WMBTSD Giveaway Day 23: September 23, 2007

Happy Sunday! Today’s giveaway is…

Freelancing for NewspapersSeptember 23rd: Freelancing for Newspapers: Writing for an Overlooked Market by Sue Fagalde Lick (Quill Driver Books, 2007.

Ever wonder how any newspaper staff can produce so many stories every day, every week, every month of the year and keep up with breaking news, too? They can’t. They use freelancers. This book serves as a guide to newspaper freelancing, both for beginners and for more experienced writers who want to expand their markets. Topics include: the newspaper market, ideas, queries, research, interviews, writing, revisions, and the business side of freelancing.

Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has been writing for newspapers as a reporter, editor and freelancer for more than 30 years. In addition to countless articles, she has published three books on Portuguese Americans and writes the monthly “Everything But Writing” column at The Scriptorium (www.thescriptorium.net). You can read her “Taking Notes. . . on Life” column at www.suelick.com/columns.html.

And, hey, for a good Sunday paper brainstorming idea, head on over to Sue’s blog and check out this exercise: www.freelancingfornewspapers.blogspot.com. You can win another chance to win Freelancing for Newspapers.

But to win this giveaway, you must answer this question:

What is your favorite section of the newspaper and why? Think you might find yourself writing for that section some day? Why or why not? Feel free to name your favorite newspapers. (Personally, I love The Oregonian.)

Looking forward to your responses! And so is Sue over at her blog. Thanks, Sue!


32 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day 23: September 23, 2007”

  1. 1 Teia Collier September 23, 2007 at 1:54 am

    As a realitively new citizen of the DC Metro area, I find myself now reading the Washington Post. Most days, I lean towards the Style section. It is usually and electic mix of reviews, celebrirty-spotting, advice, fashion and slice-of-life stories. I enjoy the mix of articles and the tone of the articles feels kind of youthful and trendy.

    As for do, I see myself writing for The Post? Absolutely! And hopefully sooner, rather than later.

  2. 2 Teia Collier September 23, 2007 at 2:02 am

    I love the Style Section. I live in Arlington, VA, neighbor to Washington, DC and the big mack-daddy of all papers here is the Washington Post.

    The section is snappy, a little trendy and full of articles about fashion, trend and people-watching, slice-of-life stories, great, sappy celebrations and a nice touch of positivity in a paper sometimes teaming with the dark stuff of life.

    I can see myself writing for The Post, hopefully sooner rather than later, though it may be for the food section before Style.

  3. 3 beediva September 23, 2007 at 3:59 am

    My favorite section of the newspaper is the entertainment section and the “family” section…no matter what town I am in at the time. I would love to write for either. With my background in theatre and music and being the mother of 4 who has adopted two…I think I could offer a relatable perspective. I do struggle with using a journalistic approach though because when I write I definitely have a “voice”…perhaps a column would be more my speed.

  4. 4 Darren Lipman September 23, 2007 at 5:28 am

    I’ve always enjoyed reading the editorial. It serves as a place where minds can come together and dozens of ideas be expressed, all on only a single page or two.

    But of course, you can’t expect to make money off the editorial.

    I also enjoy reading the Life section, especially those articles about religion. To learn about other faiths and to learn different perspectives of people of the same faith has always been interesting for me, and there’s always an abundance of that in the Life section. Those articles about healthy living and conservation also are ones that I’d read often.

    Lastly, I’ve always liked the TV Guide section. But, well, can’t write that, either.

  5. 5 Meryl K. Evans September 23, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Baby Blues comic strip and Sudoku puzzle are the two constants that I look forward to daily. The sections I like most depend on the day of the week and the kind of articles that appear. For instance, the business section is skinny on Saturdays, and the living section skinny on Fridays.

    Growing up, I read the Fort Worth Star Telegram. When I lived in DC, I read The Washington Post. And now living in Dallas, I go to The Dallas Morning News. These were the primary newspapers I read when living in these places. I’ve been fortunate to live in places that produce high quality newspapers. I had the honor of writing for The Dallas Morning News when it had a bigger tech section during the dot com boom. Miss writing for the paper and especially the editor, who has since passed away.

  6. 6 Erika D. September 23, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Oh, no! Just one favorite section? Having lived in the Northeast basically all my life I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read the New York Times, though I’ve complemented that over the years with many others: the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and diverse local papers. Here’s what I tend to read most avidly in the Times: Book Review, Arts, Escapes, Week in Review, Magazine. And the quarterly Education Life section. And now that I’m living in NYC, the City and Real Estate sections. And let’s not forget my guilty pleasure: “Styles”.

  7. 7 Renee Roberson September 23, 2007 at 6:39 am

    I’d love to get a copy of this book to help me expand my newspaper work. I write for The Charlotte Observer right now on a freelance basis, but would love to break into some other large, metropolitan newspapers. I was lucky enough to land a column in the community news section fairly quickly, but like most writers, I’m always looking to branch out.

    My favorite section of the newspaper is the “Living” section, because I love lifestyles topics. It’s the first section I turn to. Our newspaper here has different themes depending on the day of the week (nutrition, gardening, style, etc.) and that helps keeps things fresh. I’d love to do some lifestyles writing for newspapers!

  8. 8 marnini September 23, 2007 at 6:51 am

    I have to say my favorite Newspaper is The Dispatch-it’s our local paper that only comes out on Sunday’s. It’s packed with local information and pictures of familiar faces. Because I am the Secretary of the PTO I get to write short info pieces each week (Though I don’t get credit by name).

    I love reading editorials, There is something about the short articles that intrigue me. Maybe because they are quick, interesting and sometimes surprising.

    Erma Bombeck has always been a fave of mine. I still will look up articles she wrote and think-Hmm she felt the same way I do now forty years ago(as far as parenting,being a wife, etc) I would love to one day write articles for any newspaper and have as much fun doing it as she did.

  9. 9 Andrea McMann September 23, 2007 at 7:21 am

    My favorite section of the newspaper is the “Family” or “Lifestyle” section. In those sections, there are usually articles that are interesting to me, ranging anywhere from a how-to article on talking to your teenager to an interview of a local author. I find myself reading the whole of the “Family” section istead of just skimming it. It is full of the kinds of articles I can see myself writing someday.

  10. 10 Tricia Grissom September 23, 2007 at 8:06 am

    I like my local suburban journal section best. It covers the info in my hometown. I listen to NPR for international news, so having my paper cover my backyard is perfect.

    If there were any book review sections left, I could see myself writing for them. Otherwise I can imagine writing op ed pieces for papers all over the world. I love me some essays.

  11. 11 Tiffani September 23, 2007 at 8:15 am

    My favorite newspaper sections are Life (features) and Sports…and I’ve written for both. The Life section can feature a parenting story alongside a story on a health breakthrough – loads of opportunities for writers. When I was a sportswriter, as a woman I was in the minority, and I loved it. It took hard work, but coaches and players took me seriously and learned that I knew what I was talking about. That was a blast.

    I’d love to see my work in a major newspaper, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star or even USA Today. When I was in high school I always dreamed of making it to New York City and working for The New York Times. Well, freelancing for them would work, too. 🙂

    If I don’t win this time, this book will be added to my wish list. 🙂


  12. 12 Mary Jo C September 23, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Locally, I’m a fan of the Downers Grove Reporter, and urbanaly (is that a word?) I love to read the Chicago Tribune. I gravitate to the Arts and Entertainment or Books section (surprise,surprise!) I love reading the editorials to see how members of my community really think! Usually I’m looking of r fun inexpensive things to do with the kids.

  13. 13 Heather Haapoja September 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I’m ashamed to admit, I rarely read a newspaper, except for occasionally browsing my dad’s copy or when the local small town paper delivers a free copy to all residents. When I do read, I tend to go for the “Arts and Entertainment” or “Leisure” section, or the “Parade” in the Sunday paper. I’m just a magazine reader at heart.

    All that aside, I wouldn’t hesitate to write for a paper. It would be a hard transition from magazine writing, due to the limited space and shorter articles, but I’m sure I could adjust. I hear that newspapers don’t pay all that well, but I guess with shorter pieces and more of them to write, maybe it all balances out in the end.

  14. 14 Audra September 23, 2007 at 10:08 am

    The comics of course. 😉 Seriously though, we have a tiny paper that comes out in the afternoon (East Oregonian), so there isn’t a lot of sections to it. I enjoy reading the front page, the local section, skim though sports for my teams or an interesting tidbit, and even glance through the classifieds. I read the editorials if it’s an interesting (to me) topic.

