Ashley Stander completed the Hard News Journalism Course in 2010. She went on to have articles published in her local paper.
An Interview with Ashley Stander
What writing successes have you had since completing your course?
I have had stories published in our local newspaper and am in the process of contacting magazines and newspapers to publish a health-related story that I have been working on for quite some time.
What have you learned from actually working in the industry (as opposed to the theory of it)?
It is a lot easier than I expected it to be. The most important part of writing a good story is capturing the right angle and getting it across in the very first sentence. This is not easy to do but when you get it right it is exciting.
What tip(s) would you give other aspirant journalists?
Get to know the editors. It is so much easier getting your stories published when you have built a relationship with the editors. They also approach you for stories when you have worked well together.
Never give them stories that are not strong enough. If each and every story you send them is good they will always open your emails – they learn to trust that you won’t spam them with weak stories.
“It is so much easier getting your stories published when you have built a relationship with the editors.”
How did the writing course help your writing?
I battled finding the right angle and then making that first paragraph strong and enticing. The course gave me the practice and guidance I needed to make my stories work and helped me to understand the newsroom – giving me the upper hand on how to get attention.