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There've been some really good responses to Cathy Quinones'
question about breaking into technical writing when you don't
have any experience.
Here's another idea: Volunteer to write for nonprofit
organizations in your area. They'll appreciate the help,
you'll feel like you've contributed, and you'll have something
for your portfolio.
Environmental organizations, for example -- such as local,
state, and national land conservancies -- always find
themselves having to produce press releases, trail guides,
even briefs for state and local legislators. The same applies
to just about every other nonprofit, whether it's engaged in
medical research, child-abuse prevention -- you name it.
Pick a cause that's important to you and give 'em a call.
Even if it's not in the field in which you hope to be
employed, it IS technical writing and it DOES count as
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com