Reading Between the Lines


            When I received my copy of the April issue of Children’s Writer, I thumbed through it the way I usually do. First, I check out headers in the newsletter itself, looking for articles I want to read. Then I turn to the Marketplace section to see if any new opportunities have surfaced.

            The first page was enough to stop me cold. Sports and marine science were the features of the month. Was I interested in sports? Not likely. I was the kid who was always chosen last for the team! Was I interested in marine science? No way. I can’t even get in a row boat without feeling seasick!

            Fortunately, the morning coffee hadn’t finished brewing. As I had a few minutes to kill, I began to read. Listen magazine, I discovered, believes that hobbies are as healthy as sports. It also wants articles on “new ways to be active.” 

            I had already been published in Listen and was familiar with their style. I wondered if they would like to look at a piece on bird watching. It is certainly a hobby, but is bird watching a way to be active? Aha! It is if you walk a couple of miles to find the birds you want to watch.

Would these ideas fit in with Listen’s emphasis on healthy living? You bet they would. What’s healthier than venturing into the great outdoors?

I turned the page. Smack dab in the middle of page 3 was an information sidebar listing magazines wanting articles on sports and health. Wait a minute! Did that say health? I had published over 50 health related articles. But I had never thought of applying my expertise to the field of sports. Why not give it a try?

Marine science was a little more challenging – until I came across a paragraph that talked about narrowing down the topic and finding an angle. Let’s see. Marine science involved oceans. But where there’s an ocean, there are seashores, and sand, and shells . . . Shells! I knew about shells. I’ll bet somebody out there would like to read my article about Jewelry of the Sea.

And all because I read between the lines.


Contributed by Marilyn Cram Donahue



5 responses to “Reading Between the Lines

  1. nancysanders

    Wow, Marilyn! Thanks for sharing what goes on inside your head while you’re considering what to write or how to recycle an article that’s already published–even while reading an article that didn’t seem interesting at first.

  2. Thanks Marilyn! Your post is really helpful. So many times I think I have to be an expert with a degree and don’t consider what I already know, or what interests me.
    :0) Veronica

  3. gloriastockstill

    Marilyn, thanks for opening my eyes to potential articles I did not recognize!


  4. Sherri Crawford

    Thanks Marilyn for showing us how to think outside of the box as writers!

  5. marilyn donahue

    And thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments!

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