PW Senior Alyssa Onder accepted to Denver Publishing Institute


We are pleased to announce that Alyssa Onder, Professional Writing senior, has been accepted to the Denver Publishing Institute. While Jon Ritz brought the program to her attention as a sophomore, she only remembered the program recently while looking into her plans for after graduation. As a certification program, Onders decided the Denver Publishing Institute seemed to be a better fit for her than grad school. Associate Professor Stuart Blythe only has good things to say about the program, “The Publishing Institute is a terrific first step for students interested in book publishing. Many students actually walk away from the Institute with a job offer.” In regards to Onder’s acceptance, he explains, “Alyssa was in a section of my WRA 202 that I taught a couple years ago. Based on the good work she did then, I’m not surprised that she was accepted.”

While this four-week long program focuses mainly on book publishing, they make every day count. Lectures and workshops cover everything from book design and packaging to proofreading and copyediting to media marketing and a bit of multimedia publishing. In response to her acceptance, Onder explains what she’s looking forward to most, “I’m hoping to learn more about where the publishing industry is headed. Because DPI focuses largely on book publishing as opposed to magazine or e-publishing, I’m interested to learn about how the industry is keeping print alive and how I might be part of that.”

In addition to in-depth workshops on editing and marketing in the publishing business, the Institute also offers one-on-one sessions with DPI graduates and prominent figures in publishing. “I’m excited for the networking! There are so many experienced publishers, agents, and editors from the ‘The Big Six’ visiting DPI to work with students. I’m eager to meet them and learn about their experience with the industry.” Of course, ‘The Big Six’ Onder is referring to are the most distinguished publishing companies across the world: Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette. From these prestigious companies, there will be two representatives from HarperCollins and one representative from Penguin, Macmillan, and Random House at the Institute, respectively.

Upon graduating the program, she will receive a Publishing Certificate. Since Onder is in the Editing and Publishing track of Professional Writing, this program gives her a perfect opportunity to not only explore the publishing industry and what it has to offer, but to network inside the business and launch her career in publishing.

How To Start Your Own Magazine with Joomag

Wouldn’t it be great if you could own a magazine company? What if I told you can and you could do so for free? YES, for free. Create your stunning digital publications and let the world know about them through Joomag. Use Joomag to create a free online interactive magazine. Upload videos, sounds and animations for your audience to enjoy right off the page of your magazine. You can also design catalogs, reports, brochures and photo albums; don’t worry, this is all still free.

It gets better! Create your magazine, and share your link with anyone. There is no limit to how many magazines you can create or how many issues you can have. Your magazine is accessible and compatible on any mobile device. Publishing the next Sports Illustrated or Poets & Writers magazine is a click away.

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PW Senior Maude Campbell accepted to NYU Summer Publishing Institute

We are proud to announce that Professional Writing senior, Maude Campbell, has been accepted to the prestigious New York University Summer Publishing Institute. While in a conference about her future for WRA 493 with Jon Ritz, he encouraged her to apply for the program. Associate Professor Stuart Blythe, who has known Campbell since she started in PW, expressed his excitement for her: “I’m happy that she’s representing MSU at NYU. She’ll be a terrific ambassador for our program.”


Over the course of the six-week program, Campbell will learn the ins and outs of book, magazine, and digital publishing. Along the way, faculty members of the Institute and guest speakers will discuss various aspects of the publishing industry including the marketing, business, and creative sides of projects. “I hope to learn more about magazine publishing and the industry from professionals working in publications that are world renowned,” Campbell said. Lucky for her, she will be working closely with prominent publishing companies that will act as industry advisors throughout the program.

During the first three weeks, she will be expected to produce launch plans for new magazine brands and for the last three weeks, she will be focusing on creating imprints for book publishing houses. Throughout the entire program, emphasis will also be placed on publishing in digital formats including web, tablet, and mobile platforms. Final projects will be judged by a panel of senior publishing executives from publications such as Condé Nast and publishers such as HarperCollins.

At the very end of the program, a Career Fair will take place where students will interview with leading publishing companies in the book, magazine, and digital publishing industries. Campbell conveyed her worries about this, “I’m nervous about meeting with professionals I have admired for years through reading their publications.  It will be intimidating but through them I can gain further insight into my growing passion.” Since Campbell is in the Editing and Publishing track of PW, this program will provide a perfect opportunity to learn, grow, and network within the industry. “I am hoping we can invite Maude back and she’ll share the fruits of what will be an amazing experience,” Professor Dànielle DeVoss said.

