I’ve been asked by Michael Martone to talk a bit to his publishing class about being a writer, living the life of a writer, and how both submitting my work for publication and publishing the work of others plays into it all. I can say that they’ve always been twinned for me, that around the time I started thinking about writing for real I also started thinking about starting a magazine, which I did in 2002 in Pittsburgh and promptly published my first online essay. It wasn’t all we published, we being I and my friend and fellow alt-weekly contributor Jenn, but it was there.
I suppose it begins earlier, with the alt-weekly internship I got the same semester I took an intro to journalism class. While learning what AP style was and how to write a good lede and how to structure stories in inverted-pyramid form, I also was sent out into the city to write about events, or more specifically to call people on the phone about events that were going to take place. I wrote what’s called previews. I showed up in the office, I was given a task, I wrote it, it got in the paper the following week.
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