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5 Freelance Writing Tips for Your Best Feature Articles

Rochelle's journalism experience in college led her into writing feature stories and human interest articles for several newspapers.

Whether you're writing for a paper, a magazine, or a website, follow these guidelines to boost your work's chances of being featured.

Whether you're writing for a paper, a magazine, or a website, follow these guidelines to boost your work's chances of being featured.

When writing feature articles for a newspaper, magazine, or website, you will find that submissions go more smoothly when a few rules are followed. Some of these guidelines don't even involve touching the keyboard. Most of them are related to your interactions with the people you interview. If your article is focused on a person, a group, or a business, you may be conducting a lot of face-to-face conversations to gather your information.

In this article, you'll find five guidelines to adhere to during your research and writing process along with a section of shorter, simpler bonus tips to improve the quality of your work.

1. Don't Offer Previews to Story Subjects

One problem you might encounter when using interview sources for your story is having your interviewees wanting to preview or "approve" your story before it is submitted for publication. This is a bad idea for several reasons and is considered to be unprofessional.

Legally, giving a preview waives your rights against prior restraint and sets a legal precedent that could compromise anything you have written before it is published. Prior restraint is a part of first amendment law that could prohibit publication. Presumably, an individual or a government agency could edit or delete your words if you have previously given up your rights.

2. Confirm Details With Sources but Don't Let Them Edit or Approve Your Work

Even more likely is that an interviewee may want to "clean up" or rephrase their quotes to the point that the language sounds stilted and unnatural (everyone's an editor). Getting "approval" from your source gives the appearance of writing for that source rather than being objective and neutral.

Going back and forth with your subject also causes delays. Your editor has given you a deadline because the editor has a deadline. Your story may be held or killed if the deadline is missed. If an interviewee is concerned about his quotes, you might offer to read them back over the telephone, but don't give them something in writing to edit.

If you have doubts about something you have written, it's always a good idea to check back with the source to confirm technical or sensitive details. Again, this can be done verbally.

3. Use Multiple Sources

One lone source is not enough for a credible article. Almost every feature article or news-related story needs at least two sources—preferably more—to give a well-rounded view of the subject. Background information sources should be identified as coming from a particular documented source—either a person, organization, publication, or website.

Using anonymous sources is usually not allowed. If such information is used, the source identity must be disclosed to and approved by a top editor. If the person you are interviewing is making some sort of an allegation or accusation, an opportunity for response must be given to the other side. Make sure you understand libel and slander laws.

4. Create Opportunities by Knowing the Rules

Editors will want to see some samples of your work and will want you to understand the basic rules of grammar and objectivity. If your article samples convince them that your writing is good, informative, interesting, and has integrity, you will have a place to sell your writing on a regular basis.

Once you have the attention of an editor who approves of your style and skills, you can often run a story idea past them to gauge their interest in a particular person or subject you wish to write about. After establishing this relationship and getting pre-approval, you can approach potential subjects by telling them that the editor of (whatever publication) is interested in their story. It will open doors to writing opportunities all around you.

5. Don't Accept Gifts or Merchandise

Finally, don't accept gifts. The winemaker will want to give you a bottle if you write about his vineyard. The B&B owner will offer a free night's stay if you write about her lovely inn. This has happened to me, and I'll have to admit I did have a moment of hesitation before declining.

People will often think that they should offer, tickets, meals, and merchandise in appreciation for the attention you are bringing to them and their business. Sometimes, it can be hard to turn these down, but you will have to learn to do it graciously and let them know that you appreciate the thought. Tell them that as much as you would like to accept their offer, your employer won't allow you to do so.

If you feel you need to eat a meal at a restaurant to give a fair review, pay for it yourself. You might seek reimbursement from the publication, especially if you have made prior arrangements and indicated to the editor that there could be expenses involved in completing your article.

No one should be able to say that your article showed someone in a good light only because you got some kind of kickback. Don't make yourself feel obligated to any source. Don't sell your integrity and your reputation.

