Tag: publishing

Writing workshops: how to read magazines — and write for them

If it’s Friday, then it’s a magazine masterclass in Chester.

I ran the first in a series of new-style workshops today, hosted by Meltdown, in which we got to grips with some of the thorny issues of making it as a magazine journalist.

Such as, you ask? Well, try signposting, pitching editors and, the thorniest of all — money.

Magazines matter, I think. They educate and inform; they define the age in which we live.

That’s why our discussion moved from Nineties Britpop and Loaded to Monacle‘s spin-off brands and the rise of the indie magazine as celebrated by Stack Magazines.

It was a lively debate with four super-keen wannabe hacks [pictured above], all of whom brought loads of experience, ideas and enthusiasm to the session.

Here’s a taster of some of the take-away tips of the day …

If you’re going freelance, then you will need:

  • An ability to generate lots of ideas and pitch them successfully, turning your ideas into hard cash
  • An ability to take old ideas and recycle them or spin-off fresh ones with different angles. Either way, you need to refresh quotes, rewrite intros and concs, and check with editors re copyright contracts
  • Some business sense and a basic grasp of accountancy to keep your own records

Thanks to the attendees and for the great feedback, such as:

And this comment from the feedback sheet:

“This has given me the confidence to give it a go and actually start pitching stories to editors.”

The plan is to take these workshops quarterly, so look out for the next one in the new year.

A book contract and a request for 80 dad tips

Thumbs up: days out with dad over summer.
Thumbs up: days out with dad over summer.

I signed a book deal over summer.

It’s a work of creative non-fiction with a 2018 publication date for a small UK publisher. There’s a lot of research ahead before my deadline next spring.

But I don’t mind. It’s a project close to my heart as it revolves around a key topic: fatherhood.

As such, I’m now collecting stories from men with extraordinary tales to tell about how fatherhood has changed their perspective on life.

That’s where you come in.

I’m trying to compile a set of top tips for dads — bons mots  to inspire future fathers and share your wealth of experience.

Please tweet me with your 140-characater tips, using the hashtag #80dadstips. I’ll compile the best and credit your contributions in the final draft.

Over to you.

Follow me on Twitter @atkinsondavid.

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