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January, 2008

Father Goose

The Experts: They're Just A Click Away....
... just a click away, click away
By  Karen Braynard

Finding experts with professional advice on any given topic is only a site away.
used to be so jealous of talk show hosts.

I mean, seriously. They get paid to talk with interesting people. How cool is that? But now, as a journalist and non-fiction writer, I realize that I am living that dream. 

I am a writer, but my favorite part of the job is the interviews. Some writers hate it. I have successful writer friends who dread the interview. They’d rather email questions than go face to face or hold a 'phoner. But the people I talk with for my articles think I have a very interesting job and I’d have to agree.

I learned early on that interviewing is where it’s at for me. In the last few months I’ve already talked with a woman who solves crime through hypnosis, a 10-year-old karate champion, a financial advisor, a chiropractor, a man who lost his child to a rare and unexplainable disease and a chocolate-maker who delivers.  

Talking to these fascinating people is fun and easy with a little bit of preparation. But finding them — and the facts to support what I learn from them — is a different story.

Luckily, there are sources you can use to find experts on practically any subject. My favorites thus far are and 

Both of theses sites can connect you with professionals who are ready, willing and able to give you interesting interviews, quotes, and ideas. Both sites are free to register at, but do require that you are a writer and request the name of a publication you write for. You can successfully register as a freelance writer for either of theses sites, and you don’t have to be “employed” by anyone.

These sites serve a two-fold purpose. They help writers find experts and interesting topics and they help professionals who are interested in being interviewed as experts. 

Here’s how they work. You can submit a query on your topic and the service will forward it to any professional that fits your possible needs. Or, you can look up topics and contact professionals directly. In addition, both services can send you press releases on any topic you’ve requested. I get a daily list of press releases that help generate story ideas — an area which I used to have problems with. is an online community of 12,000 news and information officers. Recognized as the leading expert resource of its kind, Profnet is supported by 4,000 organizations in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia and has 16,000 expert profiles on file. was formerly and has been around since 1984. They have a service called InterviewNet, which sends your initial interest directly to the professionals in the areas of your choice. Expertclick claims this is more secure than any other online resource. They do allow paid advertisers to also answer questions, which is how they fund the site. 

Finding people to talk with is one of the hardest parts about writing non-fiction articles for newspapers and magazines. These two online resources help to make that process one step easier. And, if you’re drawing a blank you can peruse the press releases for some interesting ideas. Like, “American Eating Trends of 2006.”

I’m sure there’s an idea there and the experts at the Institute of Food Technologists would be more than happy to tell you moreIN Icon than I can.

Karen Braynard is a contributing correspondent to a small handful of local weekly newspapers, a feature writer for The Senior Guide and aspiring full-time freelance magazine writer with a few clips under her belt. Email:

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Part III: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part II: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part I: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal
Part II: Researching Nonfiction
Part I: Researching Nonfiction
Rediscover Your Passion
Pet Prose
Successful Influence
There's Money In That Junk Mail!

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Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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