FundsforWriters - February 11 - The Art of the Upsell: How to Land Five-Figure Freelance Writing Contracts

Published: Fri, 02/11/22


VOLUME 22, ISSUE 6 | FEBRUARY 11, 2022


Message from Hope

I was supposed to have foot surgery on Wednesday, and for three weeks I was to be non-weight-bearing. No more than 15 minutes off my butt at a time, with at least an hour in between, the foot on a scooter (not crutches). (The three weeks after that moves to crutches.)

The doctor called in sick the morning of the surgery. 

I cannot describe the roller coaster of emotions I had that day. I had cleaned the house, prepped the chickens, and written various deadlines ahead of schedule, prepping the newsletters a month in advance so I had very little to touch on them before delivered. 

Now I'm on a waiting list. I've been told I could get called 1-2 days ahead of time any of the upcoming weeks, but no later than May 11. 

I was like . . . what? 

How the heck was I supposed to plan for that? There are Zoom presentations, a PowerPoint presentation, paid blog posts, newsletters, the current novel in progress and another in editing stages due in my in-box at any time. 

But life is what it is. I'll be on my desktop until my number gets called, then after a few days of not working, I'll be sequestered on my laptop. Not my first love, which means not quite as conducive to my work, but I am grateful I have the tools to work. I know one thing.....I will get much writing and editing done on the novels.

No excuses not to write, that's for sure. 

C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
Email Hope | Visit Website | Sign up for Newsletter
Newsletter: ISSN: 1533-1326
FFW has proudly been on the Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers list every year since 2001

Our subscriber list is NOT made available to others. Use information listed at your own risk. FundsforWriters gives no warranty to completeness, accuracy, or fitness of the markets, contests and grants although research is done to the best of our ability.
























I received a LinkedIn notification of a book release, from a man I respect. The premise was intelligent, and I perceived the plot to be in-depth and a challenge, which thoroughly tempted me. 

The problem was:

1. About six other authors I already read have books out. Some were released the end of 2021, some just coming out, some due out in the next couple of months. 

2. I belong to a book club, and that's about ten books I'm obligated to read. 

3. I have a dozen books to be read on my nightstand that I seriously want to read and digest to groom my own genre. 

4. That doesn't count the bookcase in my bedroom that holds the secondary TBR (to be read) stack that I've hoarded for a couple years. Books I refuse to give away because they showed a crazy amount of entertaining promise. 

So, here is a book I want to read. I suspect it falls into the bookcase category in terms of priority, which pains me, because I want to read it now. I just can't because of the others that hold MORE promise to me, or that I'm more obligated to read.

Which means . . . a new author, or a fledgling author, has little chance of squeezing themselves and their works of promise into my reading agenda. Nothing against them. It's just that there's so much competition out there. 

I regularly follow a cadre of authors who have proven their worth to me (like all readers). My time is precious (like all readers). Logic deems that the proven authors have a better chance of selling their books to me (like with all readers). 

A new author is not going to shoe-horn their way into a reader's world with a freebie or a 99 cent special. They are going to do it through word-of-mouth about a grand tale. They are going to do it on recommendation. They must be patient and allow this process to work, while working on the next book. 

Yes, you invest incredible time into your writing. A reader sees themselves as investing an incredible amount of time into their reading. You have to earn your way into that world. 

Offering a book as a freebie or a 99 cent special isn't going to convince me the writing is good enough to discard another author who's already proven themselves to be worth the reading. 

Make yourself worth reading.








  • March 12, 2022 - Grand Rapids Regional Writers Group, Zoom, "The myths and facts of grants for writers"
  • March 26, 2022 - Writer's University Mystery/Thriller Online Conference, Creating the Character Arc - 3 PM
  • May 28, 2022 - Saturday Writer's Group - "On Writing Contests" - Zoom - Noon-2 PM ET
  • June 21, 2022 - South Congaree Pine Ridge Library, In-Person, Columbia, SC - 5:30-6:30 PM
  • July 13, 2022 - Muskoka Authors Association, Zoom - 6:00 PM
  • July 23, 2022 - Indiana Sisters in Crime, Zoom - Noon ET - Gary and Hope Clark Tag Team on Getting the Facts Right in Mysteries



“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”



SUccess Story

If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected] 

