Emma: Freelancer Edition

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This summer has been the summer for achieving goals.

  • Running my first 10K
  • Working in corporate
  • Eating healthy consistently (minus last night’s chicken tenders at the Dairy Bar)
  • Spending a lot of time with family
  • Reading books in addition to watching Netflix

One of my proudest accomplishments is being published in my local newspaper, the Manchester Journal. My dad worked for the Bennington Banner when I was very young. I clearly remember asking my mom how come Dad always worked and never picked me up from school. I rarely saw him, because he cranked out articles every day! He initially sparked my fascination for writing and print publication. Naturally I grew up reading the BannerJournal, and the Vermont News Guide. Being featured in them a few times was always a highlight too.

Before the summer began, I had a goal to be published in print. I wrote the article for the Florentine that was published online, but I wanted to see my name and my words on paper. Everything’s digitized now that print publication feels more ‘authentic’ or special.

I emailed the editor of the Journal, Greg Sukiennik, asking if they had a freelance budget. To my surprise, he got back to me a couple hours later saying he could help me out and meet with me after viewing some samples. Lucky enough for me, I had some to share that weren’t academic papers!

We met at Spiral Press Cafe during the week on my lunch break, and he was genuinely interested in my writing interests. It’s rare to find people who invest in young students (especially in the journalism industry).

Greg basically gave me the freedom to write about anything/anyone relevant in the community. He also said he would give me assignments. One day at Tuttle, I came up with the idea to write about Pierce Fulton, a Stratton native, who released his debut album. I got the green light from Greg, contacted Pierce’s manager, and interviewed Pierce that weekend in addition to getting a quote from his music teacher at BBA. It was quite the process!

At my mom’s camper that weekend, I proudly typed up a story (over 1,000 words). The response I got from Greg was to cut it to 750 words. Edit, edit, edit! I learned a lot from that first writing experience. News writing is something new to me (blog post to come in the near future). I was ecstatic picking up the paper on Friday morning at Stewart’s. I frantically flipped through it to find the picture of Pierce I submitted and my name. Such an adrenaline rush. There were some corrections, but overall, it was a success.

The most recent article I wrote is about the young musicians in Manchester this summer. This was a piece assigned to me specifically by Greg. He wanted me to capture What’s it like to study music in Vermont for the summer? This story took a lot of time, work, and effort. I met with four students and two directors within two days (on top of interning for 8 hours/day) and wrote the story in one afternoon at my grandparents’ house. I had a clearer idea of how to write it (I had 950 words this time) and used the suggestions from my last story to improve.

Having people mention an article in the grocery store, sharing my writing with the community, my friends, and family, and seeing my work in something I’ve read for years is a humbling and rewarding feeling. My passion for writing has deepened, and the skills I’ve acquired will be useful in the future. Stay tuned for my next article about John Werner’s 40th Annual Arlington Soccer Camp. I’m super stoked for this one–I grew up attending and volunteering at his camp! xo ~ e.

Please give my newspaper stories a read! Links below 🙂 I’ve also updated my ‘Publications’ page with some FlockU clips as well to check out.

Sweet music

BBA grad Pierce Fulton releases debut album

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