What's Needed for Writing Success06/05/2015 15:39:57

What is needed for a Career as a Journalist?

John Mason, ACS Principal, magazine editor and author of over 40 books, comments on his experience working to publishers’ specifications:


“In more than 35 years of dealing with publishers, I have repeatedly heard them complain that too many writers simply don’t write what publishers want and need. It’s not that writers are not good at writing; it’s just that they are not good at writing to specifications.

If you want to make money from writing and pursue a career in journalism, you must learn to write to specification. This means:

  • If the publisher wants 200 to 250 words, you MUST produce something not one word more or less than this range.

  • If the publisher asks for work by a certain date, ideally, you will supply it before that date, but definitely not even one day late.

  • If the publisher asks for a simple style, no jargon, or something for a particular target audience, you must be able to produce work that falls within those guidelines.”

A qualification is useful and will often help get your job application considered; but ....

It's not uncommon for a publisher or editor to say that they need to "un-train" university graduates.  The problem is that a university course often teaches you how to pass exams; but a publisher needs people who will write in a way that contributes to the profitability of the business.

Learn to Write as Publishers want through our Freelance Writing Course (click for details)