a huge advocate of critique groups, assuming you match yourself to the right one and develop a thick enough skin to let the magic happen.

QUESTION: Do you edit any material other than your own newsletters?

ANSWER Actually, I just stepped into consulting, to include editing. The editing requests I receive are usually fiction or memoir-related. It's a phenomenal feeling to edit a chapter or story and send it back with comments to a struggling writer. They get so excited at seeing the potential of their work. It's so rewarding. Sometimes I use my FFW experience to cross into finding them agents and publishers as well, so they can take their work and find a home for it. I'm enjoying this new part of FundsforWriters.

Thanks, Hope.

Subscribe to Hope Clark's newsletters at and follow her blog at

C. Hope Clark

Editor, FundsforWriters,
Writer's Digest 101 Best Web Sites for Writers - 2001 through 2009
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