Quick-and-Easy Bonus Tips for Newspaper, Magazine, and Website Writing

  • Do your own pre-edits.
  • Use spell-check.
  • Follow grammar rules.
  • Stay objective. Don't insert yourself or your personal opinions.
  • Follow the AP Stylebook or the guide used by the publication.
  • Many editors will help you improve, but sloppiness will get your articles rejected fast.
  • Names are important. Double-check the spelling of all names. Ask each person you interview how their name is spelled even if it seems common. The name you think is "Sue", could be spelled Sioux or even Su. (I have actually met both of these people in person.)
  • If you are referencing the name of a celebrity, politician, band, organization, song, etc., check multiple internet sources. People hate it when you get their names wrong . . . and it happens way too often.
  • Check your facts and don't invent tales. If you invent backstory details, rearrange factual elements, or use your own assumptions (especially about real live people) they will come back to bite you—not the people, the falsehoods.
  • Remain neutral and objective. If you are taking on the role of reporter and interviewing a local official, for example, it is not appropriate to share your own views either in person or in writing. You are reporting their opinions and information. Even if they ask for your thoughts on their position, you should politely turn them down.
  • The "five Ws" (who, what, when, where, and why) should all be in your article no matter what kind of story you are writing.
  • Sometimes, there also should be a "how." Most editors look for a "nut-graf" or a summary paragraph that concisely tells what the story is about. This doesn't have to be the lead of your story unless it is a short news piece, but it should be somewhere near the beginning. In long stories, it might be a little further down.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Rochelle Frank

Comments

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on March 22, 2020:

Thank you very much,James. I was very lucky to work with an editor who wa willing to be a mentor.

James W Siddall from Cleveland on March 21, 2020:

Hi Rochelle, I enjoyed your article filled with practical advice. Mentors who are both skilled and encouraging make invaluable contributions to life as a freelancer! Jim

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 10, 2019:

Thank you for your comments. We are all still learning from each other. If not, we aren't paying attention. :)

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on September 10, 2019:

I appreciate your tips very much. I have been writing professionally for 30 years, yet I realize now that there is still much to learn, thanks to your article. Best wishes and have a good day.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on April 18, 2018:

Funny that you mentioned the names. Our oldest son is named Glenn and he insists on both of his n’s. As for the “gifting”, I think most people think you are doing them a favor and the are only trying to be polite, but it does muddy the waters. Even if you are completely objective, it could cause people to question that quality. Thanks, again.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on April 18, 2018:

I see a lot of journalists making the mistakes that you talked about, Rochelle. Some of them find it difficult to remain neutral, for one thing. As you discussed, they need to show the opinions of the people they interview, and not bring their own agenda into it.

Getting name spelling wrong is also quite common. I seem to be a victim of that, since a number of writers who refer to me spell my name with only one “n”. When I look closer at these writer's content, I notice that they get a lot of their information wrong. Getting names wrong is a clue that they don’t put enough effort into their work.

I think one of the most important points you made is what you discussed at the end of this article, about accepting gifts for reviews. I think it would be impossible to be totally unbiased if one were to write a review of a product in return for being given that product.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on November 05, 2016:

Thank you for commenting.Welcome to HubPages.

sunny khan on July 14, 2015:

its been really honour to talk with you Frank .....actually there are many thing we have to do for articles and the young generation or young people have facing lots of problem when they try to do something different actually my point is they need some guideness how can they get the right way if they have the guideline i think they will do some better thing i would say it would be most helpful to them i hope you can understand what i am trying to say .....if i disturbed you i am extremely sorry i beg your pardon but if its possible if you can help us that your kindnes ........thats it

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on December 01, 2014:

Thank you, Sunder1.

rahul from India on November 30, 2014:

tips are useful and worth applying

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 03, 2014:

Thank you,SavioC. I am glad you and others did.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 03, 2014:

Thank you, Arachnea. I'm glad you did, too.

SavioC on October 03, 2014:

Thanks for this wonderful and informative hub. I found it very useful.

