Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief

Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief

71 minutes of video
71 minutes of audio
22 slides
25 pages of transcripts

In the first in our new series walking through the construction of different types of articles, we begin with that front-of-book stable, the news brief.

We’ll walk through a part of the writing process–structuring your articles–that should come before your fingers hit the keyboard and before you even begin researching your piece to show you how to quit second-guessing yourself and save tremendous time on your articles.

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For the large subset of travel writers who come from blogging, specifically writing on their own blogs without someone overseeing the writing or editorial direction, 1,000-word articles don’t inspire trepidation. They write 1,000-word blog posts all the time!

But as you spend more time reading magazine articles, you’ll very quickly find that a 100-word magazine article tends to have as much information as a 1,000-word blog post simply because in print, space is at a premium.

Every block of text could potentially be replaced by an advertisement (and this is often what happens when your story gets killed last minute!).

In our Instagram, image-heavy time, you’ve also got to watch out for photos speaking their 1,000 words in place of your article.

Writers who haven’t patterned how to write incredibly short and tight (in editor speak), struggle with expressing their point quickly, especially when it comes to pitching.

I regularly receive pitches to review for short magazine sections, say 150 or 250 words, that have a pitch that easily runs three times the length of the final piece. Yes, you do need to to explain what you’ll cover in the article and who you are and why you should write the piece in additional to introducing the idea with a snappy lead, but part of the purpose of your pitch is to put your writing skills on display.

And if you’re pitching a short piece without showing you can effectively write short, you’ve already lost the battle.

Join us today to learn how to write the most fundamental of all short pieces in our webinar on Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief.

Today’s webinar kicks off a new multi-month series on how to structure different types of articles so you can broaden your horizons to new types of writing that you’ve been to tentative to try before or sharpen your approach to pieces you’re already working on.

We’ll walk through a part of the writing process–structuring your articles–that should come before your fingers hit the keyboard and before you even begin researching your piece to show you how to quit second-guessing yourself and save tremendous time on your articles.

This week, as we look at news briefs, we will not only explore the age-old “inverted triangle” structure that is the staple of newsrooms everywhere, but, more importantly, how this format plays out in the travel writing world.

Major magazine editors everywhere–and, yes, I am talking about the Travel + Leisure‘s of the world here, because this issue exists even and especially at that level–are always in dire need of short articles for their front-of-book sections. It’s the number one recommendation editors have when you ask them how to break into their magazine.

People often mistakenly think that editors tell them to start with short articles because they have to prove themselves before moving up to the longer features. That can be part of the equation, but the reality is that editors are just hurting for pitches for these sections, and that’s where it’s easiest for them to say “yes” to you, because those areas have the most needs.

In this webinar and the others in the series, we’ll focus on how to put these pieces together, from idea to article structure and also address how to pitch these pieces.

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