How to Break Into Writing for Newspapers

Written by Linda C. Allardice

Besides waking up with a morning coffee, millions of us wake every day to blaring newspaper headlines about police gunning down a suspect, or a fire that leaves a family of four homeless, or a city council that wants to make it illegal to dump computer monitors inrepparttar landfill. The stories can be exciting, tragic, informative, even amusing. And beingrepparttar 129760 reporter who gathersrepparttar 129761 information or coversrepparttar 129762 scene of emergency incidents must be a thrill. As a freelance writer you may have considered trying your hand at newspaper reporting, but maybe you have little or no journalism classes in your background. Don’t let that stop you. Break intorepparttar 129763 newspaper business by becoming a stringer – a freelance reporter who is paid byrepparttar 129764 story. Weekly and daily newspapers are always onrepparttar 129765 lookout for stringers. It’s economical for them and it frees up their staff reporters to handlerepparttar 129766 bigger stories. What kind of work can you expect as a stringer? I’ve been stringing for 18 years covering news inrepparttar 129767 suburbs such as town council, school board, planning board and zoning board meetings. Stringers are also used to coverrepparttar 129768 local entertainment fare, high school and college sports, and feature stories. The pay for stringers varies withrepparttar 129769 size ofrepparttar 129770 newspaper. The basic rate is about $35 per story, but can go as high as $200 or more, depending onrepparttar 129771 work involved and ifrepparttar 129772 paper also wants you to take photographs. So how do you get started? Checkrepparttar 129773 newspaper or newspapers inrepparttar 129774 area. Read throughrepparttar 129775 publications and see what stories are missing. Has a new department store opened recently, but you didn’t find a story about it inrepparttar 129776 paper? Did your property tax bill suddenly skyrocket, but you read nothing about this coming downrepparttar 129777 pike? Don’t think nothing happens inrepparttar 129778 suburbs. I’ve covered town council meetings where police were called in to escort troublemakers out ofrepparttar 129779 meeting hall. I’ve covered meetings whererepparttar 129780 debate escalated to a point where a council member stood and called her colleagues a “bunch of sleezebags.”

Seeking Inspiration

Written by Vic Peters

Seeking Inspiration

I remember times where I would just sit and stare at my blank computer screen, trying to come up with some kind of inspiration. I wanted to berepparttar author ofrepparttar 129758 Great American Novel. Those wererepparttar 129759 days before I was published, before I had learned how to finish a manuscript, before I knew what it “took.”

“Write about what you know!” screeched that old tired voice inside my head. “Yeah, right,” I retorted. “I don’t know nuthin’. Who wants to read about that?” It was over. I had to face it. The book would never be finished. I would never be published, and Oprah, well, she wasn’t gonna call me either. Damn.

I was going to have to get a real job, and, worse than that, all my friends were going to say, “I told you so.” I was a loser, and that thought made me sick to my stomach. Looking outside throughrepparttar 129760 bedroom window, I was struck with a brilliant idea. “Of course! That’s it!” I was going to jump, except thatrepparttar 129761 fall was only about twelve inches. “Okay,” I told myself, “I’m going to have to jump a lot!”

Nine jumps later, more depression set in; now I was a failed jumper as well. This wasn’trepparttar 129762 way it was suppose to happen. But that ninth splat inrepparttar 129763 dirt must have shaken something loose in my pea brain, because that was when I figured it out: Writing isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you feel andrepparttar 129764 way in which you share those feelings with your reader.

For instance, a man came over torepparttar 129765 house a while back. He wasrepparttar 129766 friend of a young mother in our town who had lost her ten-year-old son just days before. The boy and his best friend had fallen throughrepparttar 129767 ice just before dark and had drowned. No one knew for sure what had happened; they had gone out to play and never came home. Inrepparttar 129768 darkness, volunteers searched through wet snow and dense brush, looking for any clue to their whereabouts. By morning hundreds had joinedrepparttar 129769 cause. We wanted to believe thatrepparttar 129770 boys had run away, or were hiding, or anything other than what we feared. But our calls for angels went unanswered, asrepparttar 129771 reality of an underwater camera testified. It was a terrible experience for all of us.

The mother had asked my friend, “If God said to you that he was going to give you a beautiful gift—a perfect little boy who carriedrepparttar 129772 sun in his smile,repparttar 129773 stars in his eyes and…” she stuttered as her face pulled together and tears slid down soft pink cheeks, “and more love in his heart than you could ever know, would you still want him, even if you knew that He would take him back in ten years?” My friend had no words to comfortrepparttar 129774 woman, so while shaking, she criedrepparttar 129775 answer for him. “Yes, yes…I would,” she said, nodding her head up and down. “I miss him so much.”

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