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on October 03, 2014:

An excellent hub with great information. I'm glad I found it this morning.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 15, 2014:

Thanks for your kind comments, techygran. Getting a free stay at a nice place does sound tempting, but somehow doesn't seem quite right.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 14, 2014:

What a beautifully-written and interesting piece, Rochelle. I didn't realize that allowing an interviewee to preview your interview could result in such significant outcomes.

I also have to say that a number of 'writing courses' online hold out the carrot of successful 'travel writing' to include freebie stays in deluxe inns that you review. I appreciate your mentor, Ruth Hill, having highlighted principles that encouraged you to do the "right thing" to protect your reputation and integrity. Voted up and interesting/useful, and shared. ~Cynthia

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 30, 2014:

Thank you, mdscoggins. I appreciate your comment.

Michelle Scoggins from Fresno, CA on August 30, 2014:

Thank you for sharing Rochelle your article was enlightening. I also live in the local area and I read the FresnoBee.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on January 10, 2014:

Thanks for commenting, rebeccamealy. I'm glad it was helpful.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 10, 2014:

Thanks for the tips on freelance writing. This makes a good quick check sheet!

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 05, 2013:

If you have one that is willing to work with you, you can learn a lot. She knew her stuff-- and really helped me along.

Thank you for commenting, cashmere.

cashmere from India on August 05, 2013:

While I have been doing freelance writing assignments for over 8 years now, I still picked up a couple of new points. Dealing with self appointed editors is a skill that one needs to develop to work as a freelancer :)

Thank you for sharing.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on January 06, 2013:

Thank you, cabmgmnt. We all learn from each other.

Corey from Northfield, MA on January 05, 2013:

Thanks for the tips, I can use all the help I can get!

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on January 18, 2012:

Thank you. I am glad you found it helpful.

This is not something I came up with on my own. It was passed along to me by an experienced editor. I thought it made good sense and am happy to share the information.

Tony Fischer from Southeastern Michigan on January 14, 2012:

Thanks Rochelle! What a great resource. I have bookmarked it so I can use it for reference. Thank you for sharing your considerable professional knowledge and experience with hubpages!

Erin Bradley from New Zealand on January 14, 2012:

Thanks so much for all this really informative hub, particularly for those of us that are just starting out! Love the boundaries you set - hmm need that in more areas than just writing!

Caroline Marie on November 08, 2011:

Very informative. Thank you.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 02, 2011:

Thank you for your comment, ytsenoh.

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on September 01, 2011:

a wealth of information, well-written and organized. Thank you.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 30, 2011:

I hope all goes well for you. Good luck.

{unknown} on August 29, 2011:

very useful information i might won using this kind of a very useful words you have written to let everyone enhance their abilities and know more about writing a good feature article....

i looked at all of this because will fight on wednesday--thursday[august31-september1] thanks for your informative words you have adviced to us who can read this wonderful words writen...........

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 08, 2011:

It's always fun to share something that was given to you. Thanks, leann2800.

leann2800 on August 08, 2011:

Great advice. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 21, 2011:

Thanks, scoop. Glad it helped.

scoop on May 20, 2011:

Great advice and very useful :-)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 16, 2011:

Thank you, Mrs Menagerie. I'm glad that so many people find this useful. I know it helped me.

Mrs. Menagerie from The Zoo on May 16, 2011:

Very useful information, thank you! I bookmarked this one.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 09, 2011:

Thank you, writer. I was lucky to have a patient and enthusiastic editor.

writeronline on May 09, 2011:

Hi Rochelle, backatcha with the up and useful. This is more of the kind of helpful information that should encourage HP writers looking to earn, to test themselves on a wider playing field than the 'publish and pray' world of open platform article sites. Cheers.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 03, 2011:

Though each editor may have their own "rules", I think that most of these apply in most situations. Thanks for reading. Michael Willis. I appreciate the comment.

