Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--June 8, 2015--Writing for Newspapers

A Step in the Write Direction 
June 8, 2015

Update: Three months ago today I said goodbye to my best friend. But like my grandma always said, “Not goodbye, just so long.” At times it seems like yesterday; other times it seems like a long time since I’ve seen and talked with him. I decided today just to dwell on all the things I have to be thankful for over 54 years—and there are a lot….Celebrated our youngest granddaughter’s 20th birthday Sunday. The family will be moving Wednesday to take a church near Dallas (town of Forestburg). Hate to see them go, but glad they’re obeying God’s calling…. Doctor’s appointment last Monday showed rotator cuff inflammation, tendonitis, and bursitis. Got a cortisone shot the doctor said would kick in “in 4-5 days.” (So far it hasn’t!)…A couple notes from Sunday’s sermon (interim preacher until we get a new pastor):
“The Rock of Gibraltar will crumble before the church is gone.”…
“Lord, give me a new vision of what You want me to do with my life.”I (I think we need to pray this prayer whenever we reach a new phase of our life!)

Thought for the Day: “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 niv).

Song for the Day:
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name
“Little Is Much When God Is In It,” Kittie Suffield

Laugh for the Day:
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. "I'm the greatest hitter in the world," he announced. He tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike one!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world!" He tossed the ball into the air, swung again, and missed. "Strike two!" he cried out. The boy then paused a moment, straightened his cap, and said once more, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world!" Again he tossed the ball up in the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike three!" "Wow!" he exclaimed. "I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"
Writer’s Tips:             Writing for Newspapers

The local newspaper is a great market for beginning and advanced writers. Consider the following opportunities.
Columns can be written on almost any subject, including inspiration. While living in a small Michigan town, I wrote a column titled “Bits and Pieces” for the weekly newspaper”—a few thoughts of encouragement to brighten the readers’ day. When we moved to Arizona, I offered these same devotionals to the religion (note: “religion,” not “religious”) editor of the daily newspaper. She accepted them and printed them in the Saturday church section under the title “Faith at Home.” (These eventually ended up in a women’s devotional book for Standard

You can write a column on a hobby or another topic you feel knowledgeable about—household or car repair hints, financial tips, couponing, or gardening. Or your occupation. A pediatric nurse wrote a question and answer column concerning children’s health problems.

Maybe your interest lies in history, especially of your city or state. A column on what happened ten, twenty, or even fifty years ago on this date will catch the eye of old-timers, as well as newcomers to your area.

How about profiles on celebrities or other interesting people in your area? At the same time my “Faith at Home” column ran, I wrote a second column titled “The Parsonage Queen,” in which I interviewed local pastors’ wives.

If you like to read, maybe a book review column? Or humor? Do you always see the weird side of things? You may be an Erma Bombeck in the making, but you’ll never know unless you try.

If you’re interested in writing a column for your local newspaper, call the appropriate editor and make an appointment to take them to lunch. Give them a bio sheet stating your experience, along with five or six sample columns. This serves several purposes. First, they show your writing ability, and second, if they accept the idea, you have extra columns on hand in case of a medical emergency or you go on vacation.

If the editor expresses interest but says the paper can’t pay, offer to write the column for free for a period of time. Then, during that time, ask friends to call or write the newspaper, saying how much they enjoy the column. After an agreed-upon period, talk to the editor again and say you’d like to continue writing at their regular rate.

For these columns you will use one-time rights. This gives this particular editor the right to use this column one time, and you are then free to sell it to other newspapers with a different reading audience. If the story has nationwide interest, you can conceivably send it to hundreds of newspapers across the United States at the same time, or to a denominational magazine. Or, as I did with my devotional columns, they could end up in a book.

(More on newspaper writing next week.)

Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

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·           A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers—on sale for half-price--$12.50, $3.17 s&h
·          A Step in the Write Direction—Student Edition with assignments throughout—on sale for half-price $10, $2.69 s&h)
·          The Freedom of Letting Go (new one coming out will have discussion questions; can be used in S.S. class or small group); original copies without questions now on sale for half-price--$7.50, $2.69 s&h
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·          Preparing Your Heart for Christmas (31 Advent Devotions) half-price—$5
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