JOB-OPP: Full-Time Production Manager/Editor in Laurel, MD — One of my favorite clients is looking for a full-time Production Manager/Editor in their Laurel, MD, office. They are a pleasure to work with, and I’d go for the job myself if it weren’t too far away! I don’t have any additional information about the position beyond what I provide below.

AFYA, Inc., in Laurel, MD, is an 18-year-old firm that provides a variety of technical and professional services in the health arena. The firm’s mission is to eliminate health disparities and help ensure an optimum quality of life for all.  See

They have an immediate opening for an editorial professional who is passionate about quality. Requires a minimum of 7 years of experience as a senior editor and at least 1 year of management experience. Person is responsible for ensuring the quality of a variety of print and electronic products. Will supervise three staff. Also will serve as a senior editor. Must be familiar with the Government Printing Office (GPO) Manual of Style and be able to perform basic to advanced functions in MS Word 2007. In support of business development activities, will help manage the production of proposals, capability statements, brochures, and other marketing materials and help keep the corporate Web site up-to-date. Will develop and ensure the use of a corporate editorial style guide and be responsible for ensuring that production deadlines are met. May be asked to meet with clients to review the editorial requirements of an assignment.  Must be able to work under pressure and juggle competing priorities.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, please contact Angela Pyles, Human Resources Director, at

Please mention my name, Kristen King, when you contact them.

Good luck!

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

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If You Think Social Media Is a Passing Fad… — …you’d better watch this video. It’s here to stay, people. So if you’re not on board, you’re missing out.

What do you think?

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

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Required Reading for Writers: How NOT to Write a Novel

Buy this book. Seriously.

www.inkthinkerblog.comIf I had found How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them–A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide when I was still in high school, I believe it would have saved hundreds if not thousands of trees from my godawful teenage attempts at writing fiction.

Alas, How Not to Write a Novel is a relatively recent addition to every writer’s must-read list. And thankfully, I still have reams and reams of hysterically funny purple prose that reads like a companion workbook to be read alongside this gem. Reams. Hysterically funny.

Speaking of funny, this book is a laugh-riot that combines snarky instruction with tears-running-down-your-face examples of what the what-not-to-do looks like. Oh, and are those examples ever dead on. There were a few times that I was a little creeped out because the demonstration the gave in the book so closely resembled something I wrote years ago.

In fact, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t committed at least half of the mortal sins in this what-not-to-do guide. For instance, part 1 covers plot, and is subtitled “Not just a bunch of stuff that happens.” Whoa, whoa, whoa, you mean the events in a book should be somehow connected? I totally didn’t get that memo until I was like 17, once I was well into my second novel (which no, you can’t see, thanks for asking).

If I’m being really honest, I’d guess I’ve probably done all of these cringe-worthy things in some work or another. Like:

  • “The Long Runway” (in which a character’s childhood is recounted to no purpose);
  • “The Average Day” (where mundane detail fails to bring a character to life);
  • “Jimbo Knows Me Better than I Know Myself” (wherein a friend character is introduced to no purpose);
  • “The List of Ingredients” (wherein lists substitute for description);
  • “I Complete Me” (wherein the novel is a work of auto-hagiography);
  • “Then Mel Gibson Raised His Mighty Broadsword” (in which the author unconsciously appropriates); and
  • “A Confederacy of Shills” (wherein characters laugh disproportionately).

And so many more. Fortunately (for all of us, believe me), I did manage to pick up on this stuff relatively early in my writing career. Which makes it all the more amusing when I look back over early drafts of things I abandoned because they were just to ridiculous to continue working on.

I will be requiring How Not to Write a Novel as a prerequisite for every book editing client I accept from now on. Some of them will take it personally (hallelujah) and some of them will take one look at it and decide that I totally suck the biggest suck that ever sucked (because they will take it personally in a different way). Either way, I’m happy. We must rid the world of writing like this:

Men were so difficult! At first Jack seemed to be so into her, but now Melinda didn’t know WHAT to think! He’d seemed so cold when she ran into him in the alley the other night, surrounded by his work associates, who were all such rough men!!

Perhaps she was doing the Wrong Thing, she thought as she headed toward their rendezvous by the abandoned wharves. How did she know he wasn’t up to something–something–UNCOUTH?! It was getting dark, and the doorways were all full of Loose Women in their paint and cheap scent. She HATED that type, the type of woman who sold her most Precious Asset that was meant to be sacred to her husband!

Suddenly! she spotted Jack, and her heart melted–like a heart that had been frozen but then was subjected to heat. “JACK! It’s ME! I’m so glad to see you!” she said, and ran to him, All Her Doubts Forgotten.

