Tweets too short? Think about writing a column!
Last updated 6/7/2023 at 8:45pm | View PDF
Sometimes a piece of writing will make you laugh. Or cry. Or think about something in a completely new way.
Our contributing writers have crafted columns that do all of those things. And as much as I’d like to have all of them continue writing for us, we have a practice of rotating out writers who have been with us for two years so we can expose readers to new voices every year.
This summer, Bill Barre, John Bourjaily, Lisa Seplak and Lex Silberberg are retiring, so to speak, after writing for us since 2021.
And so, in what has become an annual column for me, I’d like to invite residents to join our pool of contributing writers.
Contributing columnists have been part of our opinion pages since Jim Slonoff and I started the paper in 2006. We knew the first group of writers from our days at The Doings, but since then have invited a number of other talented individuals to become part of The Hinsdalean family.
I think that’s what I love most about reading the contributing columnists’ pieces every week. I learn a little more about them — the things that bring them joy, the things they struggle with, their family members, their pets — and soon they feel like old friends. I know readers feel the same way.
If you’ve always enjoyed writing and are interested in an opportunity to do so on a regular basis, I would encourage you to consider this opportunity. Columnists write once every seven or eight weeks during the school year for two years.
To apply please email me a sample column of 450 words along with ideas for three additional columns. The ideas don’t need to be extremely detailed, but they are a factor in the selection process. Make sure to include your address and cell number along with your name. I’d also love to know just a bit more about you and why you are interested in writing a column.
One of the open positions is reserved for a student writer, ideally a high school senior. (Moms and dads of talented writers, please encourage them to apply.)
And now it’s time for the stipulation I share every year. If you are interested in writing to get free publicity for a business, nonprofit organization, political agenda or other cause, please do not apply. Nor are we looking for writers who want to pen every column on a particular topic, like gardening or music. We will not run columns by elected officials or employees of public bodies, either.
Submissions can be emailed to me at the address at the end of this column. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 17.
One last detail. This is not a paid position. The rewards come from compliments from friends and neighbors and the occasional stare at the school sporting event or check-out line at Kramer’s from someone who can’t remember how they know you (but recognize you from your photo). And you might just make a new friend.
“I discovered pretty quickly that writing for The Hinsdalean was an amazing way to connect with our already close-knit community,” Silberberg shared. “I’ve lost count of how many times I received a text from a friend or a comment from a then-stranger because they related to something I wrote. It just goes to show that the right words can provoke thought, elicit a laugh or make a small difference in someone’s day — don’t sleep on that opportunity!”
I hope you’ll follow her advice.
— Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].