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David E. Sumner is a professor of journalism and head of the magazine journalism program at Ball State University, USA. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and is a former ‘Magazine Educator of the Year’ in recognition of his contribution to journalism teaching. His books include The Magazine Century: American Magazines Since 1900 (2010), and Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry (2006).
Holly G. Miller is a working journalist and communications consultant, with bylines in numerous publications including Reader’s Digest, TV Guide, and Indianapolis Monthly. She has degrees from Indiana University and Ball State University, USA, and teaches advanced feature-writing classes across America. In addition to writing, ghost-writing, and co-authoring more than a dozen books, she has won awards from Associated Press, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Evangelical Press Association
Table of Contents
About the Authors x
PART I: Reading, Writing and Relevance 1
1 What Makes a Story Interesting? 3
2 How to Find an Original Idea 14
3 Strong Angles and Focused Ideas 26
4 Digging Deep for Original Stories 39
5 Talking Pointers: How to Conduct Great Interviews 55
PART II: Taking Your Articles to the Freelance Market 73
6 To Market, To Market: Shopping Your Words Around 75
7 Pitch-Perfect Query Letters 91
PART III: Adding Action and Anecdotes 107
8 Where to Begin: The First 100 Words 109
9 Action, Brevity and Style 123
10 Anecdotes: Mining for Gold 138
PART IV: Different Formats, Different Results 151
11 Briefs: Shortcuts to Publication 153
12 Profiles: Slices of Life 167
13 Writing Nonfi ction Narratives 186
14 Eliminating the Ho-Hum From the How-To 211
15 Making a Timely Calendar Connection 225
16 Writing About Trends and Issues 237
PART V: Exploring Digital Opportunities 253
17 Building a Story Blog 255
18 Long-Form Digital Storytelling 265
PART VI: Preparing the Final Draft 277
19 Advancing Beyond the Slush Pile 279
20 Before You Hit the “Send” Button: A Checklist 293
21 Careers in Magazine Publishing 299
Appendix: Shoptalk: A Glossary of Magazine Lingo 314