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Advice for writers

Building and Maintaining a Killer Writing Portfolio

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Establishing a Strong Foundation for Your Writing Portfolio

Ah, the writing portfolio. That glorious showcase of our literary brilliance, the gateway to dream gigs, the ever-present pressure point in every writer’s existence. We pour our sweat and tears into crafting every sentence, only to shove it onto a website and whisper a nervous prayer to the content gods.

But fear not, fellow wordsmiths! Building and maintaining a killer portfolio isn’t some mystical dance reserved for literary unicorns. It’s a journey, a continuous evolution, a sandcastle we meticulously sculpt (and desperately pray the tide doesn’t wash away).

The Laying of Bricks: Choosing Your Platform

First things first, you need a foundation. A website, an online platform, a digital throne for your words to reign from. The good news? Options abound! From dedicated portfolio builders like Squarespace and to self-hosted WordPress sites, you have a playground of aesthetics and functionalities.

Remember, though, it’s not about building the Taj Mahal. Keep it clean, professional, and easy to navigate.

Curating the Gems: Selecting Your Work

Now, for the meat of the matter: the work itself. Don’t treat your portfolio like a dusty attic of past endeavors. Showcase your best, most relevant pieces. Readers prefer short, concise portfolios, so quality over quantity is key.

Think strategically. Tailor your selections to your target audience or the type of gigs you’re seeking. A novelist aspiring toward writing children’s books should highlight their whimsical voice, while a technical writer should demonstrate their grasp of complex concepts.

Variety is the Spice of Portfolios

Don’t be a one-trick pony! Showcase your versatility. If you’re a poet, sprinkle in a short story. If you’re a blogger, add a killer press release you drafted. Remember, you’re not just showing what you can do, you’re planting seeds of curiosity and possibility.

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. Visuals can elevate your portfolio, so consider adding author photos, captivating headlines, or even short video introductions. Just don’t let aesthetics overshadow the quality of your writing.

Remember, SEO is your friend. Sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your website and optimize meta descriptions.

Maintaining Your Writing Portfolio

Ah, maintenance. The never-ending battle against dust bunnies and rogue commas. Treat your portfolio like a living document, not a museum exhibit.

Keep it Fresh: Regularly add new work, especially pieces aligned with your current goals. Rotate older work or retire it gracefully. Remember, your portfolio is a snapshot of your current self, not a time capsule of your literary journey.

Seek Feedback: Don’t be afraid to ask fellow writers, mentors, or even professional editors for feedback. A fresh perspective can reveal blind spots and help you polish your sandcastle to sparkling perfection.

Remember, Your Portfolio is a Journey, Not a Destination!

Building and maintaining a writing portfolio is an ongoing process. It’s not about achieving some mythical “perfect” state, it’s about continuous evolution, growth, and adaptation. So embrace the ebbs and flows, the sandcastles washed away by the tide, and the joy of rebuilding anew.

Your portfolio is a reflection of your passion, your talent, your unique voice. Make it yours, own it, and let it be the beacon that guides you to the literary shores of your dreams. And hey, if all else fails, remember this: the internet has a long memory, so write like every word is building that sandcastle just a little bit higher.

Chandler Kidd

Chandler Kidd, Social Media Manager at Atmosphere Press (submit your manuscript here!), lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her three cats. She is a yogi and an avid horror and dark fantasy reader. During the day, she loves creating social posts for Atmosphere Press and connecting authors online. By night she can be found learning music production, DJing, or at a concert. 

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.