Reminder — the Courier-Herald wants new writers! | Our Corner

If you want to be a columnist in the summer of 2021, now’s the time to start writing.

Ray Miller-Still

We may have just got snow over the weekend, but summer will arrive sooner than you think — which is why I want to remind all our readers that the Courier-Herald is looking for new columnists come the warmer weather!

If you didn’t catch my last column about this, here’s a short recap:

Basically, I want to make this newspaper more diverse, with different and interesting voices sharing their opinions, philosophies, and thoughts with the wider Plateau community. To do so, though, we need folks who are able to write just one column a month for a whole year.

Currently, we have four very talented writers currently contributing to the Courier-Herald: There’s Luke Miller, our financial and investment guru; Daisy Devine, a high schooler filled with hope for our future as a nation; Julie Reece-Demarco (above) who aims to find kindness in every situation she finds herself in; and Jeff Anotnelis-Lapp, a resident expert on Mt. Rainier. They’ve been doing a fantastic job so far, and I hope you’ve enjoyed their columns in the paper.

If those four are any indication, it should be clear that we’re not just looking for political commentary, but any topic you think people will be interested in reading. Are you a workout enthusiast and want to help motivate other people to get in shape? Fantastic. Do you own an extensive stamp collection and want to share the history of postage with a wide audience? You got it. Have a hankering to eat all the sandwiches Plateau restaurants have to offer to find the best one? OK, actually, that sounds like something I want to do, so don’t take that away from me.

Of course, political commentary is a mainstay of the opinion page, and in that spirit, we are definitely looking for a conservative columnist. Not having a voice on the right hal of the political spectrum is a current weakness of the paper, one that I am constantly reminded of. So if you think you can lend a voice to Enumclaw’s redder half, I definitely urge you to apply.

One final note: of course, I understand that writing is a difficult task, and it doesn’t come easily to everyone. That being said, you don’t have to be the best writer to apply for this opportunity — it’s my job an editor to help you shape your ideas into the words you want to use to best express yourself, so don’t fret if you don’t have an English degree or years of experience. I’ll help you out.

If you think this is an opportunity for you, 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 (, subject line: “Columnist Application”) by June 30 and set up an appointment to meet in person (I will request that you wear a mask, if it’s still necessary). 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.

Give me a shout if you have any questions or need something clarified — I’ll respond as quickly as I can. Otherwise, take care, readers, and I’ll see you around!

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