Featured article


The Art of the Upsell: How to Land Five-Figure Freelance Writing Contracts

By Tina Morlock

Your freelance writing business works well offering one-off services and monthly retainers, but your earnings haven't changed. Of the many techniques I've used in my business, the best results came from adding a few additional lines to my proposals. This effortless technique is what I call the art of the upsell. 
1—The Deadline Upsell  
When we book clients, we don't always give them the absolute soonest date we can complete the project. Adding in some cushion allows us work on other projects or create a safeguard should any obstacle or emergency get in the way of completing the project on time. But, as you know, many clients would prefer to receive their projects finished yesterday. Take advantage of their immediate need to add a rush fee on top of your normal project costs. This can increase your earnings exponentially, depending on how quickly they prefer to finish the project.  
2—The Revision Upsell 
Most freelance clients will want to make changes to the first draft, and some clients might want to make even more revisions. If your main project fee only calls for two rounds of edits or writing, this work lands outside your contract. You can solve this challenge by adding a service charge for a few extra revisions—or even an unlimited number of revisions. For maximum impact on your income for the year, adding an unlimited revision service charge could increase your earnings substantially, depending on the scope of the project.  
3—The Competitive Upsell 
This upsell reveals itself when you ask this question: What value can I offer that none of my other competitors do? This one takes some deep research to understand your place in the market, but even if you haven't done this, it will have many more benefits than you think. The value of your competitive upsell might be hard to quantify, but it's safe to say it could push you toward landing that five-figure contract if you craft the perfect idea for your freelance business. 
4—The Client-Focused Upsell 
Unless you provide static products to your freelance clients, every one of them will require different services, deadlines, and types of work you need to complete. But, before you finalize the contract, you can take a step back to ask yourself: What else do I think my client really needs but isn't asking for?  
Look at the clients you're currently serving. For each client, list two to three additional services you could pitch, then go for it. At least one of them will say yes, and it will build your confidence with upsells tremendously. 
5—The Subscription Upsell 
If you think your client might need ongoing writing or editing services, take advantage of that by designing custom subscription packages that offer them a huge benefit by committing to a six-month or one-year contract. You can either give them a discount for committing long term, or you could add additional services to the package that increases the value of the subscription.  
This upsell could push your contract into the five-figure range, so it's an important one to consider if you're serious about making a six-figure income with your freelance business.  
Throughout my career, I've increased my earnings tremendously through each of these upsells, and many of them have resulted in five-figure contracts. The first high-dollar contract I signed launched my full-time freelance career, and I continue to use these upselling techniques to great success. 
When you think beyond the foundational services you offer—and learn to master the art of the upsell—those five-figure contracts will come much easier. It only takes a little confidence in your skill and the courage to grow your freelancing business in your pursuit to make a full-time income with your writing.

Tina Morlock is a published poet, nonfiction author, and novelist. She works full-time as a freelance book editor, ghostwriter, and coach for freelance book editors in pursuit of her passion to help creative entrepreneurs live their purpose. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her family. Her website can be found at

5630170 © Thornberry |

119611296 © creativecommonsstockphotos |



$20 ENTRY FEE. Submissions open Feb 1 – Mar 1, 2022. The Gutsy Great Novelist Chapter One Prize is awarded for an outstanding first chapter of an unpublished novel. First prize is $1,000; 2nd is $500; and 3rd is $250. The prize is open internationally to anyone over 18 writing a novel in English in any genre for adult or YA readers.

 - - - 

$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline March 31, 2022. First prize $500. Runner-up $150. Write a short story, under 500 words that is all about magic. It can be for any age group. It can be fiction or non-fiction. Get creative. Open to anyone in the world. There is a third prize of $50 for anyone who refers the first prize winner.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline April 1, 2022. The winner will receive a £10,000 cash prize. A £3,000 cash prize will go to the second place, and £2,000 to the third place runner up. The winner and two runners up are invited to attend the symposium. Awarded for the best piece of writing on the theme of the Alpine Fellowship 2022 - Freedom. Open to all nationalities and to anyone aged 18 and above. All genres permitted. A maximum of 2,500 words per entry. Limited to one entry per person. 

£9 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 4, 2022. An annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers. Twenty stories will be shortlisted and published in Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 15. First prize is £1,000, second prize is £500, third prize is £250. Seventeen further prizes of £100 will be presented to the remaining shortlisted writers. The Sansom Award will be presented to the highest placed story by a Bristol writer. 

£12 ENTRY FEE. Deadline May 31, 2022. Gail Honeyman was shortlisted in our competition and went on to write Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, winning the Costa debut novel award. All the winning and highly commended pieces are entered into the Sunday Times Audible competition, top prize £30,000. UK based writers are entered into the BBC short story competition. That’s not all, literary agent A.M. Heath reads all the shortlist and considers representation. First prize: £5,000. Second prize: £1,000. Third prize: £500. Highly Commended 10 x £100. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged 16 and over. Short story 5000 words maximum. No minimum. 

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 15, 2022. Stories Through The Ages - Baby Boomers Plus 2022 is open to people born 1966 or earlier. There is no prompt for the contest. Authors may write about any topic. The word count for this contest is 900 - 4000 words. Cash prizes of $500, $200 and $100 will be awarded. There will be a minimum of 15 finalists whose story will appear in the book. 

