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Tips for young writers, and so many questions.

Paul raises some excellent points about what employers look for in new recruits in the journalism/publishing arena. You need to be young, tech-savvy, self-taught and ambitious. (You still, of course, need to be able to write too.)

However, his statement “That’s why I tell students that the only clips I want to see are the ones they were paid for. Nothing tells me that a writer has value like that fact that someone “valued” his writing” reminds me of that catch-22 merry-go-round many students get stuck on. How do you get experience if no one will take a chance and give you that first experience? How do you get that first pay cheque for your writing, when you’ve never been paid for your writing before? Why should it be that payment is the only indication someone values your writing? How do you get an employer to notice you, if they aren’t reading your resumes and school newspaper clippings?

Have any of you young writers encountered this kind of attitude when applying for writing jobs?

One thought on “Tips for young writers, and so many questions.

  1. It’s an interesting concept and I wonder if all employers in this area are like that or if it is just him. I guess the piece of advice I would give is, while you’re studying, start building your portfolio first with non paid work and then with paid work. Do internships and work experience. And never turn down an opportunity to network… At the workshop I ran on the weekend we had a panel of editors from Canberra publications, and while they were magazines, most of the material they do print is journalistic in nature, and they do pay (and encourage) young writers to contribute…
    I was surprised to find that there were young people who were studying writing based courses/working toward writing based careers and weren’t submitting work anywhere…

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