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Breaking into Magazine Writing – The rules of the game

Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm   San Francisco
$95 members/$110 non-members
(this class is not currently scheduled)

“I’ve done stories on everything from home computers to a profile of the Emmy Award-winning sound engineer who worked on Basic Instinct,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite was the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class, and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into the world. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Magazine Articles

pepperforwebsite Five Saturdays, Time TBA (this class is not currently scheduled)
$185 members/$215 non-members
San Francisco

“I’ve done stories on everything from antique restoration to computers (back when only three companies were making them), and from filmmakers to food stylists,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite piece is probably the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into how the world — and the people in it — work. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.”

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Magazine Writers Roundtable

pepperforwebsite1

Friday, Nov. 20th, 7-10 p.m.  San Franciscoregister_off-70x18
$35 members/$45 non-members

You’ve taken the magazine writing class (or maybe you haven’t), and you’re out there, trying to make it all work: seeking ideas for articles, finding markets for your pitches, putting together query letters, and dealing with editors — before, during and after assignments. Have questions? Want a little advice? Curious about how other people are doing it? Feel like exchanging ideas about what’s working and what’s not? Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking into Magazine Writing

pepperforwebsite15 Tuesdays, 7/14-8/18 (skip 7/21), 7-9:30 p.m. REGISTER
$185 members/$215 non-members San Francisco

ATTENTION: CLASS CANCELLED. We might be able to reschedule it later in the session. If you are interested, please send an email to jane@writingsalons.com, letting her know this.

“I’ve done stories on everything from home computers — back when only three companies were making them — to a portrait of the Sherman House (a landmark hotel that survived the 1906 earthquake) to a profile of the Emmy Award-winning sound engineer who worked on Basic Instinct,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite piece is probably the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into how the world — and the people in it — work. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Personality Profiles – Break into the magazine market!

pepperforwebsite Saturday, Jan. 31st, 10 am-4 pm; Berkeley
$95 members/$110 others

One of the most popular types of magazine articles is the personality profile. Always in demand by editors and featured in publications of every stripe, the profile is a viable way for new writers to break into the magazine market. One advantage to the profile is there’s such a wealth of potential material. Anyone who’s interesting is a potential subject, and there are so many things that make people interesting!

Know of anyone who’s famous (doesn’t matter why – they can be infamous, too)…heroic (they risked their life; spoke out against injustice)…eccentric (they live in a tree; they collect cardboard boxes)…groundbreaking (they created that Web site!)…successful (and then sold if for seven million dollars)… visionary (they’re proposing a new fuel no one’s thought of yet)…artistic (whether they’re selling or not)… fascinating (which covers a lot of ground)…or interesting for any other reason? They’re all candidates for a profile!

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Magazine Writing: “. . . great instruction. Thank you, Cary”

Hi Cary,

It’s been quite some time since our last class. I’ve been busy implementing what I learned from you [in Freelance Magazine Writing] and wanted to share the results.

After all those rewrites on my class article about Ferry Point, I set it aside and developed a totally different article. The idea came from my experience working with boat covers. Fallout from cargo ships and airplanes seemed to be causing unusual damage to boat covers in marinas near seaports and airports. I wanted to find out more about the link and thought others would be interested, too.

I pitched the article in an email to the Marine Fabricator magazine, expecting to wait for weeks before hearing something like “Well . . . . maybe . . . . could work . . . . how about a little 25 words or less blurb . . . ” Instead, Chris replied before 2 hours had passed and gave me an assignment, on spec, for an 800 word article, plus photos and captions. Since it was my first time working with them, he couldn’t commit to pay me until after he’d seen the article. Oh, and by the way, could I make the deadline in 4 weeks?

Of course I said yes.

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“Let Me Ask You a Question” – The Art of the Interview

Saturday, May 2nd, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
$55 members/$65 non-members    San Francisco

Special Package Deal: Take this afternoon Interviewing workshop along with Cary’s morning “Breaking into Magazine Writing” workshop and get a discount: $95 for members, $115 for non-members.  You must be sure to select the “Breaking into Mags/Interviewing” option when you register.

“In order to write a good magazine article, you have to do good research,” says instructor Cary Pepper. “And part of doing good research is doing a good interview. In this class you’ll learn: how to get that interview…the pros and cons of interviewing in person and by phone…how to prepare so you’re at your best… techniques for getting good quotations…how to control an interview…what to do when things don’t go as planned…how to make the most of unexpected moments…and what to do if an interview begins to go bad.

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