Ten years ago today my first article was published. I was taking the media communications certificate at Algonquin College and, as part of my journalism class, we were tasked with writing a review on anything—a movie, restaurant, book, etc. Josh and I had just returned from London where we stayed in a teeny-tiny, budget-friendly room at the Easy Hotel, so I chose that as my subject. My instructor liked the piece so I decided to send it to an editor at the Ottawa Citizen. To my surprise, she agreed to publish it.
I couldn’t have been more excited. Having my first pitch accepted was kind of surreal, and it’s since been balanced out with plenty of reality checks in the form of rejection–or more frequently, no response at all from editors. But this is par for the course when it comes to freelance writing. As I’ve learned from listening to The Longform Podcast, even New Yorker writers face frequent rejection.
The good news is that I’ve found a lovely community of freelance writers (and one photographer) in Saskatoon. We meet monthly at a cafe to share stories of success, struggles, tips, advice and how well various local media outlets pay their writers–if they pay at all. Most importantly, we’ve been able to help each other make connections in the industry. As a result of those connections, I had my first piece published on CBC Saskatoon’s website last week.
I’ve also had a few articles published in Prairies North magazine this year. Although they bill themselves as the “magazine of Saskatchewan” their subscribers are located all over the world–many of them likely displaced Saskatchewanians. I was thrilled to write about the story behind an adorable tiny house on wheels (or THOW for short) for the summer issue. Unlike Saskatoon HOME, it’s not freely available online, but you can purchase copies at hundreds of locations across Western Canada or become a subscriber.
The magazine generously invited their contributors (myself included) out for a guided paddle boarding adventure with Escape Sports this week. For an afternoon, we got out of our offices and onto the South Saskatchewan River for a 10km+ paddle from Poplar Bluffs into the city. It was a gorgeous summer day and I couldn’t help but think I have the best job in the world–even if it does come with a little rejection from time to time.