Notes from Barbara K. Adamski’s Talk

The Vancouver Chapter was pleased to host speaker Barbara K. Adamski at the meeting on Thursday, November 19th. Thanks to all those who made it out to the meeting. I hope to see you all at the holiday party on December 9th.

For those who could not make it, here are some of the highlights.

A brief bio: Barbara K. Adamski‘s non-magazine work is a combination of writing and editing but for corporations, small businesses, and educational institutions (and individual authors). Her forte as a writer and editor is studying the genre of the project, whether it be annual reports, audio scripts, or encyclopedia entries. It’s her skill in figuring out the constraints of a genre that allow her to reinvent herself and take on a variety of projects.  Barb is also fluent in Japanese and began her writing career in Japan.

Barb prides herself as a generalist, in stark contrast to our last speaker Colin Moorhouse.  She is a “stickler for detail” and meticulously fact-checks all of her work.

Tips from Barb:

  • mention things you can do as “value added” for a client. These things might include photography, film, voice work, layout, sourcing photos or editing. This can earn you extra income from the same client
  • put your skills out there
  • add some non-writing information to the “about me” section of your website. You never know what will be of interest to potential clients.

Tips for new writers:

  • try many publications and clients to decide who you like working for
  • don’t continue to work with clients that you don’t enjoy working with (unless dropping them means no groceries!)
  • when negotiating or pitching, make the connections for your clients. Relate other projects or past work experience to the job they want done to prove to them you can get the job done
  • if your website has enough variety on it, point the client in the direction of an article that may relate to what you want to write for them.

Finding work online:

  • evaluate sites carefully. Always verify and validate job postings by checking out the employer’s website. Don’t respond to jobs with no contact info and never do samples for free. (Sending samples of published work is fine and often necessary)
  • try professional job boards when looking for work. is a good one
  • Listservs may help you get work, if you behave well when you are on them. Be genuine and helpful and you might find that occasionally it results in work
  • PWAC has many listservs, including However, personal connections are a better way to get work. This means you need to get out and make those connections
  • is a place you can sell reprints of your articles. It is worth checking out.

Notes written by Sheila Whittaker. Thanks to Barb Adamski for speaking to us!


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