Early Bird Registration for The Art of Interviewing Is Now Open!

FREELANCE WRITERS (and anyone else interested in learning how to conduct a good interview) — it’s Early Bird Registration time for The Art of Interviewing, a one-day online course I’m teaching in conjunction with Hugo House this summer.

The class takes place on Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific time. We’ll meet over Zoom and cover the following information:

If you want to build your freelance career, you need to know how to interview. How do you find and interview a source when your editor wants your draft by Friday? What questions should you avoid? What do you do when your source wants to approve the interview before it’s published? This course will cover the mechanics of interviewing, including how to locate sources, how to prep the interview, and how to help your source feel comfortable during the process.

I’ve taught this course several times, and — because my classes are always about doing, not just talking about doing — every student will conduct an actual interview as part of the course.

Like, we literally spend the first hour discussing the mechanics of interviewing, then I pair everyone off and tell them to spend the next hour interviewing each other. Then we meet up again and spend an hour talking about what went well, what could have gone better, and how we can use all of this newly-learned information the next time we interview someone.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO INTERVIEW OR BE INTERVIEWED, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.

No, wait, I should rephrase it as a challenge:

IF YOU WANT TO INTERVIEW SOMEONE AND TO BE INTERVIEWED BY SOMEONE

(BOTH OF WHICH WILL TEACH YOU A LOT ABOUT THE INTERVIEWING PROCESS)

YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS CLASS.

Also, you should sign up before March 22 so you can save $10 on Early Bird pricing. ❤️

p.s. the interviews will not be super-personal, I ask students to talk about something they have expert knowledge in (as opposed to “tell me about your childhood”)

p.p.s. yes, everyone has expert knowledge in something

Let Your Creative Practice Be Your Anchor

Nicole Dieker hopes she’ll get to teach another HappyWriter course soon, and she promises she’ll tell you as soon as the next one is set up.

Yesterday, I had my second session with a group of HappyWriter students, discussing how to build a creative practice and what to do when life gets in the way.

One of my students asked a very interesting question about — well, I won’t tell you what the question was, because that feels like it violates teacher/student confidentiality, but I will tell you how I answered:

“There are going to be times, for all of us, when life becomes unstable. You’re going to be tempted to let your writing practice go during those times — and that is always an option. My personal creative practice kind of disappeared at the beginning of the pandemic, and it disappeared again when I bought and moved into my first house this summer. I know what it’s like to have a concern that’s so pressing that it dominates your thoughts and makes it very difficult to think of, much less create, anything new.”

“But,” I continued, “if you find yourself in a situation where the instability or flux or stuckness is somewhat open-ended, if the issue is less that you’re spending six weeks moving into a house and more that you don’t know what your life is going to look like in six months, let your creative practice be your anchor. Make the time, keep the time, do the work. Your anchor can keep you in place, even if you’re in the middle of some very rough water.”

“And then,” I said, “when the water is calm again and you can start moving, your anchor comes with you. Because that’s how boats work.”

I mean, I only know a very little about how boats work, but L confirmed that both my physics and my metaphor were in the right place.

He also asked me, mostly as a joke, if I told the class that the only reason I could make a boat metaphor at all was because he and I spent so much time on his pontoon boat last summer.

I hadn’t mentioned it, nor did I even hint that L was the person who taught me to love boats and lakes and coves and kayaks — which is why I’m telling you now. ❤️

New In-Person Class at the Iowa Writers’ House

If you’re in the Iowa City area in February, I’m teaching a class on how to build your own creative writing practice. Hope to see you there! ❤️

Making Space for Creativity: How to Develop a Writing Practice

Iowa Writers’ House

Saturday, February 8, 2020. 1:30pm-4:30pm.

Successful writers understand that writing is not just an art—it’s also a practice. If you’re having trouble finding time to write or feel like you lack the motivation to complete your writing projects, this class is for you. Students will learn how to track their creative energy throughout the day, evaluate their schedules and routines to set aside time for writing, use measurable goals to shape and inform their writing practice, and discuss how to remain committed to their writing practice long-term. All writers welcome, no matter your level of experience.

New Class Announcement: How to Develop a Writing Practice

It’s time to register for fall writing classes at Hugo House, and I’m teaching an online course that will help you develop your own writing practice.

This group course is self-directed, which means you’ll complete the assignments at your own pace but you’ll also be working alongside other writers/classmates. You’ll be able to help and encourage each other, as well as participate in group discussions about the writing life.

