HAPPY NEW YEAR!
A Letter from the President
Craig Allen Brown, AABJ President
Let me start by wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and productive 2023!
I’m proud of the strides that the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) made in 2022. After a catastrophic pandemic decimated life as we knew it, we were able to begin having face-to-face meetings for the first time in over two years. One of our more successful and engaging events of 2022 was a brunch that allowed us to partner with the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) executive board, which was attended by NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry, Vice President of Broadcast Ken Lemon, Vice President of Digital Amir Vera and Secretary Madison Carter.
AABJ also partnered with the NABJ executive board last October to celebrate NABJ President Dorothy Tucker’s 40th anniversary as a journalism professional.
AABJ’s Emmy-award winning television show, “iN Contact,” was able to reconnect with AIB Studios, and resume using the network’s studios to create engaging content about pivotal topics such as homelessness, breast cancer awareness, health concerns for Black men and professional development for journalists.
We were also able to continue an endeavor that I am particularly proud of, the mentoring and professional development of our student members. Several professional AABJ members volunteered to serve as mentors to students at Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University. AABJ was also able to send four AABJ/NABJ students to the NABJ Annual Conference in Las Vegas; these students all spoke of the experience as being “rewarding and fulfilling.”
However, as rewarding as 2022 was, I am even more excited about what 2023 will be for our chapter.
2023 will see AABJ host at least one membership meeting and one social event monthly, at a minimum. These social events will include mixers with other professional journalism organizations, such as the Online News Association, the Atlanta Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. We have scheduled an AABJ barbecue, a brunch and an Atlanta Falcons football game. We will wrap the year up with AABJ’s awards ceremony in December.
We will also have a host of panels and speakers come and share their expertise with our members. These events include photography and writing workshops, a Black history program, and our annual Black Male Media Project. We will also sponsor AAJB/NABJ students to attend the Region III Convention in Jackson, Mississippi, as well as the NABJ Convention in Birmingham, Alabama.
We will take deliberate actions to reconnect with those Atlanta-area businesses that have proudly served as sponsors and/or partners with AABJ, to further empower our organization. We will also foster relationships with Atlanta’s powerful and plentiful media organizations, to provide opportunities for employment for our members. Further, we will also create opportunities to celebrate the founders and trailblazers who worked so diligently to ensure that Black people in Atlanta and throughout the world always have a voice.
This is an organization that I am immensely proud of, and this board will work even harder in our final year to provide the networking opportunities, professional development opportunities and sense of family that all of you deserve.
Craig Allen Brown
President, Atlanta Association of Black Journalists
101 Websites to help Journalists and Writers
By Stan Washington
People don’t realize how difficult good writing is until they decide to do it. Becoming really good at the craft of storytelling whether it’s through print or video is more of a long journey than a destination. Even after you win a few awards there is always room for improvement.
Every year Writer’s Digest, the leading publication to help writers of all genres – mainly print – publishes their Yearbook which features great advice for writers and the very useful section: “101 Best Websites For Writers”.
The 2023 issue is out on the stands now. I picked up my copy at Barnes & Noble or you can order directly from www.writersdigest.com.
This year’s issue also features an article titled “100 Magazine Markets for Writers” which is a must have for freelancers. But to be successfully published with any magazine you must study back issues to see what type of articles they are running and you must get to know their target audience.
Being a successful freelance magazine writer is tough. Magazine editors are a tough sell. Also be prepared to write about subjects that may not interest you. For instance, you may not care for fishing at all – you love knitting. But Field & Stream magazine is offering a nice check for an 1100 word article. Expand your opportunities.
In addition to the websites, there is a very important article that all writers need titled: “How Much Should I Charge?” This chart lists every possible assignment a writer can receive from copywriting/editing to business plans to press releases to ghost writing a book.
So if you are having trouble with the dreaded writer’s block or how to turn your news article into an award-winning screenplay to writing your first book, this guide is one of the best resources out there.
The issue is broken down to several categories but for the sake of brevity I’m only going to give a sample of a few genres with journalism being the primary one.
There is money out there from nonprofit organizations itching to give you money. You can find a number of them represented at the NABJ Expo & Job Fair each year. You can also find leads through Writer’s Digest and other magazines geared towards writers. Or you can sign up for this free weekly newsletter for a list of 24-30 paying opportunities.
U.S. Copyright Office – Copyright.gov
Writers protect your work! This is the place where you learn the basics of copyright law, research copyright records and to register your creative work.
Freelancers Union – freelancersunion.org
Of the creative community is there any other group more abused than freelancers? The focus of this organization is the health and safety of all freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs. The union offers access to insurance benefits and resources for legal and financial information. Membership is free.
All Freelance Writing – allfreelancewriting.com
Business writer and author Jennifer Mattern has operated this site for more than a decade. The site focuses on business writing for freelancers who are interested in working in this area.
Nieman Storyboard – NiemanStoryboard.org
Get feedback on your pitch for a compelling article. There are 11 categories designed to help you improve your techniques to make it a successful article.
Quill – QuillMag.com
This quarterly magazine has been a staple for writers and editors for nearly 100 years. Find insightful articles by industry leaders and veteran writers. But you don’t have to wait for three months to get the next issue, there are plenty of articles online.
Substack.com – Substack.com
This is Substack’s first appearance on this list. Created in 2017, the online platform provides writers to be paid directly by readers for their work.
The Editing Podcast – LouiseHarnbyProofreader.com/
This podcast and three others are making their debut on the list. Hosted by fiction editor Louise Harnby and Denise Howe the host offers needed advice for those writers looking for an editor but are not sure what to look for. The episodes range from what to expect from your editor to advice on grammar and punctuation and a lot more.
This issue of the Byline was edited by Tianna Faulkner, AAJB VP of Print.