Thursday, 11 February 2010

Worth doing

My recent article in Writers' News magazine about writing for your community came into being from an idea I had when I was reading my local newspaper. At the back of this newspaper there is a section called Community Lines that lists self help groups, hobby groups, local branches of national organisations such as the British Heart Foundation and the British Lung foundation. And this is where I first saw the charity that my most recent batch of articles are about.

There are so many groups to choose from that it's possible that I have enough potential material within this section to keep me in articles for years! They say that you should try and specialise in a couple of areas with your non-fiction writing - well, I seem to have found my niche. Local groups and charities seems to be my bag at the moment and I'm really enjoying it.

I am pleased to report that one of my articles on this charity has been accepted by the magazine for teaching assistants and another magazines for governors that I sent a query to earlier this week are also interested and will be discussing it soon. I haven't yet heard back on the other article I sent out to the local newspaper but it's early days yet. I'm also waiting for a reply from a parenting magazine. So there you go - that's one definite outlet and three possible others from one idea - and if I can do that with some of the other groups in the paper you can see how many possible articles that could be. Not all of the mags pay, but that's not the end of the world for me as I also write to raise awareness of their cause, plus the copy can go in my portfolio which may well lead on to more work.

Give it a go! You won't know until you try - some won't be interested in talking to you, but if you point out the advantages of them allowing you to do an article on them and you can show them previous articles you have had published, they may be more willing. The more you write and get accepted, the easier this will become.

I also had some great news from the editor of Shropshire Life magazine yesterday who said my article about archery in Shropshire would be in the next issue and that it looked great! So I can't wait to see that. And I can't wait to see what the archers themselves think about it. I still remember them and I don't think I'll ever forget them! They were / are brilliant! Having seen Di Perry's excellent article in there back in December about Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre, I know the layout and quality will be fab.

I don't know if anyone else feels like this sometimes, but whenever I finish a batch of articles on a subject I always have a few days of restlessness and slight panic at what subject I'm going to tackle next! I think that the success I've had with my articles so far is just some kind of weird fluke and my luck and inspiration is about to run out. It passes after 48 hours and I'm on to the next lot - I already have an article I'm writing for WF magazine and there's one I had declined on a different subject and magazine that I want to send elsewhere. Then there's one for another writing magazine that the editor has asked me to rewrite from a different angle. So I have plenty to be going on with and I know I have my trusty Community Lines to trawl through if I'm stuck for inspiration!

Thank you to everyone who responded to me plea for help recently re: public speaking. I do appreciate all the help you have all given me. I will keep you posted on how that article goes.

Take care and happy writing



  1. It's great isn't it that there are so many opportunities out there. I once had a little column in a magazine related to my job, I didn't get paid but it was a great way of developing experience. I can't wait to see your article, I bet it will be a really colourful one.

  2. I loved your article in the Writers' News.

    Here's to continuing success.

  3. Thank you very much Debs - it was only a short piece but I'm so glad the editor published it. I think it's so easy to gloss over the small press and disregard them as potential sources of material for our writing. I find the local mags and free comunity mags to be a treasure trove and I have so much fun trawling through them and I've had quite a few articles out of them now - always worth looking at.

    Julie xx

  4. Hi, Di!

    Yes there are plenty of writing opportunities out there if we are prepared to look for them.I bet your column was excellent. Even if you write occasionally for magazines that don't pay - you can at least have a copy of your published article to help build up your portfolio!

    I hope my article in Shropshire Life will bee okay - I'm so worried that the archers won't like it!! And I can't wait to see which photos the editor has used - I took them all myself and after the trouble with the other mag who didn't like the pictures I just hope they turn out okay - or, indeed, if she used any of them at all!

    Julie xx