5 Clips


Yesterday I put together my application for the “Minority Writers” scholarship to a summer magazine writing program at the Academy for Alternative Journalism with Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. You might’ve seen my previous post about it. To apply you needed to turn in 5 published clips, 2 letters of rec, a query letter for a feature story you think is suitable for an alternative newsweekly, an essay on why you’re intrested in journalism, and your resume.

Fortunately I had the appropriate clips even if they all came from books, was loved enough to get the recs on 24hrs notice, and had a story idea that I’ve been stewing on and was ready for the instant print out. After putting it all in a portfolio and handing it to Dennis our FedEx guy right in the nick of time, I felt fairly accomplished seeing it all before me. Geez, I thought…if you’ve got five clips already, you think you wouldn’t need the class. That’s not always the case. Like me, someone can have the clips but still want to broaden their education and training in other fields. I know I really want to get into magazine writing and I’ll take the extra incentive and sponsored six weeks in Chicago no problem.

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The funniest part about the whole portfolio building experience was that the letters of rec I got from James and Larry were nearly identical even though they were written at the exact same time in two different cities. I already showed James’s to Larry and now I have to show Larry’s to James. These guys have been friends since their radio Dj days at Dartmouth twenty years ago and I guess some of their thinking runs on the same line.