Michael Willis from Arkansas on May 03, 2011:

Wow, what a great informative hub. I remember learning a lot of this in college. You have added more to it than I learned and I am grateful. I can use this to help brush up some rusty writing skills. Thanks.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on April 27, 2011:

Thank you, dusy. I'm glad you liked the suggestions and I hope they help with your continuing improvement.

dusy7969 from San Diego, California on April 27, 2011:

I take interest to write the good article.You tell the best tips to write the article.I feel easy and improve to write the article in performance.Thanks for this hub.Continue your work.

kiwi91 from USA on April 05, 2011:

Really helpful. The only interviews I've done have been via email, but these are all things to consider for down the line. I like your author's note at the bottom. A lot of hubbers and writers in general forget about that little P.S. at the bottom, which is one of the most read areas of a web page (I'm guilty of forgetting that little tidbit myself).

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on March 08, 2011:

Thank you, Jeff May. I know you are an experienced writer, and I'm sure fiction has its own set of rules. I guess one advantage is that your characters don't ask for a fact check. I appreciate your comment.

Jeffrey Penn May from St. Louis on March 08, 2011:

Intersting about the interview and the gifts. Never thought of it before but it does make sense. Good hub.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on February 03, 2011:

Thanks Song-Bird-- I'll bet you have a lot to write about.

Renee Hanlon from Michigan on February 03, 2011:

Great tips! I may want to get into article submissions and found your hub to be very helpful. Thank you!

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on January 20, 2011:

Thanks, LyndaD.

The "having three sources" was a requirement from this particular editor for human interest and feature articles.. However, I think it is a good standard to follow as it does add credibility, interest and depth to your article.

It also indicates that you have 'gone the extra mile' to round out your story. It is much easier to be lazy about this, but I think people notice when you take that additional step.

LyndaD on January 20, 2011:

Great hub!! It was a great refresher from the Print Journalism course I took, My professors could not have said it better themselves. Would you say having 3 sources, etc. should apply to a hub article as well?

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on January 03, 2011:

Thanks for commenting, MoneyCreator24. I'm glad you found something helpful.

MoneyCreator24 on January 03, 2011:

Thank you for these helping words. Very useful. voted up

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on December 21, 2010:

That makes it a little more tricky. If someone is paying you to publish, you might ask for advice from the payer.

Your client should believe that you are not going to be negative. You could read the clients parts that you think might bother them, or else try to reassure them that it all puts them in a good light.

Shadesbreath from California on December 20, 2010:

Oh, there you go, complicating it just when it was getting simple. What if they aren't paying me for the article, but they are a client that I'm quoting. lol.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on December 19, 2010:

I remember one interview subject who really wanted to see my article before publication. I can understand his concern because he was in the medical field and had previously had the experience of being misquoted in print.

I had to do a lot of re-assuring and I even read some of his quotes to him on the phone. All turned out well and he was happy with the article.

It also would depend on who you are writing for and who is paying you. If you are quoting the person who is paying you, it's a different game.

Shadesbreath from California on December 19, 2010:

Great advice. YOu're the first person I ever saw say outloud not to let sources see their quotes. That's actually really awesome advice, and I'm going to take it (I write up stuff for marketing advertorials and that has been an area that I felt was squishy... like I really should let them see it. No more.!)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on November 07, 2010:

Yes, you are right. It can be very tempting, but you can't get "clean" back again, once you accept the gift.

I have found myself almost going overboard in assuring them that I reeeeeely appreciate their offer, and it was soooo very kind... but I couldn't compromise the rules I agreed to.

I have had some people say they didn't want to insult someone by declining their offer, but that's a cop out. If you explain it correctly they will respect your integrity.

I could have had a nice case of wine from the vineyard owner I interviewed, but could not have enjoyed drinking it.

I did buy a couple of bottles-- and the price must have been his wholesale rate-- but that was ok, I think.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on November 07, 2010:

Hi Rochelle - Another very fine article with tons of sound advice. One piece of advice is so very important - not to have even the smallest appearance of being "bought" by the subject people of your writings.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s I was assigned to "Project Apollo" in the USAF. We were inundated with merchant's reps, most of whom wanted to "buy us a lunch, etc." It was a strict order that we never take so much as a cup of coffee or a cigarette from the sellers. I had many friends among them and so I was the one who had to buy them a cup of coffee or a lunch. Ordinarily, that was a shock to them, but it kept things mighty clean.

