Annual call for new writers to join columnist pool

One of my favorite tasks at work is to read the submission from our contributing columnist each week.

Our writers this past year were Bill Barre, John Bourjaily, Bret Conway, Kelly Abate Kallas, Mistie Lucht (until she moved out of town) Lisa Seplak, Lex Silberburg and student writer Isabella Terry.

Perhaps you know one - or more -as a friend or neighbor. Perhaps you've been reading their columns all year thinking, "Hey, I'd like to do that!"

Now is your chance.

Every year a handful of our writers rotate off the schedule to give new writers in town an opportunity to become a contributing columnist. (They have the chance to reapply after a year.) This year, Bret, Kelly and Isabella are bidding us farewell.

Bret was a first-time columnist when his first essay ran in October 2020. He enjoys writing about music and food, and so we've gotten along well.

Isabella found time during a very busy senior year (filled with accomplishments, as you might have read about in this very publication) to write some wonderful columns for us. Someday we'll be able to say, "We knew here when ..."

I first met Kelly when I worked at The Doings and she was a columnist there. When Jim Slonoff and I started The Hinsdalean in 2006, I invited her to join our initial pool of columnists. She's come back for return stints a few times since then. Over the years, we've become friends.

That's one of the great things about reading multiple columns written by the same person - it engenders a personal connection. I've interviewed more than one person who has said they feel like they know me after reading my columns over so many years.

I find the intimacy that is created when you share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly is one of the most rewarding parts about writing a column. I think many of our contributing columnists agree.

If my sales pitch has worked and you're interested in pursuing this opportunity, here's what you need to do: Email me a sample column of 450 words along with ideas for three additional columns. The ideas don't need to be detailed, but I do take them into account when selecting our new writers.

Please include an address and daytime phone number along with your name. I'd also love to know just a bit about who you are and why you are interested in writing a column. Because our paper focuses on covering Hinsdale, we are looking for writers who live in town.

One of the open positions will be reserved for a high school senior. (Moms and dads of talented writers, feel free to give them a nudge.)

This is not a platform for free publicity for a business, nonprofit organization, political agenda or other entity. Elected officials and employees of public bodies are not eligible.

My email address is below. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 18.

One final note. Columnists are not paid. The rewards come in the form of compliments from friends and neighbors and the occasional stare in the check-out line at Kramer's from someone who recognizes you from your picture in the paper.

The greatest reward, I think most columnists would agree, is the opportunity to share a story. I'm waiting to hear yours!

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean