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Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Paying for My MediaBistro AvantGuild Membership (Many Times Over)

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I don’t know how many of you have purchased MediaBistro AvantGuild memberships or have considered doing so. I bought a membership a number of years ago, and then let it lapse—until last year, when, determined to build up my freelance practice, I renewed it.

In fact, I purchased a two-year membership (I’m one of those consumers more likely to fall for the discounts offered for long-term commitments!). And late last week, I received a contract—for a personal essay—that will pay for that extended membership multiple times over.

Since I’m so hyper-superstitious, I’m not quite ready to reveal the name of the magazine that has brought me such good news. But I will say that the essay in question, which is slated for either summer or fall publication, is one in a series of linked pieces I’ve been working on. (As it happens, I also learned during the past week that another essay in the series, one that received an acceptance several months ago, will be online next month. Stay tuned for that!)

But to return to this most recent acceptance: I didn’t know that the magazine in question even existed until I read through last year’s (four-part) series on personal essay markets. Frankly, the publicity surrounding that series was part of what motivated me to jump back into the AvantGuild pool. And that’s because access to this particular slice of MediaBistro information required AvantGuild membership.

Although I haven’t made use of a number of benefits that accompany AvantGuild membership, there are some features that I’m quite pleased with, especially the “How to Pitch” features and an editorial calendar guide. What about you? Have any of you purchased AvantGuild memberships? Why or why not? Which benefits have mattered most to you?

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9 Responses »

  1. Hello! I had not heard of AvantGuild, but from what I see it appears to be useful. Thanks for the tip!

  2. You’ve got me intrigued.

    I’m reminded of Carol Tice’s article earlier in the month (I think you shared it) about making financial investments in your freelance career. I’m familiar with MediaBistro, but had thus far not heard of AvantGuild! I’m pulling up info in another Tab as I write this!

    • Indeed, I did share that post from Carol’s site. Let me know what you decide about AG!

      • I’m still contemplating, but those masthead and editorial calendar features look mighty good. And it’s not really expensive–like you said, it takes just one piece to pay off.

        But then again, my pocketbook is already feeling the Passover squeeze!

  3. Congratulations, Erika, on those acceptances! I’m a big fan of the AG/Mb service as well.

    Your post today inspired me to finish a post of my own I had been drafting last week – and provided the perfect opening reference point.

    Just posted – thanks to you –

    http://lisaromeo.blogspot.com/2013/02/eleven-things-to-think-about-when.html

  4. On may way to sign up right now!! I bought MB’s, Get a Freelance Life, a few years ago and it was an invaluable resource. I have heard of AG and had it on my to do list but never got around to it. But today will be the day that I make that investment. I believe the rewards are going to be well worth the money I shell out.

    • Hi, Myra: I hope that you’re pleased with your decision. They’ve just posted an updated series of essay markets, and I have to admit that I was disappointed with how many nonpaying venues were included in the final installment. I said so on that installment’s page yesterday; perhaps you’ve already seen that comment. But I hope that all of the other benefits will (more than) pay off your AG membership fee.

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