January 07, 2004
Stretching For Success By Kathryn Higginbottom Gorin
Daycare is expensive. As the mother of three, my income was not enough to justify working outside of the home. So, I handed in my letter of resignation and began to actively seek freelance work to pay the bills and feed my kids.
On the WritersWeekly.com Freelance Job Listings, I found a link to the CBC Radio Freelancer Forum. As a print writer, radio was a BIG stretch, but a little desperate for paying markets, I registered for the CBC forum and newsletter. In one of the newsletters was a request for "consumer" pitches requiring freelancers to test several products and tell which gave consumers the best bang for their buck. The finished pieces were only 3 or 4 minutes long and I knew that this was something I could do.
The first idea I pitched compared baby-proofing products - my two year old had figured out how many items he could shove down the drain of the bathroom sink. I tested three products to see which would Baby-proof, but not Mommy-proof my bathroom.
I e-mailed the producer and was amazed to get a response the same day. They liked my idea, but wanted to know how much experience I had in radio. I gulped hard and e-mailed back, "None." I assumed I would be rejected immediately, but much to my surprise she requested that I connect with the local producer.
The local producer reviewed my script and e-mailed it back with a few changes. We booked a time to "voice my piece" and I went to the studio. It was intimidating but really pretty simple, especially with the producer coaching me through every step.
Much to my surprise, radio was not that much of a stretch! This was an easy transition that opened up a whole new realm of paying markets for my writing. In less than six weeks from my first pitch, the piece was accepted, recorded, played on air and the paycheck was in my hand. I am now working on my third piece for this producer and preparing to pitch ideas to other radio shows.
Kathryn Higginbottom Gorin is a Freelance Writer and Communications Consultant in Surrey, BC, Canada.