— From”I Mean This!! It’s Important!!” (wherein the author punctuates hysterically)
p. 110, How Not to Write a Novel

Whether you intend to hire me as an editor or not, please go buy this book. If you never plan to pen another word as long as you live, you’re exempt. But if you fancy yourself a writer of any kind and intend to use that, ahem, skill, get How Not to Write a Novel now. You’ll be glad, and so will all of your future readers — from your family (you know you torture them with your painful early drafts) to your critique group (they will REALLY thank you, trust me) to your future publisher, who frankly will not exist without your using this book to eliminate all elements of oh-my-God-this-has-to-be-a-joke-because-no-real-book-is-this-bad from your writing.

Trust me on this one: You need to own this book.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


Finding Balance as a Freelancer

Finding Balance as a Freelancer Is Like Doing a Handstand

Finding Balance as a Freelancer Is Like Doing a Handstand — Work-life balance is a tricky thing, but so is work-work balance. It’s a tough to find the time for the work you enjoy and do for yourself alongside the work you do for other people (which may be enjoyable, but not necessarily your life’s passion).

I can’t recall where exactly I heard this, but I recently came across some great advice: Balance is something that you do continuously, not something that happens once.

Think of doing a handstand (which may not be a great example since I can’t do a handstand, but go with me on this). You get up on your hands and maybe you teeter a little to one side and totter a bit back to the other. Staying upright means a constant state of movement around a center. It does not mean that you freeze in place. That’s where I tend to find myself falling down (both literally and figuratively, come to think of it, but the literal part is a post for another time). I struggle to find the right combination of rigidity and flexibility that gives me a workable structure.

So here’s my question for you, dear readers: How do you find your balance, and how often do you reevaluate?

Recently, I joined a small business advisory group that meets via Skype once a month. We discuss goals, accomplishments, challenges, and what we’re working on. The purpose, in my opinion, is to create a sense of accountability and a support system, and it’s great. But the problem with checking in every month is that I need to actually set goals and I need to actually expect someone to notice if I don’t do them. Interesting problem, right?

As freelancers, we’re not really accountable to any one individual on a day-to-day basis. You’re accountable to your client for a project, to your editor for an assignment, but in terms of the way you break down your day and how you make use of your time, well, that’s generally up to you.

If you had to give yourself a performance evaluation, how would you rate? Some questions to consider:

  • Do you dress appropriately for work?
  • Are you on time?
  • How’s your attendance record?
  • Have you achieved your quarterly and annual goals?
  • Do you even have quarterly and annual goals?

The beauty of the freelance lifestyle is that we do get to set our own schedule, style, and working conditions. But that doesn’t mean we can just spend our days lolly-gagging around. Not if we want to make money. Not if we want to improve our skills and grow our businesses. Not if we want to know when we have accomplished something.

So, ‘fess up. Do you have balance in your freelance life? And when’s the last time you took stock of your priorities? Leave a comment, and tell me “where you’re at,” as they say in my home state of New Jersey.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


October 3, 2009, AIW Event: Pushing the Electronic Envelope Even Farther!

Johns Hopkins University Masters of Arts in Writing Program
and American Independent Writers present…

Using Cyberspace to Advance Your Career

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Registration @ 8:30 a.m. · Program Starts @ 9:00 a.m.

Bernstein-Offit Building
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Metro: Red line, Dupont Circle

AIW Elec Env Seminar 1 kk 9-11-09 image

Download the Flier in PDF Format


Take your personal brand to the next level with this all-day seminar focusing on online identity for writers of all types. In four sessions moderated by copywriter and consultant Kristen King (@kristenking), an AIW Board member and host of last year’s inaugural Pushing the Electronic Envelope Seminar, attendees will learn about social networking, social media, running a writing business in a Web 2.0 world, and pumping up your writer’s website. [click to continue…]

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EVENT: Personal Branding Through Social Media, Tuesday 9/15 in Northern VA

DATE: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
TIME: 6:30 pm for networking and 7 pm for the event
COST: $15

Project Performance Corporation
1760 Old Meadow Road, McLean, VA 22102

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: These days, a great resume just isn’t enough. To build your platform, snag an awesome job, and win lucrative clients, you need a strong personal brand to back up your official credentials. Think of it this way: personal brand = street cred.

On Tuesday, September 15, I’ll be presenting to DC Web Women on how I used social media to craft a strong brand online and I’ll share actionable tips you can use to build your personal brand.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify your social media goals
  • Pick the right tools for the job
  • Work social media into your business routine
  • Build a targeted online presence
  • Increase your network of followers and friends


About the sponsor
Project Performance Corporation, part of the AEA group, is a management consulting firm integrating world leading expertise in the areas of environment and energy with cutting edge IT and global management. Our customers include top government and Fortune 500 decision makers.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King