Friday, September 21, 2007

Get Those Sample Post Mag
Columns In By October 15th

In a new movie, Resurrecting the Champ, Josh Hartnett plays a young sportswriter struggling to break out of the shadow of his famous, deceased father, a radio personality. He finally does so by writing a breakthrough cover piece on a former boxer for the Denver newspaper's Sunday magazine. In a bit of improbable Hollywood far-fetchery (my own coinage), the article gets noticed so widely that he's immediately offered a gig on network TV.

In the real world, network TV producers aren't generally scouring regional newspapers for the next big thing. More to the point, there are precious few newspaper Sunday magazines left standing. As recently as 1990, approximately 50 American newspapers had them. That number was down to about half that by 2000, and now the number is probably closer to a dozen. In Cleveland, the PD closed its magazine in late 2005, following a general trend across the country. The Akron Beacon-Journal closed its magazine years earlier.

But the Washington Post magazine is one of the few that remain, and it's also among the best. As it happens, they're looking for a new columnist. And don't assume that said columnist must live in the National Capital region, the fancy phrase locals use for the D.C. metro area. Why? For years, the Post mag has run regular columns by Jeanne Marie Laskas, a smart, witty writer (she's also a correspondent for GQ), but one who's based in the Pittsburgh area. If there appears to be no geographic restriction, you still must have "a unique and resonant voice," and be able to write "with personality, fresh insight, keen observation and an original take on these tumultuous times." Does that describe you?


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