Beanery Online Literary Magazine

April 27, 2010

Tips on How to Write



     The first two newspapers I worked for basically took the articles I submitted and published them “as was.” Errors, incoherencies, and all.

     Then I met Paul Heyworth, editor of the Fay-West section of the Greensburg Tribune-Review (PA). Having recently moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, I hadn’t been motivated to approach the newspaper about writing for them until I signed up for a conference on gangs. In my previous community, where I headed a family support program and was a pastor’s spouse, I had often submitted articles to two newspapers on conferences and seminars I attended. I believe it’s called “multi-tasking.”

     I set up an appointment to speak with Paul—I believe it was an “interview.” He told me to bring in several clips. When I arrived, he used speed-reading to evaluate them before asking me how many articles a week I was planning to submit. I only intended, at that point, to write the one.

     After getting by that bump in the interview, Paul told me he expected me to be in the news office when the articles were edited.

     In a very early submission, he questioned a word I used.

     “Don’t you think that word is too large for Fayette County readers?”

     I said that I was a county resident who read the paper, that not all readers were unable to understand that word. Not all readers were uneducated.

     “Besides, don’t you think that some readers will look the word up in a dictionary and learn something?”

     After that, I made certain there was one challenging word in each article I submitted. These words were never removed.


     This is a roundabout way for me to introduce a post I read: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing. And in using “larger” words, I violated Tip number (more…)