Earlier this year, I posted about my first article in an American magazine, Fresh Cup Magazine, based in Portland. Today, I'm sharing my second article in that same magazine, an article on Silk Road Tea, a company from Victoria, B.C. that is well-known and well-loved by locals.
I love writing about tea—there's more to it than the beverage; there's the experience, the history, the culture, and traditions. This article allowed me to delve into the history of Victoria's Chinatown, the oldest in Canada. Much of my research on this topic was conducted with the help of a project affiliated with the University of Victoria called Victoria's Chinatown: A gateway to the past and present of Chinese Canadians.
My first blog post of 2016 is to share with you great news: my first article in an American magazine has been published!
The article was a lot of fun (and a lot of work) to write—it's about the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, located in the mountains by beautiful Lake Louise in Alberta. You can find the story in the December 2015 issue of Fresh Cup Magazine, a publication about specialty coffee and tea.
Researching the story meant I had to hike the trail to the teahouse, something I was proud of myself for doing, since I have never hiked in high altitudes before, and I found myself short of breath on the trail. But turning the corner and seeing the teahouse made the journey worth every step—not to mention getting that first sip of hot chai tea.
I invite you to read the article about the experience here: Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse.
Thanks to everyone who helped along the way to make this article a success, especially Susanne Gillies-Smith, owner of the teahouse.
This story will have a special place in my heart forever, since it's the first article I've had published in an American market. I'm happy and thankful—two great things to be at the start of a New Year.
Wishing you all the best in 2016!
Article title page, Wilfrid Laurier Campus Magazine, Spring 2013.
Printed newspapers around the world might be floundering, but glossy magazines have retained their popularity and continue to attract a new audience.
The trouble with writing for a lifestyle magazine is you only reach a limited audience with every article: decorating divas one month, swashbuckling sailors the next. Rarely both.
As writers, we always want to expand our audience. The more people who read our work, the more opportunities will present themselves.
Alumni magazines for universities, colleges, and even high schools are the ideal fodder for writers looking to reach a broad audience of decorators, sailors, nurses, accountants, CEOs, and electricians.
When you write a profile for an alumni magazine, you aren't limited by subject matter when pitching stories; all you need is to find a story-worthy person. Their background can - and should - be unique, interesting. Once you've found a subject, find out which university she attended, and voila! There may even be a few magazine options open to you; if the person went to a high school with a magazine or attended several universities, pitch to each school.
The first person whose story I pitched to an alumni magazine was Melissa Schaak, a violinist I knew growing up. Melissa's career had steered her in a fascinating direction: she is a "show violinist" with the Exclusive Strings Quartet, based in Belgium. Now that's a story I want to read (and write) about!
What's a show violinist? How did she get to Belgium? Read the article in Wilfrid Laurier's Campus Magazine to find out!
If you're wondering if alumni magazines pay their writers, the answer is YES (or the ones I have written for, anyway). Like with any writing job, make sure you negotiate a contract in advance so there are no surprises.
Alumni magazines offer you a great opportunity to get your writing out to a broad audience. Who knows, your article might be read by another magazine editor or a CEO of a company looking for your skill set.
Another advantage is that alumni magazine editors are not bombarded with story pitches like editors of glossy magazines. You are more likely to get a response with feedback on your pitch and what you can improve for next time.
Find your story subject, and then start pitching university/college magazines. You'll be glad you did.
What a year for writing! I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had these past few months, but seeing my first feature article printed in Victoria's esteemed Boulevard Magazine takes the cake. (Yes, cake, even though my article is in the Health and Wellness department!)
You can find my story, "A Social Running Club Brews a Little Fun with Fitness," on page 76 of the September 2012 issue (pictured left).
The article features the forays of the Victoria chapter of the Hash House Harriers and highlights a few of the characters that make up the off-the-wall group as well as their philosophy, which balances getting in shape with drinking beer—and being politically incorrect. They are a great bunch! I had so much fun researching the story, I'm going to continue running with them.
If you recall, last summer I posted that I was determined to get an article in Boulevard before the end of 2011. Well, I overshot my goal slightly, but that doesn't at all dull the excitement of seeing my byline! --------------------that's me!----------------------------->
I would be so appreciative if you could please read my story about the Hash House Harriers and share your comments with me here on my blog. I'm looking forward to publishing more articles with Boulevard and will rely on your feedback to learn what is working and what isn't! Thanks for celebrating this exciting news with me. On on!
More information on the worldwide phenomenon that is the Hash House Harriers.
More information on the Victoria chapter.
Despite the fact that the web has been steadily encroaching on the territory of the print industry, magazine publishing in Victoria remains strong and growing. Of all our local magazines — Monday, Boulevard, Y.A.M, Douglas, Island Parent — I've had my eye on Boulevard for a while now. I made it my goal to publish a story with them before the end of 2011.
While I'm still working on getting a story published (I have some ideas... you'll have to wait and see!), I was given the incredible opportunity to copyedit September's issue. I worked with Managing Editor Anne Mullens, learning about Boulevard's editorial style and the innerworkings of a professional, highly esteemed magazine.
There are some terrific stories to watch out for in this issue, so be sure to pick up your free copy out today, August 30! They are available at newspaper stands around town — if you're downtown, the library walkway is a hotspot for local, free publications.
I leave you today with a challenge: I dare you to find a typo in September's (above) issue. I. Dare. You!
Jessica Woollard, freelance writer in beautiful Victoria, B.C.