Insight — Five great newsletters for aspiring writers to subscribe to
Writing requires work, and to write well we often need a fair amount of time. Unfortunately, time is something not a lot of us have, particularly if you’re juggling a full-time job or university alongside your writing. Similarly, if you’re the only wordsmith amongst your friends it can be difficult to know who to turn to for writing-related advice, inspiration or a simple nudge to put pen to paper.
Our fantastic new editorial assistant Siham Ali has scoured her inbox to round up some of the newsletters she’s found most helpful for writers today – saving you from those regretful frenzy-induced subscribes made in the early hours of the morning. There’s something for everyone – so let’s get started...
The Professional Freelancer
For those looking to master freelance life
The Professional Freelancer, Anna Codrea-Rado
Anna Codrea-Rado is a freelance journalist who's written for a number of established titles, including The New York Times, The Guardian, VICE, The Paris Review, New York Magazine, WIRED, plus many more.
Anna Codrea-Rado curates The Professional Freelancer, a weekly newsletter about “making a sustainable living as a freelancer,” and regularly features opportunities to secure work. Whatever you’re going through as a freelancer, it’s pretty likely Anna has gone through it herself – so this newsletter is great if you want to feel a part of a wider community. Expect to see it in your inbox every Friday without fail, containing a mixed bag of treats – including a well-written response to an array of freelance questions and problems, from getting paid on time to what to do if you’re experiencing a freelance lull, plus it includes commissioned opportunities, curated links and occasional pictures of Anna’s dog, Dolly.
Considering Anna is a well-established journalist, it’s also a brilliant resource for when you find yourself in a tricky situation with a client, or when you’re deliberating over increasing your rates – and of course, the tax slump.
Freelance Writing Jobs
For those on the hunt for paid writing opportunities
Freelance Writing Jobs, Sian Meades-Williams
Sian Meades-Williams is a freelance writer, editor and author, specialising in lifestyle and travel. She founded interiors and lifestyle website, Domestic Sluttery and has just written her latest book, The Pyjama Myth – set to be every freelance writer's holy grail.
Sian compiles the Freelance Writing Jobs newsletter every Thursday, gifting us with flexible writing opportunities and pitch shout-outs. This newsletter exudes the same premise of being helpful, encouraging and practical, but focuses predominantly on paid opportunities. From writing schools to positions at Harper Collins, The Guardian and Elle, Sian has made it her mission to give writers a helping hand. It is truly a blessing to have a list of editors’ emails all collated for you, ready at your disposal.
Ultimately, if you’re having trouble finding editors to pitch to, or just can’t quite figure out what publication would best suit your style or idea, then this is for you. All you’ve got to do is pitch!
For those wanting to flex their creative muscles
Writing Tips, Nikesh Shukla
Nikesh Shukla is a British author, screenwriter, and editor of The Good Immigrant, a well-known collection of essays originally published in 2016.
Nikesh produces a weekly newsletter entitled Writing Tips, filled with prompts, advice and hilarious anecdotes. It is honestly a godsend. He’s the encouraging friend who’s constantly checking in on you and motivating you to write more. Every week he drops some nuggets of wisdom along with a number of creative prompts.
The structure is made up of an in-depth writing tip, followed by writing prompts and an update on Nikesh’s own personal writing journey. It’s exactly what you need on a Monday, especially if you’ve had a type-free weekend. Incredibly helpful, the prompts are intended to awaken your imagination and encourage you to try a different style of writing than the one you’re used to. This can be anything from a 1,000 word short story responding to a gruesome secret Santa gift, to jotting down the plot of your next book.
All in all, if you want to challenge yourself and see what you can do, then subscribe to Writing Tips and get ahead on your prompts.
For copywriters and book lovers
The Word, Sonder & Tell
Sonder & Tell is a creative communications agency that revels in the power of words and stories. Their weekly newsletter, The Word, provides a collection of prompts, ‘writing worth reading’ and is particularly useful for aspiring copywriters.
This weekly newsletter is incredibly multifaceted. Each week you’re certain to find a new book to read, an insightful bit of commentary, some advice, a writing prompt, an interview with a content creator spearheading the industry and a recommended ‘Storylist’ which captures each interviewees' recommended books, magazines, podcasts and websites.
The agency has a strong community of editors and writers, meaning you are provided with excellent professional insights. The newsletter is quick to read – perfect for an early morning commute and incredibly well-written. If you’re currently working in the world of brand marketing or copywriting, this is a fun and helpful alternative to staying in-the-know.
1000 Words of Summer
For those looking to meet a deadline
1000 Words of Summer, Jami Attenberg
Jami Attenberg is an American essayist, writer and author. She’s written across travel, food and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times, to name a few.
Back in 2018, Jami Attenberg set out to inspire and motivate her readers with her newsletter 1000 Words of Summer. The Aim? To write 1000 words every day from June 15th to 29th. This newsletter could only be described as a virtual writers group. Jami’s technique is to set her audience realistic deadlines – because setting unrealistic deadlines, like 3,000 words a day, often leads to disillusionment and self-deprecation.
It asks you to write 1,000 words every day for two weeks, which will amount to exactly fifty-six pages of your book. When you look at it like that, it feels a little easier, no? But, if you only manage to write 500 words a day, then don’t beat yourself up over it, says Jami, as that still gives you twenty-three pages that you most certainly didn’t have before. Joining 1000 Words of Summer is like joining a free literary community that encourages you to go at your own pace.