Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Newspaper article.

The topic for our Writers' Group next week is "An Article suitable for a newspaper".  Here is a dilemma.

The farmer and I take two newspapers.   He takes the Yorkshire Post and I take the Times.   His choice is because a) they have always taken it and b) it features local news (if it happens further away than thirty miles it is difficult to capture the farmer's interest.)
My choice is because I really admire the quality of the writing.  I particularly enjoy Matthew Parris, Robert Crampton, Caitlin Moran and Simon Barnes.   But I never come across an article - whether I agree with it or not - that I don't consider very well-written.  Sometimes - maybe as often as once a week - I read something which I think is so well written that I need to read it again and again.

Now here is the dilemma.  Do I dash off an article which would do for the Yorkshire Post (I am not suggesting that the articles are badly written, just that on the whole they are less so than the Times, both in content and in style), or do I struggle to try and emulate my favourite writers?   I know that if I do the latter then I shall fail - but surely it is worth a try.  

Then there is the subject matter.   Would anyone out there like to suggest a subject I might choose to write about - it needs to be about 250 words and suitable for publication in a newspaper. 

20 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

What about "is it good to stick to the same newspaper every day for our source of information?"

MarmaladeRose said...

Don't just presume you'll fail straight away. You know what they say...
It's better to try, and fail than to fail to try!

Another great favourite of mine is, 'Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors'.

Thank you for your well wishes for the weekend, sorry I've not commented for a while but I've just been sooo busy sewing for these craft fairs. Take care, Fi x

MarmaladeRose said...

Don't just presume you'll fail straight away. You know what they say...
It's better to try, and fail than to fail to try!

Another great favourite of mine is, 'Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors'.

Thank you for your well wishes for the weekend, sorry I've not commented for a while but I've just been sooo busy sewing for these craft fairs. Take care, Fi x

Dave King said...

If it was me I think I would go for something like Country Lore -- which might suggest the Yorkshire Post, but not necessarily.

Rachel's suggestion also appeals greatly to me.

Elizabeth Wix said...

Yup, RacheL's suggestion is excellent.
We do get to know the styles and tastes of our favorite journalists and look forward to reading them.

On the other hand Dave King's suggestion is good.

Verylyn Klinkeborg writes splendid mini essays for the NY Times about country life. Yours are wonderful too.

dindin said...

Try: Why blogging is an international sport. PS I love to read your blogs to my students who learn a great deal from you. We are from Texas

MorningAJ said...

I was a journalist for about 15 years and I always think it's funny when any non-journalist says something like "write something suitable for a newspaper". Your post shows exactly why it's impossible to do.

For one thing - which newspaper? It isn't that the Yorkshire Post is any less well written than the Times, it's that they are for two completely different audiences.

If you wrote in the Times style while you worked for the YP you'd be swiftly put right by your sub-editor.

And are you writing news, picture caption, feature, or comment? They all have their own styles and topics.

If you decide on a type and a style you might find it easier to choose what you want to do.

the veg artist said...

How about "The value of blogging and on-line support networks for rural dwellers."? Blogging has surely helped many people stay sane this winter.

the veg artist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Golden West said...

I'm always partial to your descriptions of outings, gardening and bird observations and admire how you find deep happiness with the simple joys of life. Trying a new recipe, a walk with wee Tess, sighting the year's first curlew - your writing reflects a full life well lived. With the proliferation of self-help books and how unsatisfied people are in our consumer driven cultures, either audience would be well served by your upbeat attitude and grateful heart. Write what you know!

Heather said...

How about a well written article suitable for the Yorkshire Post?! I feel that whatever you write would be considered well written.
Possible subjects: 'The country diary of a 21st Century lady' or perhaps 'Would reporting be better if papers were limited to fewer sheets?'

angryparsnip said...

I enjoy you style of writing. The easy way I am transported to Yorkshire, when you write about where you live. The walks with Tess the birds and animals you see.
So very different from where I live in the Sonoran Desert.
As for a subject how about the way blogging has allowed us to visit the world ?

cheers, parsnip


dixie heath said...

I would not presume that you will fail. I so enjoy your blogs about the life you live in the Yorkshires. Write what you know. I can't wait everyday to read your blogs because not only do I enjoy them but I feel like you are my new friend and that if I came to your home I would be comfortable and welcomed with a cup of tea and good cheer. I think since you like the Times so well that you should try it. Your local paper would serve you well also because there may be lots of people who may know you and enjoy your contribution. Good luck in whatever paper you choose and what ever topic you write about. I do so enjoy reading about the happenings on the Dales. Just a reader and new friend from Ohio USA.

Dominic Rivron said...

Something to wrap one's chips in?

Titus said...

As soon as I read the first comment I couldn't think of anything better!

I'd say go for The Times, as it's my daily paper too (agree with you except for Robert Crampton, who annoys me). You are a perosn with very interesting opinions, and you share your thoughts eloquently on the blog. Go for it!

ChrisJ said...

How about "The Boston Marathon seen through British Eyes." Seems like that's the going concern right now. Have to hurry a bit though, before something else sensational takes over.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for giving me so many ideas. AJ's comments are interesting and that is an angle I had never thought of. Shall just have to get my head down this week end and get on with it. I usually find that once I get started it is hard to stop.

Gwil W said...

Something to stuff in wet shoes?

Dominic Rivron said...

Or put under carpets?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for all the advice I have taken it to heart - see today's post.