Journalism Changes

by Josephine Kihiu

Journalism is a practice dating back hundreds of years. Frankly, it stems from humans needing to be know-it-alls. When reading became a luxury no longer reserved for the rich, disseminating news to a broad public proved profitable and generally beneficial. You’ve all heard the horror stories of late: journalism, especially in the print media subset, is a dying industry, clinging hopelessly to its marginal profits. Sure, the industry saw some major cuts recently. However, the reality is this – journalism is not dying. It’s just changing.

People are embracing a digital lifestyle, and so is the media. Journalists still roam unexplored niches and probe prominent minds for columns to sell, but those columns may end up online or in the journalist’s personal blog, as well as in print.

Digital journalism is an immediate response to the ever-increasing presence of the Internet via smart devices. Want a run-down of the State of the Union’s main points? Need to check your movie listings? Want to know the weather? Answer all questions using the omnipotent Internet.

Cognizant of the new shift in how the modern person acquires information, journalistic publications respond by posting pieces online. They also create apps allowing those with smart phones to roam their websites more conveniently.

Online journalism also serves expansion of journalistic expression. Unlike Harry Potter, your newspaper probably doesn’t support moving pictures on the cover, but journalists who embrace the digital shift can post videos, tweet, and blog about their findings in addition to the traditional static article. This increases potential audiences and diversifies the demographic reach (more college students pick up their iPhones than a newspaper).

But fear not, traditional readers. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy flipping broad pages and the feel of paper in your fingers. It’s familiar, like catching up with an old friend by letter or receiving news from a loved one by snail mail. Large newspapers still understand the importance of retaining the traditional, usually older, market, so don’t panic. News giants such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, remain consistent sources of accurate, interesting news, faithfully delivering to your door as a reminder that all things change… yet stay the same.

Don’t forget to ‘like’ us before you leave. For more great tips, sign up for The Writer’s Choice Newsletter (for free) at http://cwinst.com/newslettersignup.php.

How to Jump Start Story Ideas

Getting Inspired

by Deborah Owen

Ideas are all around you. A car is broken down. A murderer could pick up the stranded passenger and kidnap, rape or kill her. Two girls are ice-skating. One girl drowns and her ghost returns to visit the surviving girl. Readers love the macabre.

Look at an animal, a truck, or an object and think: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Example – you see a snake statue. Why is it there? Who owned it? What is the significance?

  • Look at pictures and let your imagination run wild.
  • Look at a house and imagine what goes on inside.
  • Sit in a restaurant and eavesdrop. Imagine the rest.
  • Think of a dramatic scene and embellish it.
  • Walk around in a crowd and find a strange face that fills you with emotion. Look within. Make yourself and your experiences into a character.
  • Take known problems from several people’s lives and piece it together for a story.

Stories are everywhere. At the end of this article, you’ll find an address where you can search old newspapers. Read the stories of yesteryear, change the facts, rename the characters, and turn it into your own story.

Don’t forget to stop by www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com to discover more writing tips and learn about our awesome creative writing courses!

Here’s the link I mentioned earlier: http://www.xooxleanswers.com/free-newspaper-archives/

How to Earn a Living by Writing

Secrets of Full-time Writers

by Deborah Owen

Creative writers can make a lot of money writing for newspapers. The writing is easy, you don’t have to worry about “Show, Don’t Tell,” and you can resell the articles all over the country with simultaneous submissions.

Most newspapers need a reporter for PTA meetings and sometimes for sports events. You will make about $15 for each article, and $5 for each picture they use. A normal 35mm camera is usually good enough.

Most average-sized cities have a local newspaper that accepts admissions from amateur writers. This is your market. If you have political views you want to share, the Opinion Editor or Op-Ed section is a good place to start. Write with conviction and zest and the editor will most likely accept your piece. He will, however, edit it for grammar and cut parts he deems unnecessary. If they have a guideline, follow it to the letter.

By most people’s standards, $15 to $20 isn’t much, but if you write an article about an upcoming holiday and resell it all over the nation, you can easily make $200 from it.

Make a file on the newspapers that accept your work. This is your gold mine. These are the people you send Christmas cards to – the people you become personally acquainted with – the people you network with – and the people you become friends with. These people are your livelihood – and this is how writers make a living. Maybe not a plush living, but a modest one. It isn’t easy, but it works.

When you write articles, you have to be fast. You don’t worry a lot about how you phrase things as long as you use (near) proper English. Most of the rules you learned for writing short stories won’t apply. You can use passive sentences. You can “tell” instead of “showing”. You don’t have to use graceful sentences, but used jazzed-up verbs.

Send your submissions directly to the editor. Call the newspaper to learn his or her name, and write it down. Be sure you get the spelling right. Google “U.S. Newspapers” and you can select the papers by state.

So where do you get your articles? What do you write about? Have you ever wondered how something works, or where certain things come from? How about people who have an unusual talent or a special hobby?

The secret to reselling a newspaper article is that it needs to have a broad appeal – such as an article on how Father’s Day began. If you were submitting to a magazine, you would have to submit at least three to four months ahead, but not so with newspapers. Send your article in two weeks in advance.

Still having a hard time thinking of what to write about? Check the latest version of Writer’s Market if you have nothing specific in mind. Browsing the nonfiction section will give you an idea of what kinds of articles are being published.

This is enough to get you off to a good start. Have any questions though? I’d be more than happy to answer them for you in the comments below!

And don’t forget to head over to www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com to sign up for The Writer’s Choice Newsletter or a writing course with a personal tutor.

Ways to Recycle Your Articles (See Below – Mad March Hares)

Reuse those Articles!
by guest blogger, Hope Clark

1. Create an Ebook

Categorize, edit, marry the topics into sections, and voila! An ebook. Give it serious attention, though.
Your posts WILL need editing, trust me. Time tends to show us how our writing has improved, and some topics
get a tad stale in the interim as well. You must keep your material fresh!

2. Create a class

Whether a webinar, conference presentation, podcast or coaching, identify the subjects that address the same topic and see if there isn’t a thread of a theme there. If you have as many posts as I do, you might have multiple classes available in that pile.

3. Fluff them up for recycling

Take your posts and connect them to current events or more recent changes, mantras, fads or lessons. Your
old material takes on new life with the latest added to it.

And you thought your blog posts were just free writing that had no financial worth!

* C. Hope Clark is author of Lowcountry Bribe – A Carolina Slade Mystery, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bell Bridge Books (www.bellbridgebooks.com). See her author site at www.chopeclark.com . Hope is also editor and founder of FundsforWriters.com (www.fundsforwriters.com) – a writer’s resource recognized by Writer’s Digest Magazine for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past eleven years.

For more great writing tips, sign up for The Writer’s Choice Newsletter at the top of this page: http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com

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Mad March Hares
by Joe Massingham, Volunteer Coordinator

The expression ‘mad as a March hare’ comes from early European communities that, almost two thousand years ago, observed hares (and probably other animals) when they emerged from winter hibernation leaping and dancing about in the spring sunshine.

Their dancing had a more important role than enjoying the warmth and stretching of their legs. It was, in fact, the first stage of a courting ritual which had the production of offspring as its ultimate goal, thus ensuring their survival and strengthening of particular species. The hares may have seemed mad to a casual onlooker but like most actors in nature’s theater, they had a clear role to play.

In many ways our first steps into the writing world might be similar to the hares’ emergence. We get the urge to write; we twitch and hop, type and scrawl, and generally carry on as though some grand new world anxiously awaits our donation. A few tentative tries may bring the despair of non-success. Where to now in our quest to become a writer?

Well, like the hares, we have to learn. They observe their elders and betters in the hare world. If we do the same in our world, we’ll soon see that would-be authors learn from the more experienced.

Writing interaction may come in adult learning classes or online writing forums. In a world where time seems to be in shorter supply than ever, an online writing course may be a good choice. At Creative Writing Institute, you can work one-on-one with a private tutor. You will learn five times faster under private tutelage and the price will be less than what you would pay for instructor-driven classes where attention is divided among 10 or more students.

Personal feedback is a bit like the hares chewing fresh grass in the spring. Experiment with it. Take a few nibbles and see how you like it. It’s a safe and inexpensive way to learn the craft of writing. Choose your own field to dance in and increase your chances of writing success.

Register for your class today and start it tonight at http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com. Payment plan available at no extra charge. No administrative or registration fee. Check it out.