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 1, 2022. The Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest encourages writers to submit stories related to Judaism or Jewish culture or history. Moment will award up to three prizes to outstanding works of unpublished short fiction with Jewish content, including $1,000 for first place. For each entry, submit an original short story—maximum length 5,000 words— with Jewish themes. 




AgArts is a non-profit organization that seeks to imagine and promote healthy food systems through the arts.  AgArts places artists — writers, visual, theatre and performing artists, dancers, and musicians — on farms for residencies of one to four weeks.  We encourage the artists to get to know the farmers, explore and educate themselves about their issues then create a piece that addresses those issues in their work.  Artists would be expected to exhibit or perform this work in a location near their home residence.  AgArts works with a number of farms that host artists, and our non-profit grants residencies based upon available funding. NOTE: Residencies are on hold temporarily, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but continue to apply. There is a $35 application fee.

Deadline March 1, 2022. The foundation invites applications for its 2022 Individual Artist Awards, which aims to support artistic growth and the exploration of new creative ground for artists living and working in Alaska. Project Awards: Awards of $7,500 will be awarded for specific, short-term projects that have a clear benefit to an individual or group’s artistic growth. Artists at all career stages — emerging, mid-career, and mature — are eligible to apply for an award in eleven recognized disciplines. Artists Fellowships: Awards of $18,000 will be awarded for individuals or groups at a mid- career or mature stage to enable them to focus their energy and attention for a one-year period on developing their creative work. In 2022, fellowship categories are media arts, multiple disciplines, music composition, new genres, presentation/interpretation, and visual arts. Applicants (including all group collaborators) must be a full-time Alaska resident/s living in the state for the past two years. 

Deadline March 1, 2022. Grants of up to $13,632 (depending on the number of successful applicants) will be awarded to individuals pursuing studies in North American carillon performance, composition, music history, or instrument design.

Deadline March 1, 2022. The Ucross Foundation provides uninterrupted time, workspace, and living accommodations to competitively selected visual artists, writers, and composers. While there is no charge for a residency, residents are responsible for providing their own working materials and for their travel to Sheridan, Wyoming. Open to visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, interdisciplinary artists, and performance artists, as well as collaborative teams. Applicants may apply in the following categories: music/dance, visual arts, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting/screenwriting, and poetry.



Pitch Brodie Owen, News Editor, at [email protected]. Seeks stories on current affairs, Covid, politics, and crime. Rates are £100-£200 per piece. Upday is a fast-growing media and technology company with a clear goal to contribute to a better informed and more trustworthy world. 

Do you have an interesting savings strategy you'd like to share? A juicy opinion on a trending money topic? Email them to Holly Trantham, Creative Director, [email protected] Pays $250 for 800-1,000-word personal essays (not research). Otherwise, you can send other pitches to editor, Soraya Joseph, at [email protected].

A news and culture publication covering the vibrant small towns, hamlets, and communities of Central and Eastern Kentucky. Seeking local rural Kentucky stories. Pays 50 cents/word. Contact Sarah Baird at [email protected]

FanSided is the fastest-growing fan-focused digital media network in existence. Our network is not only a prime destination for some of the web’s best fan-driven content, but our company also features unique opportunities for those looking to get their start in the digital media industry, particularly in the sports and entertainment categories. Also, looking for any and all pitches for a special series later this year, exploring the intersection of sports and climate change. Interested in stories that focus on both macro and micro, any sports at any level of competition Pitch Ian Levy, Director, at [email protected]. Payment starts at $150.

Pitch stories beyond traditional travel features. Keep it fresh, keep it timely—emerging trends and news; ever changing pandemic protocol; and expert, up-to-date advice and recommendations. Make it entertaining—tell us a story we’re dying to reshare (bonus if you can make it a listicle). Rates start at $250-$300 depending on experience and scope of piece. Pitch Eva Morreale, Assignments Editor, at [email protected].

The Boston Globe is the leading newspaper in New England, with news, sports, lifestyle features, and arts and entertainment news. The Boston Globe Magazine is published weekly inside The Boston Sunday Globe, offering an engaging blend of narrative journalism, opinion, lifestyle, travel, recipes, and advice. Please send pitches, story ideas, and recommendations for your favorite New England writers. The magazine usually pays $1 per assigned word for features. Pitch Annalisa Quinn, Editor, at [email protected]

We celebrate and explore independent culture; people and movements that paddle against the flow. We publish news, profiles, interviews, reportage, opinion pieces and photo essays across digital and print. We also commission original documentaries and films. Seeks features, profiles, and opinion pieces. Pays about £120-£200 for interviews/profiles and £225 and up for larger pieces.



