Day 5: Belinda Weaver

Welcome to Day 5 of the totally unofficial EWF Book Club.

If this is your first time here, please have a quick read of this page (don’t worry it’ll open in a new window) to get the rundown on what EWF BK is all about.

Now, on with the show…

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Today we discuss Belinda Weavers’s Writing a ‘niche’ column.

During the time I was swapping emails with Andre (EWF Book editor) to ‘nail down’ the theme of my own essay, he said something that stuck with me. “This year we’re really trying to give people clear, practical advice on how to do different types of writing.” And that’s exactly what Belinda’s done in her piece.

She gives us the numbers. She explains how to find your niche, what’s involved in pumping out a regular column, and how it can lead to other opportunities. I liked that she also included tricky areas such as ‘how much of your family/personal life do you want to include’ which is something all column-writers must decide upon fairly early on.

Personally – writing a niche column is something I have had interest in for a long time. Thanks to her EWF essay, Belinda’s given me some great concrete tips – and it’s all up to me now. What about you?

EDIT: Belinda was kind enough to share ‘the story behind the story’…

I actually saw the call for pitches for the EW book and figured I could write about my experience of column writing. So I sent in my pitch and it was accepted.

People often asked how I’d got my column so I wanted to provide some tips for people hoping to get that kind of work. I would have liked to have discussed media industry changes that have had such an impact on outlets but there was no room so I just concentrated on the logistics. After all, there are still lots of columns being published – that world has not ended.

Once my pitch was accepted, I pretty much wrote it in one go – as I used to do with my column – and then I let it lie fallow for a week or so and looked at it again with fresh eyes. An editor friend gave me some useful feedback and Andre also asked for a couple of changes to my initial submission. From then on, it was a matter of sharpening it – I hope it wasn’t too sharp!

I was pretty happy with the final result – I felt I’d said what I wanted to say. I am happy to continue the conversation with anyone interested.

What did you get out of Writing a ‘niche’ column? Please – hit the comments below!

Come back from 9am tomorrow and we’ll feature…

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For an easy no-spam reminder, just scroll ‘up and to the right’ and subscribe via email or RSS. Or follow me on Twitter. I’ll be tweeting the latest post each day with the hashtag #EWFbookclub.

Of course, this a book club discussion becomes more interesting with each new member who contributes.   Can you help spread the word?

Today’s tweet..

Want to write your own newsp/mag column? Belinda Weaver did. She’s featured in today’s #EWFbookclub http://wp.me/p3mjAG-4t <click to tweet this>

Or here’s a generic one…

Let’s read/discuss the @EmergingWriters book. 36 articles/36 days. Join us? http://wp.me/p3mjAG-2D via @gabemcgrath #ewf13  <click to tweet this>

If you’re not a Twitter user, a quick link to this post on your Facebook, blog or similar would be appreciated.

Thanks for joining the totally unofficial EWF book group – see you tomorrow!

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About Gabe McGrath

Freelance writer, radio creative, retro gamer and a dad. Gabe's writing has appeared in Wired.co.uk , My Child, Retro Gamer, Crikey.com.au , Huggies.com.au & more. Editor in Chief of JustOneMoreGame
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5 Responses to Day 5: Belinda Weaver

  1. beefyisfeebz says:

    Sorry not able to do the 200 words by thurs as really hard pressed for time. Going away soon. Can I postpone to later on when it is more convenient for me?

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      Not a problem Phoebe! Many of the writers have had to ‘promise me for later’.

      Hope it’s a good trip, and yes if you are able to contribute your thoughts at some stage I’ll make sure I promote your post again.

  2. Sam Ryan says:

    I’m left with a few thoughts from Belinda’s piece, but mostly the impact of short sentences in column writing. Mostly because she used it to fantastic effect in this article. It was so easy to read while I stood on Swan Street waiting for a tram, and I’m going to work on that myself!

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      Yes, it’s a definite change of pace – although in my case the short sentences felt a bit like a rapid-fire delivery… so many useful hints hitting me on each page!

      Funny that you mention ‘ease of reading’ whilst on public transport. I didn’t really consider that sort of ‘snack’ type consumption when writing my piece – yet if many of the EWF book readers are students, often on public transport – that could be quite common.

      I wonder if the EWF team have any sort of impression of what their readership consists of……

    • Belinda Weaver says:

      Thanks Sam – I did try to keep it short and snappy. I think good style depends on a range of sentence lengths – too many long sentences and one’s mind starts to glaze over; too many short ones and a machine gun comes to mind 🙂 Happy to continue the conversation if you have other thoughts you want to discuss from the piece.

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