Learn Newspaper Editorial Writing

Learn newspaper editorial writing: write for your local paper to gain clips and experience.

If you are a writer, getting clips can be one of the biggest hurdles in the beginning of your career. One way to gain clips is by publishing stories in your local newspapers. Local papers pay little money if any for stories, especially from unknown writers, but if you can get a few stories published, it will look good on your resumé and you will get some great clips. Many writers don't know that you don't have to work for the newspaper to be able to write for it. Most newspaper reporters are freelance writers and only a small percentage of a paper's stories are written by in-house reporters. The best way to start working for your paper is to write a story.

Find a local event, meeting, etc. to attend and write a story about it. Be sure to use good journalistic form and include quotes, important facts, etc. and write up a column about it.

Next, send it immediately to the direct attention of the editor at your local paper along with an offer to write stories for him "˜on spec.' "˜On spec' means that you will write the stories first, then the editor will decide whether or not he will use them in the paper. If the editor does not use the story, you will not be paid. "˜On spec' articles are different from assigned articles because with an assigned article, if your article is not published, you will still be paid.



Try naming a price for your articles ahead of time, but be sure to mention that you are agreeable to negotiations. Most papers have a flat rate they pay for articles which either goes by the inches of the column or by the section of the paper that it appears in. Ask the editor for their policy and offer to cover areas of need.

Once you have gained some good clips from newspaper writing, you will be on your way to publishing in magazines and other venues, now you have experience!

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