Gus :-)))

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 16, 2010:

You are welcome, Phyllis Doyle. Thanks for reading.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on October 16, 2010:

Very helpful information, Rochelle. Thank you.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 16, 2010:

I'm glad you found it useful, GmaGoldie.( And I'm sorry, but you ARE a writer.) The owl image was captured by my friend Linda Gast who found it dozing under her deck. We made a children's book out of her photos. Saw-Whet owls are one of the smallest N. American species-- about the size of a soda can.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on October 16, 2010:

Rochelle Frank,

I consider myself a compiler not a writer but this is really helpful stuff - thank you very much! Love your avatar - I reference owls often - magnificent creatures.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 06, 2010:

I'm glad you found it helpful, anglnwu.

anglnwu on October 06, 2010:

Valuable information. I could use some of these information. Thanks.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on October 01, 2010:

Thanks for reading, D. Virtual.Doctor. I'm glad you found it informative. I'm sure it's way easier than surgery.

Funom Theophilus Makama from Europe on September 30, 2010:

This is truly a great hub to read. These tips are really tricky and informative as well.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 05, 2010:

Yes, since learning that one I've always just told people that it is against the policy of the publication I am working for-- (for legal reasons) but, I also let them know I would be willing to answer any of their particular concerns, or check facts with them.

Previews open a can of worms.

In relation to that, I had a chance yesterday (at our county fair) to visit with an artist I had written a story about. I had visited a class she was teaching at the time and had done more observing and chatting with the students, than actually talking to her. This was at least six or seven years ago.

When I reminded her about the encounter... she began to tell me how much she enjoyed the article and began reeling of certain details I had long forgotten.

One point of this is-- Your subjects will remember, long after you have forgotten. Getting it right-- making it truthful, lasts along time.

about six or seven years ago.

RedElf from Canada on September 05, 2010:

I always thought it a bad idea to allow an interviewee to preview the article - that you were asking for trouble (and, probably, interminable rewrites) but I hadn't realized that you were legally granting them right of approval. Thanks for that one ;)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 27, 2010:

Thanks, eafblog. As I said, I'm just passing along things that helped me.

eafblog from everywhere on August 27, 2010:

Informative hub Rochelle...thanks for your valuable tips.I am new here and still learning how it works but your experience in writiing published here give us an opportunity to learn faster!!i hope you accept my follow request!

thank you!...;)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on July 19, 2010:

There are several writers on Hubpages who write freelance features for the internet. I have not really done that except for HubPages, and am not really familiar with the ones you are seeking.

I learned most of this when I was doing human interest and local interest pieces for a newspaper. The same principles apply, I'm sure, but there are many others here who do work for internet sites. Do some searching and I'm sure you will find lots of them.

Thanks for commenting.

Dchosen_01 on July 19, 2010:

Nice articles, do you know more sites, where I can get paid for freelancing jobs. Asides the ones you listed here, I know Odesk.com and I registered there already. But just to widen up my chances, I will really appreciate it if you can share on more of those sites

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on July 13, 2010:

Thank you, KKGals. I found the tips helpful when someone gave them to me.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on July 13, 2010:

I absolutely agree that you should never accept gifts. Your tips and advice are terrific and your writing style is wonderful. Your rules are all something we need to keep in mind when wrtiting.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on July 12, 2010:

I appreciate your comments. Oddly enough I don't think I printed this one out to re-read-- that'll teach me. I just went back and corrected a few typos.

Shil1978 on July 12, 2010:

Rochelle - thank you for this very informative hub. A good guide for those aspiring to write for newspapers and magazines!!

Also, agree with your tip about printing out your work and reading it to catch errors. That does work!!

