Tips & Tools for Effective Research

By Lisa A. Crayton Research is either a much-loved task, humdrum chore or angst-filled process, depending which writers or editors are asked. Whether loved or dreaded, research is a building block for effective fiction and nonfiction projects. As a freelance magazine and devotional writer, I’ve used research in myriad ways, including to find or verify […]

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Editors’ Wish List when Working with Freelancers

When pitching to a publication for the first time: Study the publication you’re pitching to in order to make sure your story idea is in line with their mission. Ask for a copy of the writers’ guidelines. (Better yet, see if they’re available on the website before you ask.) Most publications likely have some already […]

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Freelancers’ Wish List

Professional writers are key suppliers of quality editorial content. Magazine and newspaper editors are, in turn, key players in the relationship between their publication and freelance writers. For many years, EPA Associate Members who work as freelance writers have repeatedly encountered several challenges when writing for EPA and other publications. To work toward improving the […]

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Five Common Weaknesses Seen in Higher Goals Contest Entries

By Andy Butcher What with fake news, partisan press, and click-bait, there may well never have been a time when we have more needed good Christian journalists practicing good Christian journalism. Thankfully, having had the privilege of judging some of the categories in the EPA Higher Goals contest over the past couple of years, I […]

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It’s So Much Easier to Be Biased

By Diane McDougall Earlier this year I published what might well have been the most challenging piece of journalism I’ve ever tackled. “Most challenging” is obviously relative. I’ve never been assigned to report on starving children in a dusty African nation, torn between recording comments about their protruding bellies and picking them up in my […]

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Junk food, foie gras or real meat?

By Andy Butcher Having started out in journalism in the days of big old desktop typewriters with sticky keys and triple carbon copies, I’m appreciative of the new tools that make the job easier. I’m just not so sure about some of the new titles. True, in an age of multi-media skills, some of the […]

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Readers: Not Who They Once Were

By Michael Longinow, PhD Collective intelligence. Think of it as a better way for you and your readers, together, to figure out what the best media approach is to a topic. It’s convergence. But convergence, with this approach, isn’t just tools or platforms. It’s more about readers, your audience, than maybe you’ve considered. Take another […]

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How Much Can I Quote? A Guideline for Writers and Editors

By Jeanette Gardner Littleton How much of a source can a writer quote in an article without getting permission from the publisher? The Fair Usage portion of the U.S. copyright law is unclear. Most publishers consider the limit 300 to 500 words. However, there are a couple of caveats. One consideration is the length of […]

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The Right(s) Stuff: Working with Freelancers/Independent Contractors

Almost all publishing organizations work with outside contributors to produce content. Freelance writers, photographers and others comprise an important part of the publishing ecosystem, especially as some organizations retain fewer employees. Working with independent contractors can add a variety of material and perspective to publications but it also raises a number of rights issues. As […]

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Follow the lede: Making disciples of our readers

By Andy Butcher Most people will tell you they know the difference between a journalist and a carp: one’s a slimy bottom-feeder and the other is a fish. Journalists rated lower than bankers and only slightly higher than attorneys in one recent poll of least-trusted professions. Chances are that, like me, you’ve had Christian friends […]

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