    I think what I’d most like to write though would be my own column. I have a bit of a sassy tone and I’m not sure I can keep it out without feeling stuffy.

    (I also have a secret desire to write a comic strip shhhh.)

    Now, when we get the Oregonian sometimes on Sundays – it’s like a party with all the stuff in there. 🙂

  15. 15 Terra Hangen September 23, 2007 at 10:16 am

    My favorite newspaper section in my local paper is the Thursday garden section.
    I write and have published a lot of garden articles, including a monthly garden column, and am always on the lookout for more publishing opps.
    So, yes, I might approach the editor of the local paper about writing garden articles for the paper.

  16. 16 Laura Bridgwater September 23, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Whenever I move somewhere or take a trip, I read fiction books about the area. You can’t visit Moab, Utah, without reading Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey or move to northern Colorado without reading Centennial by James Michener. Likewise, nothing beats picking up a local paper either on vacation or at home. Where else can you read stories about people doing wild, unique, and amazing things in your neck of the woods? As the adage goes, truth is stranger than fiction.

    My favorite section of the newspaper is the local section because I’m old enough now to know many of the people in the stories. That’s one benefit of being middle-aged. Do I think I’ll ever write for the newspaper? I’m starting an internship on Monday at one. I’m calling myself the 40-year-old intern. Now I’m going to write about what I love to read.

  17. 17 Rose September 23, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I pick up The Globe & Mail every few days when I happen to make it past our local tobacco shop. The Life and Travel sections are my favorite. I love reading the obits too. There is a regular essay called Facts & Arguments which is done by freelancers. I’d love to write for that – and so I shall. I had a good experience working with an editor at a midsize paper. I like the quick turn around that newspapers provide. Your usually not sitting around waiting for weeks or months to hear back.

  18. 18 nicolemarie September 23, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    My favorite paper has to be the New York Times, with the Washington Post coming a close second. Though the local paper (The Journal News) where I grew up holds a special place in my heart and I still find myself checking it out online at least once a week.

    My favorite section of any paper is always the style/living section. I am drawn to personal stories and entertainment related news. Profiles on local individuals or human interest stories are by far among my favorite to read.

  19. 19 Stephanie September 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I enjoy small, community newspapers because they have something “immediate” and “relevant” about them that larger publications often can’t replicate. I love seeing pictures of neighbors and co-workers, reading about the local school district, and finding out about all of the latest happenings in my area.

    That said, I also enjoy larger publications and I find myself reading the AZ Daily Star, the Tucson Citisen, the NY Times, and various other publications online.

    My favorite sections of any newspaper tend to be the family, life, style, and community sections.

    I currently freelance for two community papers in my area, but I’d absolutely love to expand my options in this arena. Maybe this book will help!

  20. 20 Bet September 23, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    My favorite newspaper has always been the Wall Street Journal. I don’t have a current subscription because it IS expensive and I really don’t have time to read it these days. I think the headlines on the front page of the WSJ are sooo clever- I wish I could come up with headlines like that! But my favorite section of that paper is a tie between the editorials and the special Friday section (sorry, I’ve forgotten what it’s called!) that has a travel review, movie reviews, book reviews, etc.

    I don’t think I’ll ever write for the WSJ- I’m too much of a country girl- but I would love to write for the Life section of my local newspaper, The Saratogian.

  21. 21 Heather M September 23, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I enjoy writing features for the newspaer. I like to be able to explore a new topic and talk with people who are passionate about the subject. The bonus is that I get the oppotunity to learn about new things everytime I write an article. I have in the past written articles for the gardening column at The News Tribune. My favorite paper is the Seattle Times. They are one of the last large family owned papers in the country.

  22. 22 Jean September 23, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    When I lived in Boston, I read the Boston Globe and loved it. Now I live in a relatively rural area without a big newspaper and read the New York Times off and on, since I’m hooked on big city newspapers. My favorite pieces are generally the lifestyle articles, although I could spend all day reading the newspaper if given the chance. For some reason, writing magazine articles seems more accessible to me, although I know it shouldn’t. I suppose I could try a lifestyle article for my local paper.

  23. 23 Karrie September 23, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I like to read the Soundlife section of my local newspaper. I suppose this is the equivalent of the Style section from the post. I’ll read the sadder/more serious stuff first and then read the lighthearted material to remind myself that the world is really a decent place. The comics and a crossword are often involved in this therapy.

