Category: Articles

Miscellaneous articles.

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Five Years Later, Gail Collins Speaks About Her 2012 Lifetime Honor

This is the 20th in a series of articles about winners of the NSNC’s annual Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. By Dave Astor NSNC Archivist Five years after receiving the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2012 conference in Macon, Georgia, how does Gail Collins feel about that honor? “Well, the plaque is standing…

Turning Quirks Into Columns: Finding Your Niche

The Art of Column Writing By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Communications Director For every special interest or hobby, there are niche publications that cover it. As writers, we have the ability to take our interests from activity to the page. Our hobbies, our lifestyles, and our day trades are all mined for material. This is where…

Maureen Dowd Accepts Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award

    On Saturday, June 10, 2017 Maureen Dowd of the New York Times received the 2017 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. The event was part of the NSNC’s annual conference held at the Manchester Radisson in New Hampshire. Lisa Smith Molinari is the 2017 president and Mike…

Wanna Make More Dough? Podcasting’s on the Rise

By Lisa Smith Molinari NSNC President The theme for this month’s NSNC Annual Conference – “Live Free and Write – But Not for Free” – was no afterthought. We all know that column writing is a craft, not a job; a form of art, not a task; a manifestation of expression, not a business. However,…

Did Breslin Do This?

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News columnist     First, I write the column. This is about what’s next. Did Breslin do this? * I write the headline. If I fail on this and nobody likes my headline, all the work I did for a 900-word column goes to the crapper. I know this from…

Will Rogers Award Honors Active Columnist for Community Service

Suzette Martinez Standring to receive Will Rogers Humanitarian Award Suzette Martinez Standring is one of the busiest members of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. She bylines a syndicated spirituality column and writes a blog, she has authored two award-winning books widely used in journalism classes, she speaks at national workshops and conferences on a…