Now is an ideal time for freelance writers in the field of education to capitalize on the many existing opportunities. An education writer can focus on elementary, high school or college subjects. Writing can be geared toward teachers, parents, students or the general public. Book and magazine publishers continuously seek fresh material. Opinion pieces on education are routinely published in newspapers and newsletters.
There is a range of topics that are timely and newsworthy. For example, a case is currently pending in the United States Supreme Court that will decide how affirmative action can be used in college acceptance criteria. No Child Left Behind is still a topic of concern. States are adopting Common Core Standards that are to be implemented by 2014 in grades K thru 12. These topics amount to good news for those writers hoping to launch a career in writing on education topics. In fact, opportunities for freelance education writers are booming.
Choose an audience.
• Education writers can write for teachers. This can include, among other topics, lesson plans, supplementary curriculum materials, guides to discipline, or general ideas including suggestions on how to implement the new Common Core Standards
• Writing for parents is another audience choice. Parents are interested in learning about how to help with homework. They want to find stimulating resources for their children specific to their grade and coursework. They may want to read about how to hire a tutor.
• Focus on a grade level. Writing for students in elementary school is different than writing for those in middle school, high school or college.
• The general public is interested in changes in education, how test scores are being used and Supreme Court decisions.
• For freelance education writers who want to pursue writing in a certain subject matter, a good idea is to join the National Education Writer’s Association. Membership is free. In addition to a job publication page for freelance education writers, the association publishes current news in every field of education.
Education book and magazine publishers provide guidelines for writers. Guidelines for all major educational publications can be found here.
It is not necessary to have teaching experience or a degree in education in order for freelance education writers to succeed. Interest in the subject and the ability to research can catapult a writer to a successful freelance career.
Rebecca D is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.