As a high school student many years ago, I went a forum about journalism and still remember its inspiring impact. So of course, I said yes when asked to speak with several classes at Hicksville High School for Career Day, a BOCES program. Newsday sanctioned my recent visit. In each of four different classes, I handed out this one-pager about "Writing and You". I was delighted to see how many wanted to be journalists and writers. Here's my talking points.
Writing and You
by Thomas Maier author, TV producer and Newsday special writer.
Personal Writing: How to Express Yourself? Walk Before Running.
– Master the Basics: SVO – (Subject, “active” Verb, Object).
– Simple Sentences, Complex Sentences and Transitions
– Look up Writing Books for Style, Ideas. – “On Writing Well” William Zinsser
– Keep a Personal Journal.
– Social Media, Blog, School Websites.
Personal Reading: What Do You Have to Say?
– Read daily papers and websites.-- Newsday for Long Island, NYT for the World.
– Subscribe to magazines/websites, from genres to The New Yorker and the Atlantic.
– Great Books, classic (Hamlet) to modern classics like To Kill A Mockingbird or Beloved.
– Bios, Ben Franklin, “Team of Rivals” ( Lincoln), “Hidden Figures” black women in space.
– Cultural Literacy – understanding touchstones and context.
Writing- Print and Digital.
– News – “Inverted Pyramid” – What’s most important.
– Narrative Story-Telling.
Writing for Television News and Podcasts.
– Writing for the Ear. Scripts for Public Radio, Podcasts, TV News Features
– Writing to Visuals – Script writing to motion, sequences, natural sound.
Writing for Drama– Streaming, Theater, Films.
– Writing a Treatment, Pitch Memo.
– 100 page scripts, playwriting.
Writing Experience and Lessons:
– Liberal Arts College.
– Summer Internship.
– Journalism School, Film School, Graduate degrees.
– First Jobs.
Lost Art of Letter-Writing
– Write a long email to a friend about what’s up and what you’re thinking about.