13 NUTS and BOLTS of getting articles published - Amanda Bennett

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:37 AM ]
Here are ten ways to assess a story idea before you try selling it to an editor:

1. Where did your idea come from?

If it came off reporting, it's probably a stronger idea than one you just got out of your head. Did your reporting suggest a trend? Did it turn up a fascinating person? Did something just not seem right? Did something about your reporting puzzle you, or intrigue you, or surprise you?

2. Is the idea original?

Have you done your library research to see what else has been written on the topic? If something has been written about your idea already, look for opportunities to take an intensely local perspective or a particular new angle on the subject.

3. Does the idea surprise you?

If it doesn't surprise you, will it surprise your readers? Will they invest the time to read fifty inches of a story, if it is so predictable that they already know pretty much everything about the story's main idea by reading the headline?

4. Does the idea have movement to it?

What's movement? It's something that's new, something that people are suddenly developing interest in or losing interest in, something they're starting to talk about, or think about, or plan for.