By Caitlin Kelly
How do reporters think?
It seems mysterious to some, but — whether through training, school or experience — we process the world in specific ways. I enjoy journalism because one of its principles is challenging authority and questioning received wisdom.
We ask “Why? a lot.
It also means breaking many of the accepted rules of polite society: interrupting, demanding answers from the powerful, revealing secrets. That alone can be difficult for some writers to get used to.
Anyone who hopes to sell their journalism, non-fiction or books also needs to know how to quickly and efficiently find sources, decide which ones are worth pursuing and understand the underlying principles by which all reporters, and their editors work.
These include a deep and fundamental understanding of ethics, knowing when to push (and when to back off) and how to frame a story.
Having worked as a staff reporter for The Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette and New York Daily News, and a regular freelance contributor to The New York Times, I can help you hit the ground running. To compete effectively with trained veteran reporters, you need to think as they do. We’ll talk about how stories are shaped and edited, and how to balance the need for accuracy, great writing, deep reporting — and hitting your deadlines!
The webinar is 90 minutes, at 2pm EST Saturday February 8.
Details and sign up here.
And anyone who’s blogging, writing and hoping to develop longer narratives for print — or for new digital websites like Longform, the Atavist, TakePart and others — needs to find and develop timely, compelling story ideas.
Ideas surround us every day, sometimes in the same room with us, at work, at the gym, at work, in your community or place of worship, or in conversation with friends, family and neighbors.
How to know which ones are worth pursuing? First you need to recognize them as potential stories, and know when, why and how to develop them into salable material.
Some of the hundreds of ideas I’ve conceived, pitched and sold:
putting my dog to sleep, (The Globe and Mail), the use of carbon fiber in yacht design, a devastating side effect of a popular medication, (Chatelaine magazine), Google’s meditation classes, women car designers, (New York Times) and returning to church after decades away. (Chatelaine.)
Finding great stories is like birding — once you know what they look like, you’ll start to see them everywhere!
Here’s a testimonial from Leonard Felson, a career reporter who took this webinar last fall to help him move from selling only to regional or local markets to national ones:
As a coach, Caitlin Kelly is like a doctor sending you on your way with just the right prescription. She read my clips and zeroed in on what I could do to up my game. It was time and money well spent, and well worth the investment in my career.
The webinar is 90 minutes, at 2pm EST Sunday February 9.
Details and sign up here.
Questions or concerns?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.