The class runs for four weeks and costs $240, but if you register before August 27, you get a $20 Early Bird Discount! 🐦🐦🐦

Here’s the link to register, along with the course dates and description:

HOW TO DEVELOP A WRITING PRACTICE

September 19—October 10, 2019

Successful writers understand that writing is not just an art—it’s also a practice. If you’re having trouble finding time to write or feel like you lack the motivation to complete your writing projects, this class is for you. Students will learn how to track their creative energy throughout the day, analyze their schedules to set aside time for writing, use measurable goals to maximize productivity while writing, and discuss how to remain committed to their writing practice long-term.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the course! This is the second time I’ll be teaching this online course, and the first session went extremely well. I’m very excited to share this class with a new group of students. ❤️

I’m Teaching Two Online Writing Classes This Summer

It’s time for another round of online classes! Here’s what I’m teaching this summer:

HOW TO GET STARTED AS A FREELANCER

June 25–July 16, 2019

How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelancer for nearly a decade, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how freelancers make money; how to pitch (even when you don’t have clips); how to build a freelancer schedule that combines writing, pitching, networking, and administrative work; and how to grow your earnings over time.

THE ART OF INTERVIEWING

August 8–August 15, 2019

If you want to build your freelance career, you need to know how to interview. How do you find and interview a source when your editor wants your draft by Friday? What questions should you avoid? What do you do when your source wants to approve the interview before it’s published? This course will cover the mechanics of interviewing, including how to locate sources, how to prep the interview, and how to help your source feel comfortable during the process.

Both classes are being run through Seattle’s Hugo House in partnership with WetInk.

These are self-directed courses, in the sense that you can complete the work at your own pace—however, you’ll also be part of a group of students all taking the class at the same time, so you’ll get the benefit of being able to discuss ideas, share thoughts, and build your writing network.

Plus, you’ll have me around to provide guidance and feedback.

On the subject of feedback, here’s what a previous student had to say about my “How to Get Started as a Freelancer” course:

I took Nicole’s freelancing class. By the end of the class, I had submitted my first pitch, had it accepted and the article published. She guided us through the process of building a freelance career, with concrete steps to get started, ongoing resources for growth and answers to wide-ranging questions. She taught one of the most informative classes I’ve taken and she did it while providing individualized information for each member of the class.

Beth Swanson, freelance writer and journalist

Hugo House member registration begins on June 3, and general registration begins on June 11. If you register before June 17, you’ll get $20 off.

Hope to see you in class! ❤️

Registration Is Open for Two New Online Classes: The Finances of Self-Publishing and How to Develop a Writing Practice

Very excited to announce that I’m teaching two online classes with Hugo House this spring!

Take The Finances of Self-Publishing if you’re planning to self-publish a book and want to know 1) how much it’ll cost to produce the book and 2) how much you might earn back in sales. It’s a short course — just two hours’ worth of material spread over two weeks.

Take How to Develop a Writing Practice if you want to learn how to make time to write a book, a blog, or anything else you’ve been itching to put into words. This four-week course will get you writing right away, and help you build writing habits that will last a lifetime.

Both courses are group courses, which means that although you can work at your own pace within the course (there aren’t any class sessions that meet at specific times or anything like that), you’ll be part of a group of students who are all taking the same course at the same time. It’s an excellent way to get to know other writers.

Registration for both courses opens today, and you can get Early Bird pricing if you register before March 19.

Full course details below. If you have questions about either of these courses, leave ’em in the comments!

THE FINANCES OF SELF-PUBLISHING

April 18–April 25, 2019

Self-publishing is easier than ever—but it isn’t cheap. When you become your own publisher, you take on all the costs associated with publication: hiring editors and designers, getting industry reviews, planning book launches and book tours. This course will cover the finances of self-publishing, explain the types of expenses you can expect as a first-time publisher, and discuss ways to keep your costs low while still creating a professional-quality book.

HOW TO DEVELOP A WRITING PRACTICE

April 30—May 21, 2019

Successful writers understand that writing is not just an art—it’s also a practice. If you’re having trouble finding time to write or feel like you lack the motivation to complete your writing projects, this class is for you. Students will learn how to track their creative energy throughout the day, analyze their schedules to set aside time for writing, use measurable goals to maximize productivity while writing, and discuss how to remain committed to their writing practice long-term.

