Michael Koretzky taught a session today called “An Entertaining Way Into the Magazine Business.” He said that the biggest difference between a newspaper and a magazine is collaboration.
If you want to work for a magazine, you have to know a little bit of everything. “You have to be able to write, to design and to assign stories,” he said.
He provided examples of work that he and his staff did when he was an entertainment editor. What made the stories great was the angle from which they were told. For example, instead of reviewing a restaurant, students did an experiment weighing the amount of food you could get at local restaurants and determining which place gave you the most food for your money. The angle of a story makes all the difference. How you tell a story (visually or with words) determines whether someone will pick up your paper and read it.
Also, all of their copy was written with punch. It grabbed the reader and pulled them in. It spoke to the reader with language that they’re used to.
Kretzky said instead of looking at a blank page and asking yourself, “What story am I going to put here?”, you should look at it and instead ask yourself, “How am I going to fill this blank space?”
Sometimes, a really short story can make a great visual element. I’m going to start using this concept more in The Pendulum. And if it doesn’t work, so what? As Michael Kretzky once said, “If you don’t screw up, you don’t learn.” And I’m a pretty good learner.