To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week:
The Online News Association’s annual conference is happening this weekend in San Francisco. This conference has become THE place to learn the latest and greatest about digital news gathering and presentation.
Sadly, I’m not there. But I am planning to keep up with the action by watching the live stream of events that ONA is sponsoring. Look on the ONA Sessions page for information on workshops.
I’ll also be following tweets from conference goers. If you want to do likewise, use the hashtag #ONA12.
Here are other good things for writers I’ve discovered this week:
The jagged career path of New York Times travel writer Seth Kugel (FastCompany.com) – As it becomes harder and harder to make a living covering exotic places to visit, Frugal Traveler columnist Kugel suggests that journalists considering this occupation think of themselves as writers who travel, instead of travel writers. Read the Q&A for more.
Why I am dropping the business side of blogging: My truth about making money online (Frugal Momma) – After three years of blogging and brand building, Amy Suardi is calling it quits – sort of. The popular parenting blogger is ending all of the things she was doing to try to make money blogging – with the emphasis definitely on “try” – and going back to blogging for the fun of it. Though she got gigs with popular parenting sites and asked to appear on TV shows, blogging was hard work and getting harder, and was taking away from her family time. Consider this a cautionary tale for anyone who’s just starting out.
7 ways to make your work easy to fact check (Poynter) – With all the attention that’s been paid recently to journalists who get facts wrong, plagiarize, borrow from their own work without telling their editors or are just plain sloppy, it’s making writers and editors a lot more conscientious about fact checking. This handy guide from the journalism training institute sets out a checklist of things that writers can do to fact check their own work, and make it easier for their editors to do the same. Definitely worth saving.
New platform to connect journalists and publishers launches (CJR) – Contently has been operating in beta mode long enough to have attracted 5,000 writer-testers and a handful of major clients, including Mashable, The Atlantic, Forbes and Federated Media. This week marked the official launch of the service, which wants freelancer writers to use it to find work, and publishers to find and manage freelancers. I know some publishers are using it to process invoices, but have no first-hand experience with how that’s going. I’ve also used it myself to create a portfolio. I used version 1.0 of the software and haven’t gone back and updated it since they came out with version 2.0, so my apologies if it’s a little rough. Here’s what it looks like: Michelle Rafter on Contently.
The Longform guide to writing great nonfiction (Slate) – Longform pulls stories from its archives to run on Slate on the weekend. For its Sept. 15 selection, Longform ran a series on writing nonfiction from some of the masters of the form, including Truman Capote, Gay Talese, George Orwell, Lester Bangs and Katherine Boo.