By Lisa Smith Molinari
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
What makes one a columnist?
Is it occupying a weekly space on page seven of the newspaper? Is it blogging? Is it a regular spot in the local Patch? Is it a monthly feature in a regional magazine? Is it a series of opinion pieces on a news website? Is it a regular video log on YouTube or a podcast series? Is it a recurring feature in an organizational newsletter?
The answer is, “Yes.” Columnists are all these things and more.
In today’s vast alternative media landscape, there have never been more forms of the art of column writing. Arguably, anyone who writes short-form serial essays, regardless of the medium, is a columnist. Column content varies from opinion to political analysis to sports to critiques to advice to humor to gossip to spiritual to hyper-local news and beyond.
To highlight the diversity of columnists and bloggers in NSNC, we are launching a special online “selfie” campaign on National Columnists Day 2017. On April 18th, post an original selfie holding a sheet of paper that reads “I AM A COLUMNIST” telling everyone how you are a columnist. Let’s celebrate the diversity in modern column-writing. Then post it to social media using the hashtags #IAmAColumnist, #NSNC17, and #AMWriting. Be sure to also post it in the Columnist Clubhouse Facebook group and tag @NSNCgroup on Twitter or the NSNC Facebook page so we can share. Download our blogger template HERE or blank template (like the one pictured) HERE or create your own!
Our selfie posts will not only show the world that you are a columnist in every sense of the word, it will also encourage other writers who want to find their tribe and become a member. Are YOU a current member? Maybe more columnists will join us in Manchester, New Hampshire, for our annual conference being held June 8-11. Check out our conference schedule HERE.
“Live Free and Write (But Not for Free)” is the theme of this year’s event, where we will offer the kind of lineup for which the NSNC is famous: award-winning speakers, practical how-to sessions, entertaining comedians, fun excursions, and our famous hospitality suite gatherings. However, that’s not all. This June we have added a brand-new Literary Agents Program to give attendees the opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential agents and publishers. Furthermore, if you’ve already published a book, we will have the first-ever open-to-the-public book fair on Saturday afternoon of the conference, where attendees can sell their books.
But most of all, our annual conference is where we all gather to feel that wonderful sense of belonging. Where we can learn from each other, and share our experiences. Where we can sit at a conference table with a new friend. Where we can raise a glass in the hospitality suite with a long-time colleague. Where each one of us has different professional experiences, educational backgrounds, and personal histories, but can say without hesitation, “I AM a columnist.”
Post your unique selfie on National Columnists Day, April 18, 2017
Use the hashtags #IAmAColumnist, #NSNC17, and #AMWriting
Sign up to meet one-on-one with literary agents and publishers at the conference – more details in an article below
Request a table to sell your book to the public at our conference (Executive Director Suzette Standring firstname.lastname@example.org)