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…
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!
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