I'm a self-starter, incredibly driven and willing to take on any work, but have zero experience as a hired writer, how should I begin here?

I'm a second year university student, studying music performance, but have a passion for writing, specifically think pieces targetting mental health in the music industry. I have little to no tangible experience as a hired writer, with only blog features and university led magazine submissions acting as a portfolio, but want to begin a career in the journalism/ writing field. What is the best route to take in regards to getting out there and finding work, paid or otherwise?


  • Hey Ed.

    Another step in that direction is joining a music submission page where you act as a music curator.

    Once you set up your profile with preferences, artists can contact you for a collaboration opportunity, i.e. publishing an interview, review etc. on your page, for instance. The fee for that service is rather symbolic, but if you are active and eager, you’ll slowly build your reputation, receiving pitches more frequently.

    I use Groover from time to time. Check out their page, maybe it’s something for you to start.
  • The Journal of Music, which is a venerable old Irish online publication, has callouts for new writers, with a particular focus on the young. Check 'em out.


    Sound & Music is also very helpful, again, with regular callouts and an emphasis on helping newcomers.


    Good luck.
  • Hi Ed, building a portfolio is the best way to gain credibility. Collate the work that you've got, even if it is just for the student paper, into one space -- a pdf or a website. Then contact small publications within your niche. Take time researching and finding the right ones for you, if you don't have genuine interest in what they're doing then they'll sniff out your insincerity from a mile off. It helps if you know anyone at all that might help give you a hand up, use your networks. Phone/ talk to people in person a much as you can -- this is absolutely crucial and so much more effective than an email. Be patient with it and you will start to hear back form people eventually. Things get easier as you work more and your portfolio expands.

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