With 30 years' experience in writing and editing, Gwen Watkins of Freelancers is opening up her Facebook page to queries from young writers, in journalism or PR positions, on what makes a writing piece publishable.
“Most published pieces today also have an online presence and need to capture readers' attention in around 15 seconds, much like a billboard on a highway,” says Watkins. “This changes the headline and opening paragraph strategy.
“Ask yourself, ‘If I was the reader, what would make me open the link?' The answer comes from the nature of the publication, a fact capitalised on by native advertising.
“Grammar may be ‘old school' and not needed in a social page but business news still finds it essential. Spelling mistakes are avoidable through setting Microsoft spellchecking correctly and re-reading the piece before hitting send. Yet, these are mistakes made every day in press releases and reported news.
“I look forward to some vigorous debate with young writers,” concludes Watkins.
For free answers, direct your questions to Freelancers Communications Consultancy