For more information on this program, check out their brochure here.

Long Live Printed Books!



With the ever-growing world of eBooks, the lifespan of printed books are dwindling. As a frequent bookstore visitor, I loathe the day printed books die out. I think it’s still a long time coming, but it stills gives me panic attacks whenever I think about it. (And then I proceed to run to the nearest Barnes & Noble and breathe in the soothing smell of freshly printed books – seriously, that needs to be a body spray or something.) But in the meantime, we need to focus on the benefits of physical books versus the cheap imitations of the real book-reading experience. Nothing beats the feel of quickly fanning the pages of a new book or hearing the spine crinkle when you open it or perusing the aisles of an entire building dedicated to only books. And then there’s the satisfying feeling you get when you close a book after you’re finished reading. EBooks just don’t quite live up to the experience that is reading a physical book. Read the complete list of reasons at Thought Catalog.

From Terribleminds: Write What You Love or Write What Sells?



As a writer, your job seems to be simple: write stuff and people read it. But it’s the constant, daily struggle that’s difficult – figuring out the sweet spot between writing what you want to write and writing what actually sells. Sometimes, those are the same thing, other times, not so much. A lot of times, it depends on the market that year: what genres and topics are popular right now and what people are talking about.  But most importantly, you need to know what you want out of writing. If you’re in it for the money, then all the power to you, the answers are on the bestseller list. If you’re writing because you love the craft but you also want to be able to eat, then either make a compromise or try to find the happy medium. More than likely, there will be a group of readers out there that will want to read your writing. The catch is do you care about how big that group is or is the fact that they exist at all enough for you? Check out what novelist Chuck Wendig says about this on his blog, Terribleminds.

Eye-catching, Irresistible Headlines



Yelling, shouting, jumping – these are all verbs that are used to describe gripping headlines. A string of words that can compel a reader to continue reading are essential. However, writing headlines isn’t easy at all. Just like many things, it comes with practice. Focusing on the headlines that catch your eye aren’t a bad idea though. Usually headlines that have credibility, a source that you trust to back them up, are the ones that draw people’s attention. Scientific research or studies are seen in our society as reliable sources. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Context also has influence over the reader, if they aren’t interested in scientific research, then there needs to be a targeting element to the content that will draw them in. For example, if the scientific pull of a research project doesn’t get them, then perhaps the fact that it’s on puppies and kittens will. Who doesn’t like puppies and kittens? Maybe they’ll continue reading for the promise of pictures or maybe the reader is genuinely interested in the outcome of the research of adorable, baby animals. Either way, in order to capture the attention of readers, there needs to be thought put into the credibility of the content as well as who is the target audience. Head over to Copyblogger to learn more about crafting irresistible headlines!

Become A Master Editor In Just 7 Minutes, Advice from Hitchcock

Ever spent hours collecting material for a video presentation, then to realize it will take another three hours or more to cut out unnecessary footage.  Alfred Hitchcock offers a seven-minute video on how to become a master in editing. He explains that there is much more to cutting, it goes much deeper and there are different cinematic approaches to consider when producing the perfect “final version” of a film. If you’d like to behold more of the editing prowess Hitchcock commanded, visit Open Cultures collection of 20 Free Alfred Hitchcock Movies Online.

Fourth Genre’s new “Off the Page” series

FG Off the Page

If you’re a fan of all things writing, then Fourth Genre’s new podcast series “Off the Page” is for you. Each episode highlights a different author published in Fourth Genre, discussing their work and covering various issues in the realm of nonfiction as well as their writing process, the editing process, and, of course, what animal they would most like to be.

So far, “Off the Page” focuses on authors the Fourth Genre editorial staff met at the annual Associated Writers and Writing Program conference when they traveled to Boston earlier this year. In the first episode, Eric Walters talks with Daisy Hernandez, the author of “Before Love, Memory” which received a Notable Mention in Best American Essays 2013. In the second episode, Brenda Miller is interviewed about her various published pieces, especially the most recent of her Fourth Genre pieces, “How to Get Ready for Bed”. With only two episodes so far, catching up is simple! Don’t miss any more episodes; check out “Off the Page” here.