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Updated 24 Feb 2011

It's a common story these days, a trailing spouse or a recent assignee takes up writing to evade the tedium that all too often accompanies a new life abroad in a difficult destination. But how to turn this passion into a portable career?

book review: definite articlesEven with talent, drive and enthusiasm, burgeoning writers still need to know the ingredients for a good article, how to structure it, and how to pitch it in order to get their work published.

Author and expat guru Jo Parfitt's Definite Articles provides that crucial instruction. This self-study guide and information bible is invaluable for any novice writer who wants to hone their craft, and get paid for it.

Expats living abroad can use the book as a truly practical and vocational writing course, and students have the optional extras of working with a personal tutor and signing on for six months of mentoring. And as it’s all done by email correspondence, it’s accessible to anyone, which proves easy and convenient for expats.

Definite Articles gives those writing from overseas the practical skills they need to target English-speaking and global expat publications. It equips expats with the ability to write readable articles that resonate with and appeal to their target audience.

With lessons entitled ‘Writing an Effective Article’, ‘How to Write What Editors Want’ and a bonus section on writing book reviews, expats get structured tuition from an experienced author/journalist combined with professional tips and website leads that will ensure stories get perfected, pitched and published.

Parfitt has written numerous books on developing and sustaining portable careers overseas and specialises in mentoring budding writers. After 25 years of living and working abroad her motto is, ‘sharing what I know to help others grow’ and that is certainly true of Definite Articles.

Blogging and tweeting are also covered, and if you thought they were just the inane ramblings of bored housewives and self-obsessed celebrities, then think again; Definite Articles demystifies them both and explains how they can be used to market a writing career.

Despite being aimed at expats, this book has far-reaching appeal because anyone could use what they learn here to start writing for niche markets.

If you’re self-motivated and love to write, Definite Articles is a shrewd investment that can provide the tools to turn an enjoyable hobby into a portable and fulfilling career.