1. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Writing Portfolio

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Blackwaltz, Nov 16, 2009.

    What goes in a professional writing portfolio. I've never learned and looking for professional work has been difficult because I don't know what to put into the portfolio. Help:confused:
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For fiction writers, your portfolio is your published works to date. For a given submission, only provide the part of portfolio in the same genre, unless your portfolio is extensive in other genres and thin in the genre you are trying to break into.

    Oh, and of course the manuscript you are trying to sell. :)
     
  3. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Thank you very much.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what kind of work are you looking for?... one doesn't need an actual 'portfolio' for writing fiction, since fiction writers aren't kept on staff, as non-fiction ones are, other than in the the tv and film industries...

    if you're referring to a freelance writer's portfolio, that would include clips of your best paid work for magazines and other paying venues, such as work for private clients...
     
  5. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Well I've been trying to get into fiction writing and also comics. At the same time I've been trying to do review work for a few websites. I keep seeing "portfolio" mentioned so I wanted to know what I needed.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For artwork, such as comic panels, you'll need a portfolio. For fiction, you don't.
     
  7. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Well I'm no artist sadly. I just want to write them.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to be hired to do reviews, what you need is 'clips' of your best paid reviews and other work, as noted above... that may be what non-fiction venues are referring to as a 'portfolio'...
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    With comics, you can go one of two routes: either find an artist yourself and collaborate on a book, then try to get that published as per usual, or you can approach a comics publisher with a script. The latter is the harder way to go, since there is no concrete format for comic scripts as there is for screenplays or stage plays, however if you wanted to use protected, pre-existing characters in your work, you would need to approach the publishers with a script before you began anything else.
     
  10. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Thats good to know. Does anybody know a small publisher(s) that are more likely to look at a new writier? I know not to chase after the big leagues but I'm seeing a huge list of publishers and not really sure which to talk to.
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Your best bet is to get an agent. They'll hunt down suitable publishers for you and negotiate a contract. Check out Writer's Market or just do some searching online looking in particular agents who represent graphic novels. Or go to your bookshop and look at the graphic novels there and see who published/represented them.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what is it you're trying to get published?... a graphic novel?... a comic book?... a straight novel, or what?

    and yes, it's best to try to snag an agent, first...
     
  13. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Well right now I don't have one specific story I want to get published. Just a bunch of smaller ones in different genres that I like. I've found a few different publishers and I'm going to send them some writing samples and plot synopsises, see who bites. Thank you for all of your help
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Woah, there! You only want to offer finished pieces of writing. Forget writing samples. Forget synopses of work that has not been written. Publishers want a completed product, not an idea for something that may never be built, or may be poorly executed.
     
  15. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    What I'm going to be sending is fully done scripts. Anything I send in will either be a "one-shot" or I'll have a few issues planned ahead before I send in the finished product. Some of the companies have requested only a few fully done pages with plot synopsises, but I would rather have the script done just in case.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    now you're talking about 'scripts'!?... so are you writing screenplays, or prose fiction?

    in any case, no one will buy ideas, or 'hire' you to finish writing anything based on an idea or samples...

    publishers and producers only buy completed books/screenplays... they do not have time to waste on anyone who has only ideas and no finished works to show them...

    and what are you referring to as 'issues'???...
     
  17. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Individual comics are called issues. 7 issues would be 7 comic books. I have 1 completed script, basically one issue. A lot of the publishers I've looked up have asked for that and a story synopsis for a few more issues.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since you mentioned 'fiction' and 'comics' and 'review work' it wasn't clear which you were referring to, in re sending in just ideas and issues... which is what caused the confusion... now that you're being more specific, we can offer specific advice...

    first of all, i doubt comic book publishers will be all that interested in buying text only, for new characters/series, since most [if not all] who approach with original comic book proposals submit both text and art... and i don't know if they have artists on staff, just to add art to submitted new series text, since they usually buy the whole package...

    that said, it's possible that an artist whose books are currently being published may be interested in text-only submissions for either their current series, or a new one... i don't know enough about the industry to be sure on that, but it would seem so, from just a common sense pov...

    if what you want to submit to publishers is story ideas for existing comics, you'll have to check out each publisher, to see which ones will accept cold queries from unagented, non-artist writers... this should help:

    http://comicbooks.about.com/od/comicbookpublishers/The_Publishers_of_Comics.htm

    best of luck to you... m
     
  19. Blackwaltz
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    Blackwaltz Member

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    Thanks! I've actually been going through a similar list of publishers. I've found about 6 or 7 that take straight writing submissions. I'm currently on a 5-8 page script for a company that does horror stories.
     
  20. Normal
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    Do you have a writing portfolio?

    Hello folks, I've decided that its time that I branch out and create a writing portfolio my question to you is, 'what types of pieces should create or have in there? If this thread has already been done then please if you could kindly direct me to the appropriate forum I would appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  21. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    I'm not sure in which cases you would use one. If a publisher asked to see some of your work, you would probably have to custom make one to fit with the requirements. For a writing portfolio for yourself, include ALL of your work. Make sure it is dated, and over time, you can see how your work has improved. You may want to destroy some of the montrosities you find, but really, years from now, it makes for some pretty hilarious reading.
    You could probably fit everything on an usb memory stick. Unlike pictures, writing doesn't take up nearly as much space. If you have everything on paper, keep it in a folder.
    Just be careful that you don't accidently hand it to the wrong hands. It should be a private collection of all your thoughts and dreams over the years. Even the most famous authors have work that they wouldn't want to show to anyone.
     
  22. NyMichael20
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    I never thought of it as a "portfolio" but I do have almost a decade of my own writing laying around in literally dozens of notebooks. And yes, some of it is hilariously bad.
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I still have my academic portfolio, it has a variety of essays on various subjects throughout the years.

    All my other work is in pads and on the computer so I can just access it when I need it for reference.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why do you think you need one?... are you hoping to get a job as a staff writer for a magazine or newspaper?... or to get clients for a writing service?... other than that, you don't really need one...

    if all you want to do is get your own work published, what you need are completed marketable works and good queries...
     

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