Virginia Lloyd

HELPING AUTHORS FIND A LITERARY AGENT AND GET PUBLISHED

Don’t have an opinion? Write one!

Blog, Improve your writing

Because I’m officially insane, in addition to my NYU summer intensive in Philanthropy and Fundraising I’m attending a weekly Tuesday-night workshop in writing for New York magazines and newspapers with freelance guru and renowned teacher Susan Shapiro.

Shapiro has as many opinions as she has had articles published. I signed up for this four-week course to glean practical advice on writing publishable short prose – and, quite frankly, to lean on her extensive network of industry contacts. The contacts are yet to pay off – although it’s early days since I submitted a piece to one magazine – but her advice is spot on. Be specific. What’s your personal connection to this op-ed topic? You need a timely lede. That reference is a year old – it’s out of date.

I look around at the twenty-somethings who comprise the majority of my peers in this class. I admire them for turning up: in my twenties I was such a harsh self-censor I immediately rejected any topic I imagined to write about – why would anyone care what I thought, about anything? Some of my fellow students don’t feel any shame about their lack of grammatical care or sentence craft. I don’t feel old; I’m just glad not to feel scared any more. I’m here to learn, and hopefully get published.

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