The power of learning

By Samson Dada

October 2011 edition

Clayton Methodist Church Magazine

On Wednesday 14th and 21st September, I attended a Young Writers’ Workshop hosted by The Guardian newspaper in London.

I learnt how to develop article ideas into proposals to submit to newspapers and magazines.

Before this workshop, I assumed that a generic statement about an article idea was the right thing to do, but I was wrong.

To pitch a story to a publication, one must have an appealing headline that will immediately grab the Editor’s attention, and discuss what the story is about and mention any relevant statistics. Most importantly, one must explain why ­­their article will be of interest to the reader and why it should be written by that person, instead of an established writer.

I also discovered that timing is crucial when choosing a story to write about. I suggested an interview with two people who were involved in overthrowing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but it was rejected by The Guardian because the paper has written extensively about this.

All participants have been encouraged to use the feedback they received to send fully developed ideas to the paper.

These lessons reminded me of the power of learning to broaden one’s horizons and to create new opportunities and interests.

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