www.whyville.net Feb 13, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Top Tips for Times Writers: Part IV

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Hello Whyvillians! Columns are one of the newest additions to the Times - having only been around since the middle of 2006. However, they are still one of our most prominent features and thus deserve a whole article to talk about them. Also, at the end of this article, I will give general tips about writing your articles that may have been overlooked.

Unfortunately, this is going to be the last in the "Tops Tips for Times Writers" series. I'll put the relevant Article ID's at the bottom for you to look at. I hope you have enjoyed it very much so and I hope you learn from it too. Us older writers need you guys to start writing now. Times Writing is one of the most rewarding things you can do in Whyville. It helps you in Whyville and out in real life in more ways than you can imagine.


In case you don't know, a column is basically a weekly article on a certain topic by a writer. Now, a lot of people have a "thing" that they know a lot about for one reason or another. For instance, I have a friend whose "thing" is Scandinavia and another one whose "thing" is alternative music. Yours could be wider than that - it could be sport, music, fashion or even something completely obscure like elephant juggling. If you feel very passionate about something, you feel Whyvillians will be interested in it and feel that you could write about it then a column could be right up your street. Popular Columns include: "Emmy's World" by glitsygrl; "Eh! The Canada Column" by rochrox; "Inside the Mind" by megmeg9 and "Life Lessons" by xo7joa7ox. Today, I'll be talking to Rochrox and Glitsygrl about their tips for columns.

Rochrox: When you're just getting started as a columnist, make sure your idea is a good one! You could write the most amazing column in the world, but if no one is interested in your topic, then nobody will read it.
Glitsygrl: Make sure its on a subject you are very passionate about and find interesting, because you'll be writing about it or different aspects of that topic for a few months, or however long you want your column to be. Columns are a lot of fun, so make sure to have fun with yours. If its not fun for you, then its going to be super flat for the readers.

The first thing you have to do if you want to become a columnist is to submit your pitch to the Times Editor via the normal email means. This should include: your title; the first and second article in your column; ideas for future columns and a few paragraphs detailing why you are qualified to write this column and why you think the column is good for the Times. Doing this shows the Editor how committed you are to the column and this will make her much more likely to accept the column.

Before you start your column, make sure you feel you have enough time to do the column. If you are bogged down with school-work or can't find yourself sitting down to do an article every week then don't. Many good writers, including me, just can't find the time to do this and this doesn't make them any less of a writer. On the flip side, if you're writing a column and are very busy one week, don't feel that you need to write the article. The Whyville Mob, as mentioned in last week's article, will not come and burn you at the stake if you don't. Real life comes first. However, it's unwise to start a column if you have long periods of absence from Whyville.

rochrox: Listen to the constructive criticism in the BBS, and try to apply that to your future articles! In a weekly column, keeping your reader's attention is key, so listening to your readers is very important.

Lastly, make sure you shape your column according to what your audience wants. You may feel that you are aiming at young girls when teenage boys are actually more interested. Learn to change your style of writing to suit their needs.

I look forward to seeing your column in the next issue ;-).

General Tips

* Have an interesting title and tagline! Spend at least a few minutes thinking what it should be as in quite a few cases, if someone doesn't think the title and/or tagline is interesting, they won't look at it. "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" from bluebag last week was a good example of a title that will hook the reader in.
* If you want your article in the next issue . . . send it in earlier in the week (Thursday or Friday rather than Wednesday).
* Try and have it so that the format you want the article to be in when published is the same as the one you send in the email. It means you get what you want and it's easier for the Editor.
* Lastly, Check your facts over . . . and over . . . and over again.

Get Writing!

This is Cobd . . .

Top Tips for Times Writers Article ID's

From Guest Writer to Times Writer - 8119
From Times Writer to Times Legend - 8192
Gallery and Collaboration help - 8225


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