We are a full-service literary and talent management agency committed to the success of our clients over the course of their   careers. We represent a select and growing number of bestselling and debut writers, artists, and entertainers interested in building their brands, audience platforms, and developing long-term relationships via all forms of traditional and social media. We are especially interested in narrative, memoir, prescriptive nonfiction, with a particular interest in social justice, sports, health, wellness, business, political and parenting topics, truly terrific commercial fiction, historical fiction, illustrated, graphic novels, young adult, middle-grade and children’s books. We are NOT interested in screenplays, scripts, poetry, mystery, science fiction. 

If you would like to query Jennifer Unter, please email your pitch to [email protected] If you would like to query Jen Nadol, please email your pitch to [email protected] We are interested in seeing quality fiction and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness. Additionally, we are looking for all types of children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, and young adult), but Jen Nadol is not currently considering picture books.

Your fiction query should include your genre, such as mystery, science fiction, or mainstream, whether the project is for adults or for children, and the length of the complete project in number of words (for example, 86,000 words), not pages. The query should give us a brief overview of the book’s plot and main characters but does not have to include a complete synopsis. For first-time authors, we do prefer that the project be complete before you query us. Your nonfiction query should include your subject area, such as history, biography or business, the main concept of the book, the word count you project the book will be when completed, and your credentials to write the work.

Terrapin Books is committed to publishing outstanding books of poetry by outstanding poets. Open for submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts from January 24 thru February 28 and August 1 thru August 31. They plan to select two to four manuscripts each submission period. Submit a manuscript of approximately 40-55 poems​. This will produce a book of approximately 90-110 pages. They recommend that 25-50 percent of the poems have been previously published. More than that is fine. They offer a standard contract, a generous number of author copies, a substantial discount on additional copies purchased by the author, and an annual royalty payment. (NOTE: Emily Stoddard at Voice & Vessel will consider paying the $12 submission fee for those unable to afford it. Email her at [email protected])

We are a literary agency always looking for new writers for whom we will negotiate significant deals in the UK, US and foreign markets. We have close ties with publishers around the world, and work directly, or in partnership with film agents in London and LA, to option Film & TV rights to leading production companies and film studios. We work with authors across all genres, and have had notable successes in upmarket fiction including crime, book club and psychological suspense. We also handle children’s books, teen, young adult, New Adult and cross-over fiction, as well as exciting new non-fiction authors with a focus on narrative nonfiction, history, self-help, memoir and biography.

Stonesong is a dynamic, forward-thinking, yet traditional literary agency, whose agents represent a wide range of authors, genres, and books, with particular strength in lifestyle, nonfiction, health and wellness, personal development, popular culture, illustrated books, business, humor, and culinary, and with a strong presence in children's, middle grade, young adult fiction and nonfiction. Please review the individual agent biographies and submit your query addressed to one agent. 

At Books & Such, we help authors to build careers. From the smallest detail of the next book idea, to the big picture of the writer’s lifelong dreams, we work strategically to help each author reach his or her writing and publishing goals. We go above and beyond the usual literary agency services by providing continuing education, exclusive to our clients, via webinars and in-person sessions. We connect our clients with each other through an online forum, enabling them to offer insights they’ve gained, or to ask for help from fellow writers. We offer Creating Editors Select, a 24/7, password-protected website that showcases all of our clients’ current projects to publishers. Regularly highlight projects to editors via direct, customized e-newsletters. Offer a self-publishing arm of the agency. Our project manager and your agent will help you to choose between traditional, print-on-demand, and digital publishing. Our project manager oversees the creation of your print-on-demand and digital titles while providing you with her expert guidance. Hosts a retreat for clients and their spouses at resort locales for in-depth workshops and individual planning time with the author’s agent. Seeks freelance writing projects for clients who desire this type of work.

We are based in Colorado, a hub for publishing, and we love books, videos, and films! We are a marketing and literary agency, working for over 20 years with media, publishers, authors, and organizations. We represent and promote the works of inspirational authors who write non-fiction, including: personal stories, family, leadership, women’s, and culturally engaging, relevant books in addition to curriculum, gift, devotionals, and cookbooks. We have a select number of juvenile fiction books.








Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact [email protected] for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.

C. Hope Clark
E-mail: [email protected]
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036

Copyright 2000-2021, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

**Note that places paid advertising in this newsletter, ALL ads being related to writers and the business of writing, screened by FundsforWriters to make sure the information is suitable for writers and their endeavors to improve their careers. But the mailing list is not sold to third parties. You will not receive this newsletter without your permission. It's physically impossible since recipients must opt-in, giving us permission to send the newsletter. If at any time you no longer with to receive the newsletter, click the UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of each newsletter. We want you to enjoy this newsletter at your pleasure, not be forced to read anything you do not wish to receive. The website is not advertised using unsolicited messages by Aweber, affiliates or other third parties. Direct any complaints, suggestions, and accolades to Hope Clark at [email protected]. We are an anti-spam site.