Category: Advocacy

Psychological Chocolate: Why Giving Feels So Good

By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President Does this sound familiar? You’ve finally arrived home after numerous trips to the local strip malls to buy the latest toy for your niece, twinkle lights for the porch, ear warmers for your spouse, and supplies to bake 12 dozen pecan tarts for the neighborhood cookie exchange. Then, it…

Can We Be Honest Here?

by Rick Horowitz NSNC Member Can We Be Honest Here? “Society” is a ridiculous word to describe us. “Society” is posh. Precious. Pinkies are extended. Platitudes are uttered. We’re talking about columnists, for pity’s sake! A national “society” of columnists? You might as well speak of a “mob” of philatelists. A “coven” of neurosurgeons. An “exaltation”…

A Thank You Like No Other

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist If you’re reading this, you, the columnist, already believe you have strong messages, insights, and opinions to share in your writing. Nobody without that kind of self-confidence could ever be reading this columnists’ newsletter, right? But how did you get here? Chances are you were helped by a…

2018 NSNC Column Writing Contest Begins Soon!

Does Winning Make a Difference? By Suzette Standring NSNC Executive Director Get ready! The NSNC Column Writing Contest is coming up and national bragging rights could be yours. Eight categories, 36 ways to place, and cash prizes!  A specially designed NSNC Winner’s Badge is given to all winners for personal website posting. Your frustrations were…

November Offers Writers Productivity, Poultry

President’s Message By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President Unless you plan to spend the entire month writing your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, November is the best time to finish those literary projects that never seem to get done. You know, the manuscript that you started years ago that is buried in your document files. Or…

Connie Schultz to Receive the 2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award

By Dave Astor NSNC Archivist The National Society of Newspaper Columnists is proud to announce that our 2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is…Connie Schultz! Ms. Schultz – the much-admired, widely read 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary – will receive the award during the NSNC’s June 7-10, 2018, conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. When…

Twitter – Why? Why? Why?

By Cathy Turney October is National Self-Promotion Month (really!), and there is no less expensive, faster, and easier way for journalists and bloggers to promote themselves and get their writing before thousands of eyeballs than Twitter. “My Twitter followers have helped me grab the attention of powerful influencers, got one of my stories 30,000 reads…

Lighten Up: What Columnists Can Learn From Cincinnatians

By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President Sometimes, we writers take ourselves too seriously. Many have implied that they wouldn’t exist without their craft, claiming, “I write; therefore, I am.” However, a more realistic statement for columnists today might be, “I write; therefore, I have a day job to pay the bills.” Perhaps a more apropos…

Now Accepting Submissions

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists is pleased to announce we are now accepting article submissions from NSNC members for our monthly newsletter and website. If you’re not a member, become one. Read the full guidelines and see what themes we’d like to highlight in our Editorial Calendar. We feel strongly that writers should be compensated…

Back to Basics: How to Research a Publication Prior to Pitching

By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Communications Director Many of us are freelancing these days — which means we’re looking for leads, reading submission guidelines, and pitching stories to new publications on a regular basis. Ideally, every publication would have clear writer’s guidelines that include the managing editor’s name, contact, columns accepting submissions, and desired word count. However,…

Gene Weingarten: Funny, Serious, and a Pyle WinnerAstor

Gene Weingarten

This is the 22nd in a series of articles about winners of the NSNC’s annual Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. By Dave Astor NSNC Archivist It’s fitting that Gene Weingarten received our 2014 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award just a year after Dave Barry won the 2013 Pyle prize. They’re both humorists (though Weingarten is…

Ask Alex: Free Trial and Error

DEAR ALEX, My column runs in 24 newspapers across eight states; eleven are weekly and the others run periodically. Of those, only eight are paying. In my desire to grow my base, I offered my column to other papers at no cost. Without thinking, I did not put a time limit on that period of…

Vacationing on Deadline: How NSNC’s Columnists Do It

By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President As columnists who must meet strict deadlines, we know that one of the best ways to combat burnout is to take a vacation. It’s good for us to release ourselves from the looming pressures of our next writing assignments for a week or two. But let’s be honest –…

DERRICK JACKSON: Be Passionate, Connect, Expand

by Suzette Martinez Standring photo by Cynthia Ballard Borris In Manchester, New Hampshire, Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson opened with lyrics from the play “Hamilton,” which he customized to columnists.  It was an apt segue into a talk by the Pulitzer finalist and multiple-award-winning writer about how he has kept readers engaged. He shared three…

Do You Suck?

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist  Are you an awful columnist? Writer Hamilton Nolan says you are. He’s sure of it. In a piece on Fusion called “It is humanly impossible to be a good newspaper columnist,”, he writes that being a regular columnist “is one of the cushiest and most coveted jobs in…

All Hail the Queen of the West! Cincinnati to Host #NSNC18

By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President Registration is now open. Register HERE. You may have recently unpacked from our wildly successful #NSNC17 conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, but mark your calendars again, because you’ll be traveling to the Midwest next spring! In a unanimous vote on the final day of our June conference, NSNC’s general…