Thanks again, Rochelle, for this informative hub :)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on June 27, 2010:

Thank you for your kind comment, couponalbum. You must not have gotten to my 'just-plain-silly' ones.

couponalbum from Sunnyvale, CA on June 26, 2010:

You know what, I really love reading your articles. They are always informative and inspiring. Thanks for a wonderful article. :)

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on June 25, 2010:

The 'rules' can change a bit, depending on your editor or your goals, but most of them are good to keep in mind. Thanks for commenting Peggy W.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 24, 2010:

You are very kind to share this advice from people who influenced and taught you things about the correct ways of writing. While the vast majority of us may never write for newspapers, this is something to enrich our writing styles no matter where they may end up being published.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on June 13, 2010:

Some of them were a surprise to me, even though I had taken a lot of journalism classes, I hadn't thought of them.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 12, 2010:

Rochelle, these are great tips for folks who may want to move beyond HP. A lot of things I bet folks don't even think about!

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on June 07, 2010:

Donna, Nice to hear from you! Hope all is going well.

Thanks for reading, alexandriaruthk.

alexandriaruthk from US on June 07, 2010:

great information, Thanks!

Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on June 07, 2010:

Rochelle, good reminders for we writers!

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on June 02, 2010:

I think you are a very good writer. Thank you for the wonderful comments.

Lita C. Malicdem from Philippines on June 02, 2010:

I'm not a committed writer here but I enjoy reading lots of hubs. Perhaps it's simply because I want to learn from what I read. You are one of those who inspire me to write. Thanks for the wonderful tips.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 30, 2010:

Thanks, katiem2. I was just very lucky to get an editor who was REALLY focused on helping her new writers learn the ropes. I don't think it was required in her job description, but she was smart enough to know that passing along suggestions was beneficial to everyone.

Katie McMurray from Westerville on May 30, 2010:

This is good advice. It took me a while to nail down all these helpful tips and a lot of trial and error, freelance writing for newspapers, magazines and eZines is a great resource. I'll remember this the next time someone ask me for help.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 20, 2010:

Thank you for your question. I have edited the article in hopes of making my point more understandable.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on May 19, 2010:

Thank you so much Rachelle, I really appreciate this clarification

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 19, 2010:

Yes, you are right that publishers and editors will want to see examples of your work, which is understandable. I am not talking about that.

I am referring to the specific situation where you go to interview a private person or a public official on a certain subject. Usually you will have an OK from an editor, who knows you are working on the article.

If the interviewee asks to see (approve) the article before it is published, and copyrighted, any person or agency should have the same right. It is a technical detail which could circumvent "freedom of the press".

I have given some suggestions about why and how this can be avoided. If in doubt-- especially if dealing with a sensitive subject, check with the editor or publisher you are working with.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on May 19, 2010:

I am not sure I understand the part about “giving a preview waives the rights against prior restraint”.

Publishers will usually want to see the writing abilities of a journalist and the potential of a story in terms of being or not interesting or appropriate for the type of business they are conducting.

Could you please elaborate on this point, thank you, Petra

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 02, 2010:

You are welcome drbj-- it was advice given to me. I have to share it.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 26, 2010:

Rochelle - this was a very thorough examination of some of the pitfalls a beginning writer should be aware of and avoid.

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on April 18, 2010:

I'm only passing along what I learned, Duchess. A lot of this is not taught in journalism classes, well, maybe some of it is, but going through the experience makes it real. When I interviewed the lady with the beautiful B&B, it was hard to regretfully decline a free night's stay.

Duchess OBlunt on April 18, 2010:

Interesting to learn that you give up your rights the minute you let the 'interviewed' review it first.

Thank you for sharing your expertise, I appreciate learning from those willing to teach Rochelle Frank

Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on April 17, 2010:

You are right, Om Paramapoonya. And studies show.....

Thanks for commenting.

Om Paramapoonya on April 17, 2010:

Great hub! All freelance writers should take these basic rules to heart. One writing tip I'd like to add is that most editors tend to prefer specific details. They don't like vague phrases, such as "some experts" or "recent studies." I'm not sure if all editors are like this, but my editors are. So it's better to describe in details who the experts are, when the studies were conducted, etc.