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The year comes to an end. The world of writing and publishing saw its fair share of good, bad, and ugly. Writers are no different than any other group: They go where the money is. More and more of that stuff is going online so it's a safe bet that more writers will be making a living from the beast in the coming years. Print is a long way from disappearing and still has money behind it, whatever you may read in the, mostly, online venues.

Employment is local as is said about many things. The local economy will often dictate whether the local publishing industry is well or not. That is important to keep in mind.

We always like to offer some resources for writers. Look at these and apply them to your everyday writing life!

The Tongue Untied: A guide to grammar, punctuation and style for journalists.
Research resources for writers.
How to edit your own writing.

Posted December 29, 2005

Folio has a cheeky run-down of the magazine news from 2005

And Editor and Publisher does the same for newspapers. The most interesting story in the coming years is how the newspaper will negotiate the new world of information, news, and opinion. These days I glance at a newspaper the way I glance at old photographs of myself in neighborhoods I have stopped caring about. A moment of curiosity is replaced by a need to focus on the present.

The legacy of the newspaper will be a great one, like the train or the whaling ship.

Posted December 27, 2005

The Boston Phoenix has an extensive report on the ups and downs of journalism in 2005. Among the items covered are the 2,000 lost editorial jobs, the aggressive turn journalists took in the wake of Katrina, and the Judith Miller/Plame story.

Are you a freelance writer curious about how to set fees? Try out these resources:

Writing World
National Writer's Union

Posted December 22, 2005

Are journalists underpaid? Of course they are although this article makes journalists out to be rather needy folk who just want life to be nice and good to them. I don't know what the answer is but I don't think the effort to enlist thousands of "citizen journalists" is going to help any.

Posted December 20, 2005

Steve Klein, of the Poynter Institute, about the journalists of the future. Young people seeking journalism jobs will do less writing and more podcasts or vidcasts. There will be new skill sets to learn. Hopefully they don't forget how to write. In the long run it's not the technology but the heart and talent that counts. A dishonest journalist is just as bad with a camera as with a pen.

Freelance writers come frequently to this site and we get a lot queries from young people who want to venture out as free agents. Some decent thoughts about it:

25 very good ideas to be a freelance success from a successful freelancer, Robert McGarvey.
Dealing with editors.
Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere

And don't forget the Freelance Resource page on Sunoasis.

Posted December 19, 2005

This story from USA Today points up the direction of the future in newsrooms. That is, the convergence of print and online operations. Those who learn how to negotiate between these platforms will win out.

Infoworld's Jon Udell has some useful advice on creating blog/print synergy. "For almost a decade I've used the Web -- and most recently my blog -- to research, develop, and enhance the articles I write for magazines....The basic pattern is simple: a story gestates in blogspace, appears in print and online, and then matures in blogspace."

Robert Niles' Journalism Help: Finding Data on the Internet

Posted December 15, 2005

Since journalism has been on our mind for awhile here are some of the best blogs and sites to keep up on what is really going on in journalism today. Journalists can be full of themselves but they, along with librarians, are the most resourceful people around. Journalists, by nature, are reformers and they've got the "big media" by the short hairs.

Tim Porter's First Draft
Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism
Jay Rosen's Press Think

All writers need interviewing skills. It's not as simple as it appears and there are excellent tips by those who've done it for a long time. Here are some of the better tips:

How to score a great interview.
The art of the interview..
Thoughts on interviewing and writing..
The art of the interview.

Posted December 14, 2005

After reading this snide article on j-schools I thought to myself, "writing is a profession of masters, not licenses. You don't take a board test to certify yourself as a writer. You read the masters, assimilate, imitate, fight them, move on, and start to feel your sea-legs." School is important to get the basics and to get exposed to resources the students usually don't use. But, the more experience you get the more important the resources become. Don't wait until you are fifty to find this out.

Wendy Hoke is a Cleveland writer who has a very informative run-down on trends to look for in 2006 relative to freelance writing.

This is a very informative discussion on freelance writing from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Posted December 13, 2005

Here's a good run-down on the pitfalls of looking for jobs online; and that includes journalism jobs and writing jobs. Why? Huge sites like Monster.com are serving a mass audience and you are essentially like the thousands of people who line around the block for three pizza delivery jobs during hard times. Niche sites and association sites are your best bet.

OK, you're out there ready to beat the bushes. Read this article to find out what hiring managers are looking for. There are some specific and impressive tips to take to your resume and your interview.

Posted December 6, 2005

It's interesting that MoveOn.org, the activist organization, is sending around a petition to stop the layoffs in the Tribune newspaper group. They have collected thousands and thousands of petitions to stop layoffs in Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Orlando. I seriously doubt whether it will have an effect on management decisions but it does indicate how weak the labor movement is these days.

How to prevent the demise of the newspaper? An infusion of narrative journalism, that's how. In other words, transform the facts into story-telling. This will be the penultimate skill for the writer. And I would recommend Writing for Story, by Jon Franklin and Follow the Story by James B. Stewart as contemporary classics in the matter of non-fiction narrative.

Posted December 5, 2005

The Holidays can certainly interrupt things. That seems to be our experience the past five years. We'd like to focus more on writing and job resources in the upcoming months. Sunoasis is the first to recognize that there are many writers and many opportunities for those with writing and editing skills. As has been reported over the past year, it's not the newspapers anymore.

We'll try to take a more thematic approach and feature maybe a whole week on getting resumes to the right people or researching writing markets and the like.

Anytime we come across a resource for journalists or writers looking for jobs we'll certainly post it. Hope the Holidays are good for you!


Posted December 1, 2005

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David Eide
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