With so much information readily available, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole when researching a career in freelance writing. Factor in a whole slew of unfamiliar terminology and a new freelance writer can be quickly overwhelmed. I have been writing for a few months now and still today, I ran across a term that was new to me. When learning something new a glossary is always a good place to start.
Byline – A line at the beginning of a written piece that names the writer of the article.
Consumer Publication – The magazines on the newsstand and their online counterpart.
Copy – Written text intended for publication.
Copywriting – Writing text for use in advertising and marketing.
Dummy Copy – Also known as filler text. Dummy Copy is text that has the characteristics of language, but it does not make sense to the reader. A placeholder.
Evergreen – Content that will always be relevant.
FOB/BOB – Front Of Book/Back of Book – Short articles published in the front or back of the magazine.
Feature Article – A newspaper or magazine article that takes an in-depth look at a particular topic.
Hook – The introduction to a written piece that is intended to grab the reader’s attention.
Kicker – Conclusion of the article. The purpose of which is, to sum up the piece and leave the reader with something to think about.
Kill Fee – Fee paid to the writer if the assigned article doesn’t make it to publication due to space, breaking news etc. Usually a percentage of the total payment that is initially agreed upon.
Lead/ Lede – The opening paragraph of a written work that summarizes its main ideas.
On Spec – On speculation. Writing something without the guarantee of publication.
Op-Ed – Opposite Editorial. Also called an opinion piece. The purpose of which is to present another point of view or an answer to another piece within the newspaper.
Over The Transom – A piece that the writer was not asked to write. The writer sends it in with the hopes of getting it published.
Pitch – A proposal in which the writer presents the idea for an article and why they are the best person to write it.
Query – A letter that is written to an editor to discern interest in an idea or article.
Slush Pile – Group of articles or query letter that have been rejected.
Well – The middle of the publication where longer, in-depth pieces can be found.
White Space – White space between words and paragraphs.