Category: Art of Column Writing

Columns for NSNC by its 2004-06 President Suzette Martinez Standring, author of the books “The Art of Opinion Writing” and “The Art of Column Writing”

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,…

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…

Tribes and Tribulations

by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Director of Media We’re talking to columnists about what it means to be an opinion writer in today’s market. This is the second article in the series. Adversity inspires solidarity. When things go wrong we turn to those who understand and support. As members of the press, things have definitely gone…

The Columnist’s Role Today

Columnists Talk Shop By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Director of Media We’re talking to columnists about what it means to be an opinion writer in today’s market. This is the first article in the series. No matter which political camp you stood in this past year you were bound to take a hit on your stance.…

FAKE NEWS = EYEBALLS = $$$

by Suzette Suzette Martinez Standring NSNC Past President Do I have to “Snopes” every shocking headline nowadays? For readers many fake news sites look legit, just like those taken down by Google:baltimoregazette.com, denverguardian.com, as well as parasitic domain-named sites such as USAToday.com.co and WashingtonPost.com.co However, news hoaxes will reappear in other forms fueled by ad networks…

Suit Up For Writing Online: Word Count Matters

by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp NSNC Director of Media There’s a reason Erma Bombeck and Art Buchwald columns were under 500 words and Ernie Pyle kept his to 700. It works. Not only is that what many editors want, it’s also what most people are willing to read. Humor columnists and opinion bloggers, in particular, must…

Always Watching

By Dave Lieber Dallas Morning News  columnist Reminders came my way that people are always watching you, the columnist. We’re always on stage. Even when we think we’re not.   The world is big, but the community is so small.   Last week, a man wrote me the following:   “Mr. Lieber, you most likely do not remember me,…

Michael P. Ramirez: One Cartoon is Worth a Thousand Words

By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 NSNC president One picture is worth a thousand words. Or think of it this way: one editorial cartoon is worth a thousand-word column. At the Hotel Angeleno in June, Michael P. Ramirez said, “A reporter is a purveyor of fact.  Editorial cartoonists just go back and shoot the wounded.” The two-time…

The Advantage of Conference Connections

By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 NSNC president Thousands (more likely, hundreds) of “friends” and “likes” on social media do impress, but personal connection still reigns.  Nothing beats conversations, shared laughs, and the give-and-take of new ideas. That chance returns with the NSNC’s annual meeting in Los Angeles on June 23-26, 2016. Back in 2000, I was…

Syndication Updated

Axel Jäderin of Svenska Dagbladet, studies the concurrent newspapers.

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 NSNC president Syndication as an income stream, how do you break in? I am not referring to self-syndication or to traditional syndicates, such as Tribune Media or Creators Syndicate. Rather, what are newsgroup syndicates [traditionally called news services for multiproperty media corporations] looking for now? For…

Snagging Eyeballs vs. Reaching Hearts

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring NSNC 2004-06 President Writing brings satisfaction, but are enough people reading our columns? A negative twist to Saturday Night Live’s Stuart Smalley plays in my head, “My ‘likes’ aren’t good enough. My blog posts aren’t smart enough and, doggone it, my Twitter feed is too low.” Recently,…

Tragedy: The Emotion of Right Now

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 NSNC President It’s the season of peace and goodwill, yet the hot breath of tragedy is fresh — the Paris bombings, the Syrian refugee crisis, and gun violence in America. As readers reach out for news, journalists and columnists are first-responders. Sometimes I don’t know how…

Does Free Writing for HuffPost Make Cents in the End?

Logo of Huffington Post

The Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 NSNC President Many columnists write for free on The Huffington Post, with the aim of parlaying the exposure into money elsewhere. But does it happen? Many writers have long been angry with HP for not paying its writers, but today is that feeling just as…

Reaching Beyond the Column

Published Book

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 President National Society of Newspaper Columnists I was jealous of employed columnists. In comparison, the lot of a freelancer felt difficult, scrapping for the next job, doing “other things” while writing a column. In 2000, employed newspaper columnists were the majority in the NSNC. Now, most…

Hot-Button Pushers for Columnists

Clip art of finger pushing a button

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Standring 2004-06 President National Society of Newspaper Columnists There are aspects aplenty to controversy. When tackling fifty shades of truth, being “gray” doesn’t grow a readership. Yet life is never black and white. Family. Politics. Feminism. Race. Religion. How best to take a decisive stand on polarizing topics? It’s…

When Stand-Up and Column Writing Meet

Suzette Martinez Standring

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 President National Society of Newspaper Columnists Life is an unexpected ride. I’m a columnist who presents writing workshops, maybe the occasional keynote. But stand-up comedy? Terrifying! I am not that gal. Or am I? On a lark I did a Story Slam recently. The theme was…

Silence? Never. But Do We Shush Ourselves?

NSNC is honored to stand among these journalism organizations. Graphic courtesy of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Art of Column Writing By Suzette Martinez Standring 2004-06 President National Society of Newspaper Columnists The French magazine Charlie Hebdo was notorious for its offensive satire on religion, and gunmen proclaiming revenge in the name of the Prophet Mohammed imposed the ultimate form of censorship. Death. Those who peddle in professional mockery now fear for…