So you want to be a journalist...

Author:
Publish date:

Hi Writers,
Today, let's chat about the wonderful world of journalism. I'd like to aim this especially at the young ones in journalism, communications and English programs or who recently graduated and are hoping to land a juicy journalism job.

First, allow me to indulge my mentoring side. Are you sure I can't talk you out of it? How about a less competitive field, like acting, for example?

No, of course I can't talk you out of it, even with talk of scary low pay, paucity of jobs, and terrifying corporate overlords. Wanting to be a journalist is just something you have to do, so of course you're not going to listen to reason.

I was having a conversation (read: rant) the other day with my editors and our editorial director here at Writer's Digest about some corporate thing that was ticking me off.

"Why did we not listen to our parents when they told us not to be journalists," I said pitifully.

"Because you're hard-headed," my editorial director said. "And that's what makes you a good journalist in the first place."

Well said. So, since I know I'm not going to talk you out of being a journalist, just as my parents couldn't talk me out of it, at least try to find yourself a good mentor.

I stumbled upon the most helpful website yesterday ed2010.com. Ed is a collective of young magazine editors (and wannabe magazine editors) who have created this website to help young journalists get jobs, mentors, and support, both emotional and financial. They give away two $1,000 scholarships a year to two unpaid interns trying to make ends meet during their internship. (Fall deadline is September 30).

One of my favorite things on their site, though is their 60-minute mentor program, in which they attempt to match you (the just-starting-out journalist, job seeker) up with a working magazine editor for a 60-minute conversation.

What a wonderful opportunity for young journalists to get some up-close and personal advice. And here's my advice to you: take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way and if you're lucky enough to find a good mentor, that's gold, don't take it for granted.

I'd love to hear from any of you who have had experiences with mentors. Please drop me a line.

Keep Writing,
Maria

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they're being followed.