Time is now for interested columnists to apply

The newspaper business, like many others, is seasonal. Our schedule mirrors the school year in many ways, with our busiest times occurring while classes - and high school sports - are in session.

And then summer rolls around, and with it comes a slightly different to-do list. One of my responsibilities each June is to thank a group of contributing columnists who have been writing for us for the past two years and to invite interested writers to apply for one of the openings.

We have a practice of rotating out writers in order to welcome new voices to our opinion pages. This summer, Bill Barre, Jade Cook, Kevin Cook and Katie Hughes are retiring, so to speak. I am so grateful to all of them for sharing their insights, their humor, their faith and their perspectives over the past two years.

I asked Katie - who first started writing for us as a high school columnist while she was attending Nazareth Academy and came back for a second two-year stint as a student writer in 2022 while attending the University of Georgia - to share what she enjoyed most about writing columns for the paper. Her response is the best advertisement for potential columnists I could ask for.

"Writing for The Hinsdalean has been an absolute joy, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so," she wrote in an email. "The Hinsdalean allowed me to write about topics that I am passionate about and gave me the space to navigate how to discuss these topics in an effective way."

She pointed to her growth as a writer and thanked readers who supported her with kind words.

"Above all, writing for The Hinsdalean has led me to finding my voice, which, for a writer, is the most important thing," she continued. "Now, as a young woman, I hope to use that voice to tell stories the way that I see them (and the way that they are) - for years to come."

I hope writers who are interested in a similar experience will apply for one of our open contributing columnist positions. Columnists write once every seven or eight weeks during the school year for two years. The application process is simple.

Just email me (using the address listed below) 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.

Please include your address and cell number along with your name. I'd also love to hear just a bit more about you and why you are interested in writing a column. Submissions are due Monday, July 29.

Student writers, ideally high school seniors, are welcome to apply as well. (Moms and dads of talented writers, please encourage them to do so.)

And now 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.

One last detail. This is not a paid position. The rewards are those Katie wrote about - and maybe being recognized in the check-out line by someone who saw your photo in the paper.

I look forward to hearing from you.

- 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