By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine
Remember the old movies with the boy standing on the street corner selling newspapers yelling, “Read all about it” and “Come and get it” along with the price? In those movies, you might see a reporter running to get a story, then hurrying back to type it up and hand it in to get it in for the evening newspaper.
It seems those days are gone and our newspapers are folding or if not folding, yet, they are laying off many of their employees. Yesterday, I saw where two more large newspapers have had huge layoffs. One can’t help but feel sad during this time for the people losing their jobs. Yet there is even more sadness, an era of “big newspapers’ is coming to an end.
For the newspapers that remain open, with skeleton crews, you will find opportunities for us as writers. Now more than ever the opportunities for freelancers are growing every day.
What a great way to get your name out as a writer, writing freelance for a newspaper. So start getting a newspaper every day. Read it. To be even smarter, go to your library, pull up an old newspaper, and compare the old to the new…what did the old have the new one doesn’t in articles, columns, etc. You just might find your niche.
Call and talk to the “Editor” and find out if they are looking for freelancers and in what sections. Get him/her to tell you what they would want from a freelancer. If you can get an appointment, take some things you’ve written. You are not limited to just the newspaper in your town. Use your imagination.
Main thing, be persistent without being too big a pest. Always make sure if you send an article, it is your very best work. Remember to use a hook. Grab the editor’s attention in the first sentence. Make your words pop off the page.
Then you can say…“Read all about it.”