Ladies and gentlefolk of the Plateau, this is your final chance to apply to be a Courier-Herald columnist for 2021-2022!
For those of you not in the know, I started calling out for citizen contributors to this newspaper last year in a bid to increase the diversity of our opinion page.
The project was a resounding success — nearly two dozen people applied for the four positions that were open, and the writers we chose were highly diverse in their identities, backgrounds, and column topics. I truly hope that you’ve enjoyed Luke Miller, Daisy Devine, Julie Reece-DeMarco, and Jeff Antonelis-Lapp as they’ve given us their thoughts, opinions, and expertise these past months.
But now it’s time for another four community members to step up and offer their voices to the community, and continue what I hope will become a tradition for the Courier-Herald and the Plateau every year.
Obviously, I am expecting some people to apply as political columnists, giving their thoughts on what’s happening on the local, state, and federal levels; I’ve even asked specifically for a conservative writer in previous columns.
However, politics are just a small slice of what our world has to offer us, and I want the Courier-Herald to print a vast array of opinions and experiences. And that means I’m open to considering almost anything you can throw at me.
Want to write at length about mental health and how to care for yourself and those you love? Sounds awesome to me. Are you an artist, and want to help other folks tap into their creative sides? Perfect. Have you received your Sommelier certification with the goal of demystifying wine for the general public? I’ll give it a shot — but you have to bring me on any wine tasting trips you take!
Now, I know that not everyone is a well-polished writer, and the idea of writing something thousands of people will read is intimidating. But I don’t want that to stop you — it’s my job as an editor to help you take your thoughts out of your head and put them on paper for other people to read. All I ask is that you’re willing to try.
So, if you’d like to be one of the next Courier-Herald columnists, here are the rules to apply:
■ Come up with a theme. What are you going to write about? And more importantly, can you write 12 columns, each being between 800 and 1,000 words, on that topic?
■ Put together an introduction column (800 – 1,000 words) which will be published first. Who are you? How long have you or your family lived on the Plateau? What does your topic mean to you, and what sort of expertise do you bring to the table? What is your goal for writing a column, and what do you want your readers to get out of it? If you’re stuck on how to craft this column, make sure to check out the introduction columns that were published in August 2020.
■ Complete a finished draft of a column on your topic. No matter what you write, make sure you list your sources by including them in the body of the piece (not at the bottom, like a bibliography) where relevant. Applicants who do not use or cite sources when necessary will not be considered. This draft column may or may not be published — it all depends on how timely it is.
■ List out the other 10 potential columns you want to write about. You may stick to your list, or you may wander — what I want most is to see that you have thought this through for an entire year.
■ Email all the above to me (firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: “Columnist Application”) by June 30 and set up an appointment to meet in person. If you don’t receive a response, call me (360-802-8220) to ensure I received the email.
From there, I’ll be spending June and July going over the applications and doing my initial edits, with the goal of announcing the four columnists in the last edition of the July paper and publishing their introduction columns in August.
If you have any questions or need anything clarified, give me a shout, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.
Otherwise, readers, enjoy the lovely weather, and I’ll see you around!