Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jeffrey Young visits with a magazine-writing class

SACRAMENTO, Calif. USA, CSU Sacramento campus - Jeffrey Young, the editor of Prosper magazine in Sacramento dropped by this semester's magazine writing class Tuesday night to dispense some wisdom - and crack a lot of jokes - in a guest-speaking gig.

Since taking over the helm of Prosper last year, he has been carefully reshaping the product and also turning the website into something much more lively.

Both the print and online Prosper products are works in progress, he told the students, and probably always will be given the way the business of publishing is changing.

Jeffrey Young of Prosper Magazine
Jeffrey Young

A journalism pro, Young has written for Forbes and dozens of other magazines. He started his journalism career at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner - almost on a whim - while working as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Since then his resume went wild with clips from magazines and he wrote two books about Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs on book cover
Book about Steve Jobs

He threw out dozens of nuggets for the students in his short visit but stressed repeatedly that any writer who submitted a query - or whose story was up for consideration for being included in his magazine - had better capture his interest completely within a couple of paragraphs, or their future with him couldn't even be called dim.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If I went back into the news bizz it would be to write a column

NAKED COFFEESHOP, Sacramento, Calif. - If I had to go back to a real, fulltime writing job again, I would probaby try to land a column-writing gig.

Teaching column writing this fall - and doing some column-like writing myself in these postings and in other places - has shown me how much I still like to write commentary, mixed with news. Or is it news mixed with commentary?


Today I had tea with the Sacramento Bee newspaper's new three-dot columnist, a young reporter-turned columnist named Lisa Heyamoto who hails from Seattle, Spokane with a little of the state of Hawaii thrown in.

After two years of working as a reporter - doing bar reviews, among other things - she landed her current job, finding three or four odd tidbits about life in Sacramento for her three-times a week column. Three-times-a-week is keeping her moving pretty fast, but she is quickly making the transition from reporter to columnist.

Lisa H
Lisa Heyamoto
  • Lisa's column

  • And if her laughter is any indication, she is having a lot of fun.

    As a relative newcomer to Sacramento, the three-dot items don't come as easy as they might for someone who has been here for 20 years. But then in her case, the fresh set of eyes is showing the city a new - and younger - light.

    And she probably sees a lot of things other people miss, because her usual mode of transit around the downtown, mid-town areas of Sacramento is a sturdy-looking bicycle that brought her to the coffee shop this morning.

    Unfortunately, as we finished up our respective cups of tea (Earl Grey for me, English Breakfast for Lisa), it started to rain, which meant a soggy ride for the six blocks Lisa had to go to get back to her mid-town digs.

    "Don't worry about me," she said. "I used to live in Seattle."