Writers wanted; ability to write would be helpful.

I’m the editor for a small, community newspaper. We have an equally small budget for writers/reporters and since we only publish weekly, there’s no way someone could fully support themselves by writing for the paper. Sometimes I luck out and find someone with experience or, at least, good writing skills who is just looking for part-time work. On the other hand, sometimes I get to read things like this:

*Every week since she was three, Jeanne has tentatively attended her ice skating classes without hesitation. *

Given the rest of the article, this was one of the better sentences relative to structure and spelling.

Any other editors have any great writing samples to share?

Copy editor here, and it happens at the bigger dailies, too.
Had a reporter write tonight that a suspect had been arrested for felony alluding.

Alluding is a misdemeanor. Everyone knows that!

Aww. And I thought I’d get to show off my writing skills and get published.

I’ll revisit this thread to see what y’all can come up with. :smiley:

From my daily paper:

“The alleged suspect….” Hell, it ain’t alleged dummy, he’s a suspect! The suspect may be alleged to have committed the crime, but he damn sure is certainly a suspect.

Oh. Carry on.

At least you don’t have to read slush. An editor I knew used to read some of the more bizarre examples at SF cons (this doesn’t happen any more, because of privacy concerns, but they were a hoot). I once saw a list of examples of stories sent to Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine. They were hilarious, but I can only recall the one describing “a cybernetic penile colony.”

You can get the flavor of slush in Red Mike’s review of The Pleistocene Redemption.


I am the Senior Technical Writer for a medical software company. Awhile back we paid gobs of money to a consulting company to draft some marketing language for us. It was so bad, I ended up having to rewrite most of it from scratch. Here are some samples that I kept just to remind me how NOT to write (proper names have been edited out to protect both the innocent AND the guilty):

And, finally:




I spent two years as a page editor/senior story editor for a school newspaper.


And ya know what. I did. I wrote 4 full pages worth of editorials. The last story was totally incoherent since I hadn’t slept in 3 days and about Martha Stewart and the thing living under the computer lab.

You’re best bet is to try to contact the best writers who have done stories for you and try to talk them into doing monthly articles. Also, keep in mind that as a newspaper you can get all sorts of comped stuff. From free dinners to event passes. Use those to pay your writers.

BAH! I hate having to cover dinners and such. I always get screwed out of the meal and I always feel totally uncomfortable - since I know I don’t belong there.

News writing for a small newspaper would be imponderably unrewarding if not for a meager paycheck and the fact that my family seems to think it’s great.

Gorgon Heap: It’s the concert backstage passes, movie opening tickets and all of the FREE SHIT you get sent to you. It rocks. I had 2 years of xmas presents comped to me.

Lucky you. I’m just going to go off and pout until I can get away from this place and work in the civilized world.
Or not. Boy, I could really use a beer.

You can’t mention a story like that and not give us the chance to read it :smiley:

Excuse me while I sit on my news producer throne and laugh at your spelling mistakes.


[sub]You know I’m laughing with you, right?[/sub]

CRorex, will you teach me how to write a store? Please?


I’m not technically and editor for the school paper, but the opinion editor has yet to show up to a meeting (he comes to homeroom and does his homework there, that’s the extent of his involvement), so I kind of took it over. Last week, I was handed an article by a freshman. It began:

That was the first ‘sentence’. That article (which was supposed to be about a new policy regarding passes and sign-out sheets) went on to talk about how

and becuase of this, we should ignore his new policies.

That was one that needed a LOT of editing… :rolleyes:

At a now defunct online sporting goods catalog, my co-copywriter wrote: “You don’t have to be a Vulcan to appreciate these vulcanized rubber boots…” I came up with this gem for a pair of socks: “They say that Einstein didn’t wear socks. But you’re no Einstein!”

Swimming in a lake of fire would probably been more enjoyable than that job.

I edited my school’s literary magazine last semester, and it was death. You newspaper types are working with people who are at least getting paid for what they do. I was working with high school kids who hadn’t the foggiest idea about creative composition. But, somehow, because it’s creative writing rather than formal prose, composition doesn’t matter. It’s all about artistic bloody vision.

So, basically, they criticized all of the editing my copy editors and I did, and said that the new versions didn’t fit with their so-called “statements.” Jesus, I was annoyed by the time the semester was over. Never again.