    Yes, I can see myself writing for this section. I’d like to be the one to bring the important news of joy to others.

    My favortie local newspaper is the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Nationally I like the Christian Science Monitor and have recentlly discovered that the “middle column” of the Wall Street Journal has some interesting articles.

  24. 24 Pattie September 23, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    I enjoy reading several features within our local paper. On Fridays they have an Arts section that outlines events in the arts in our city. I also enjoy reading the book section in the Sunday paper. And, of course, I love the comic strip “For Better or For Worse.”

  25. 25 Laura September 23, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    My favorite section of the newspaper only comes out in the Sunday editon: the community section. I read the Flint Journal, and on Sunday there is a insert/section called the Flushing Observer. There are several articles on local happenings, and ads for nearby businesses.

    I also read the Tempo section, which is a ‘living’ or ‘family’ section. I read this section completely! I also read the weekly Religion section, and of course, the comics!

    I would love to write for both the Flushing Observer and for the religion section. In fact, I really need this book, because I have a lead on a potential article for the latter!

  26. 26 Lea September 23, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    My mornings don’t feel right unless I read The Journal while I eat breakfast. I always check out the news section, followed by entertainment, lifestyle, and on Wednesdays, the food section. If I have time, I’ll read the whole thing except for the sports pages.

    Since I don’t watch much TV, I read the newspaper to keep up-to-date on local issues. I’ve often thought of writing for some of our local papers, but am not sure how to break into the market. “Freelancing for Newspapers” would be the perfect way to find out!

  27. 27 Tammy E September 23, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I really wanted to make sure I answered this question; I even set a calendar reminder for this question since we would just be returning from a camping trip and I didn’t want to miss responding. I did shower first though – that was important – trust me.

    My favorite sections of the paper are the arts and books, home and entertaining, religion, entertainment and leisure, and food and wine.

    I love all these sections because it helps me keep up with people, trends and restaurants in the Portland Metro area (yes, The Oregonian is the paper I’m referring to). We like to read about restaurants in the area and try them when we can. I also like Sara Perry’s column – lots of fun! If I had to narrow it down, it would be the arts and books and the taste and wine sections because there is nothing better than reading a good new book with a great glass of wine in hand (after a great meal of course).

  28. 28 Laural Ringler September 23, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    The travel section! There are interesting destinations (Princess Di’s final resting place and family estate, a tea plantation in India, an Italian olive pressing) and amazing stories (the family that spent part of their vacation holding babies in an orphanage). Makes me dream. And dream of writing for that section? I’d love to learn something about that.

  29. 29 Kris September 23, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I like the Boston Herald for news and the Sunday Globe for the Boston North section and its Sunday magazine. I don’t like writing straight news, but I’d love to write almost anything in the Sunday magazine. Getting a column published there would be a hoot!

  30. 30 Besu September 23, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    My day doesn’t begin until I have my morning paper. I read all of the news sections, most features, and, of course, the comics. We recently moved the Arizona and now subscribe to the Arizona Republic. It’s a decent paper, but I expected more considering Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the country. We lived in the Seattle area for the past four years and I was quite fond of the Seattle Times.

    I am very interested to learn about newspaper freelancing. News is one of my obsessions – even my toddler who doesn’t speak much can recognize the news and say “news” – and I would love to contribute essays, local news, or scoop online trends.

  31. 31 Abbey September 23, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I enjoy the living/lifestyle section of the paper. I like the features, human interest stories, trends, and interesting tidbits.

    Being a Pacific Northwest girl, I love The Seattle Times – probably just because I’ve grown up reading that publication. I’m also partial to several smaller local and monthly community publications.

    I just started freelancing and my first paying assignments have been for a community paper. The pay is decent (much better than I expected) and I love my editor. It’s a great way for me to get a little more experience and build the confidence I need before exploring larger markets.

  32. 32 Cyndi Pratt September 24, 2007 at 6:52 am

    I work for a newspaper as one of the bookeepers but I also get to write a semi-regular column. It’s one of several written by staff and are always essay, personal opinion, newsy, whatever the author wants to say (within reason, of course. I like the essays, food pages, art and travel pages and local news. I know this is probably too late for the winner’s drawing but just wanted to get in my reply. I need to add that book to my “wish” list, too.

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