Because writing is a talent and skill which needs to be nurtured, writers need to write, edit, revise and write more. Unlocking your “inner writer” takes lots of practice. Just as the story about the lost tourist, who supposedly asked famed musician Jascha Heifetz, “how to get to Carnegie Hall?”to which Heifetz relied, “Practice,” so too writers must follow this important advice. Join encouraging writers groups. I belong to www.womenwritingthewest.org and also www.coloradoauthors.org.
My newspaper writing began in June, 1982, with a weekly “Dr. Penny” advice column. This local column was printed for over ten years. Over the years, the newspaper editor asked me to write and take photographs for special feature sections on Women’s issues, real estate and business topics. This led to a three-year opportunity to function as the Special Features editor.
Recently another newspaper editor, Autumn Phillips, said of my articles, “Penny Hamilton’s writing is engaging because she understands her readers. She puts faces on facts and uses her writing to both inform and inspire readers to action.” How wonderful to enjoy writing and have other industry professionals notice.
Other sources for publishing are professional magazines and journals. Each industry and profession has at least one national publication. In the early 1980s, as I was getting my hair cut, I noticed a copy of American Salon on the reading table. I copied down the information from their masthead. I followed the Writers Guidelines which are now usually available to freelance writers on-line. The editor was receptive to my writing a freelance article for them on “Preventing Burnout,” which at the time was a very “hot” topic. Using this same topic, I approached Pizza Today with fresh quotes from pizza restaurant owners and managers to make the story unique to that industry.
Another approach is to write the story and submit your completed article to them, instead of being assigned in advance. The more quotes you can get from industry professionals, the better your chances of getting it published. Always follow the magazine’s Writer’s Guidelines on article submission and the photograph requirements.
Often writing and photography skills can be combined to open the doors to publication. Colorado Country Life publisher, Mona Neeley, wrote about my articles and photos for her magazine over the years, “Penny brings her enthusiasm for life to her writing, turning out articles that offer a new look at the chosen topic. Her writing makes for fun, interesting reading and has been a welcome addition to our magazines.”
Interesting reading on-line has opened a world of publishing possibilities for writers. E-zines, as the State Aviation Journal (SAJ), are another great source for my professional writing. Kim Stevens, the publisher, sent this comment, “As a contributing writer for the State Aviation Journal, Penny Hamilton has proven to be thorough and accurate in her reporting. Her resources have been amazing. I’ve grown very confident in her ability to meet any assignment, even when I have dropped something on her plate with a short turn-around time!”
Because promoting aviation is one of my passions, I am been writing for national aviation publications for over 25 years. The National Association of State Aviation Officials-NASAO honored me with their National Aviation Journalism Award.
My “journey” continues with several new aviation book projects, read more about the text book,