Online classes, the Freelance Writers Den, and the BOOP book sale

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

Three quick news updates for y’all! ONE TWO THREE!

1. I’m teaching another round of my online course How to Get Started as a Freelancer, through Hugo House/WetInk. Early Bird pricing runs through December 10, and the class itself runs from January 12 through February 9. You get one lesson per week, and each lesson and its associated assignments should take roughly two hours to complete. Plus, you get to hang out with me and the other students online! It’s super fun and you should totally take this class if you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer.

2. I always recommend Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers Den to early-career freelancers — it’s a $25-per-month members-only freelance community that includes a very active forum, plenty of early-career resources, and an exclusive job board — and Den membership opens THIS FRIDAY. Use this link (yes, it’s an affiliate link, #fulldisclosure) to learn more about the Den and get notified when membership opens. After this membership period closes, the next one won’t open until Summer 2019, so if you’re thinking about it… DO IT.

3. The Kindle editions of The Biographies of Ordinary People are on sale through the end of the year. Get ’em both for $5.98, or pick one volume for $2.99.

Also, since I’ve just shown you three ways of… um… giving me money, I want to give you something in return. Please enjoy the YouTube version of The OneUps’ Super Mario Sleigh Ride, which is my absolute favorite holiday music track ever recorded. ❤️

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

Registration is now open for How to Get Started as a Freelancer!

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

I told you I’d remind you when registration opened for my new online course, How to Get Started as a Freelancer… and TODAY IS THE DAY. Register now, or any time before September 3, and you’ll get $20 off the price; register later and you’ll pay the full $235.

Here’s a quick reminder of what you can expect from this course:

  • Four weeks (September 29 through October 27)
  • Self-directed
  • Approximately two hours of work per week (to be completed at your own pace)
  • A step-by-step guide to help you build a freelance career, to include:
    • How to identify your beat
    • How to identify potential clients
    • How to pitch those clients
    • How to write an article
    • How to write more quickly
    • How to conduct interviews
    • How to build an online presence
    • How to network
    • How to schedule your time
    • How to predict and grow your earnings
    • How to identify and pitch higher-paying clients so you can keep growing your earnings
  • Access to a discussion group where you can chat with other writers and ask me questions
  • Spreadsheets, templates, podcast episodes, AND MORE

Here’s that registration link again, just in case you need it. Hope to see you in class! ❤️

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.

New Writing Classes, Both In Person and Online!

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

I’ve got three classes coming up in the next few months, including my first-ever online course, so here’s what you need to know:

First, I’m teaching two courses at the Iowa Writers’ House. If you are in-or-around Iowa City, I’d love to see you at one — or both! Here are the deets and the sign-up links:

The Path to Publishing

There’s no single path towards publication — you can query an agent and get picked up by a traditional publisher, you can work with a small press, or you can take on both the writing and publishing responsibilities and build your career as a self-published author. This course will outline all of the available paths to publication for both fiction and nonfiction writers, offer the pros and cons of each, and give you actionable next steps for whichever path you choose.

The Path to Freelancing

How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker is in her seventh year of full-time freelancing, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how freelancers make money: how to pitch (even when you don’t have clips); how to build a freelancer schedule that combines writing, pitching, networking, and administrative work; and how to grow your earnings over time.

I’m also teaching my first-ever online course: How to Get Started as a Freelancer, a four-week online course offered through Seattle’s Hugo House. This self-directed course runs from September 29 to October 27. You’ll get a weekly set of lessons and homework assignments to be completed at your own pace; you’ll also get access to a classroom discussion board where you can get to know other writers.

If you’re a Hugo House member, you can register for this course on Tuesday, August 21; if you’re a non-member, you’ll have to wait until Tuesday, August 28. YES, I WILL REMIND YOU. The course costs $211.50 for members and $235 for non-members, but you get a $20 discount if you register before September 3.

How to Get Started as a Freelancer will be a lot like The Path to Freelancing — in fact, they have the exact same course description. I’ve taught this class several times, and it is popular for a reason. My lesson plan gets results, and students do in fact build freelance careers.

That kinda sounds like I’m bragging on myself, but really I’m bragging on my students. I’ve given them the pitch template; they’ve been the ones to develop and send the pitches (and complete the articles, and build the relationships with editors, and so on). If you’ve been thinking about starting your own freelancing or publishing career, I hope you consider taking one of my courses — whether you’re in Iowa City for the in-person version, or signing in to the discussion board for the online one. ❤️

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash.