Thursday, February 5, 2009

Szaroleta Briefs Writers on Newspaper Basics

Florida Times-Union Arts and Entertainment editor, Tom Szaroleta, fielded questions about how to get published in the local newspaper.


He discussed the difficulties and some of the reasons why it is so difficult for a freelancer to get published.

“Although the paper most likely won’t print a story unless it’s incredible,” says Tom Szaroleta, “it is possible to get published.”
Tom’s area is the arts and entertainment department. This includes concert reviews. He enjoys his work because he gets to be creative about things going on around him.

He enjoys implementing humor in his work. But his humor runs out if a freelancer/anyone pitching a story calls him more than once. If there is a story that you wish him to cover, the more calls you make the less likely he will choose your story.

If there is an event you want covered or just an event you want the paper to know about, post it for free in the events section on the website.


Anyone can set up a blog of their own in the online paper. They regularly pick the best blog and post it.

On holidays, the Times-Union short story contests are excellent ways to win a little money and recognition from the paper.
Write for free under “Everyone’s a Critic”. Review a newly released movie in the theatres. Write your critical opinion in 75 words or less to just get your name in the paper.

For any religious stories that need to be covered, send these ideas to Jeff Brumly, the newspaper’s religion editor.

If you want your book to be reviewed and put on the book review page—note it is from a local author on the outside boldly. Send it to Brandy Allport. She is the book review editor, and also the only children’s book editor in the USA.

Remember be creative, be humorous, be incredible and most of all send it to the correct editor.

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By Priscilla Weaver, FCCW Member

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