In June a federal district court in Manhattan made a historic decision: The ruling, which could potentially render thousands of unpaid gigs illegal, was the culmination of a high-profile case that had provoked an unprecedented level of action and commentary.
Layoffs, cutbacks and uncertainty about the future have cast a shadow over much of the industry. In this series, we talk to notable women working in journalism to find out how survive and thrive in the current climate. After that I worked in admin in publishing for a year, all the while trying to get published as a freelancer, or move to an editorial role, but nothing was happening, so I decided to go to grad school for English.
I went to Western University for that, and that took about 4 years. My thesis was about Oscar Wilde and newspapers.
I actually thought, during my PhD, that I would graduate from my doctoral program and either just become a tenure track professor or go on to immediately work for a magazine or something.
So I was still pitching article ideas to magazines, and I did wind up publishing a few things while I was still in school. Eventually in I found work as an editor and copywriter for a marketing company, and after that, as a copywriter for a non-profit. This all paid pretty poorly so I used to copywrite on evenings and weekends too.
And the whole time I was pitching to magazines regularly but not really getting anywhere. No one knew who I was and I had like 3 clips from magazines in London, Ontario. InI sort of hit a breaking point. It was a fashion blog, which everyone seemed to have at the time. I wrote reviews, essays, all sorts of things and put them on the website.
Basically, I was creating my own clips, and then when I pitched, editors could see what I could do, which I felt was much stronger than what I had done. In Springit worked!
I had a longish story accepted by The Walrus and with that on my CV, I was able to get stories placed in national publications. This allowed me to drop extra jobs 2 and 3. InI inherited money unexpectedly, so was able to pay off my student loans and drop job 1 as well. Concentrating on freelancing, I had some great steady work that paid about the same as my marketing job, and after a few months, editors were assigning me stories, which was awesome.
What was the best piece of advice given to you in relation to your career? Know editors and keep up relationships with them. Perfectionism is the enemy of writing. What has changed in the industry over the last 5 years?
Many magazines have shut down their unpaid internship programs, which allows journalists from non-traditional backgrounds to enter the field. They are consistently calling out prestige media for their elitism and shitty coverage of certain issues. The in-house jobs I have seen are generally contracted positions, not salaried ones.
Why did you initially want to get into journalism? Writing — and by that I mean writing what I want to write, in my own style — has always been the only thing I imagined myself doing.
Frankly, I am deeply unhappy doing anything else for a job. What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer today? The number one challenge is the same as the challenges in being a writer at any point…money.
Number two is trolls. Now trolls can not only make sure you see their response, but they can saturate the entire blogosphere with it. What do you enjoy most about being a writer? Are you afraid for the future of the industry?
But this industry is always changing, so who knows how that will resolve. Any tips for young women getting started in this field? To improve your writing, read. Read everything and anything.
I think because this industry has become increasingly glamourized magazine writer is the go-to job for any rom-com heroine it can attract people who see it as a way to have social status or even fame.
What has been the best memory from your career thus far? I spent July developing one story in the Literary Journalism program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the mountains in Alberta. No cooking, no laundry, no worrying about other assignments…just writing and editing and spending time with other journalists all doing the same thing.
How can we ask better questions of our sources?Writer Alexandra Kimball has written an excellent essay on the reality of a modern career in publishing called, “How to Succeed in Journalism When You Can’t Afford an Internship.”.
Alexandra Kimball is a freelance journalist and essayist living in Toronto, where she was also born and raised. She is a former editor at Chatelaine. Her writing has appeared in major publications across Canada, including The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Hazlitt, and Flare.
+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. "Cleverly lausannecongress2018.com's book is a landmark in Mormon studies.
For non-Mormon and Mormon audiences alike, it offers answers to the long-vexing questions of the when, where, who, and why of the origins of what is colloquially called the 'priesthood ban.'. Alexandra Kimball is a writer living in Toronto, Canada, where she was born and raised.
Her writing has appeared in The Walrus Blog, The Walrus, This Recording, and Hazlitt, and is forthcoming from Toronto Life, and This Magazine.
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