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Book Sabbaticals?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, May 9, 2007.

  1. I'd like to do some immersion journalism-style books - spend a season with a team or something even outside of sports. On the other hand, I really can't quit my day job with a family to raise, etc., etc.

    Does anyone know how open newspapers are to someone taking a few months out of work - paid or unpaid - to work on a side project? I do have down time because of the nature of the beat.

    Obviously papers like The New York Times and the Washington Post are more than OK with the concept, but I'm wondering how foreign it would sound to my < 100,000 paper.
  2. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I can't imagine smaller papers have the staff to allow for such a leave. Some papers can barely afford people leaving for two-week vacations.
  3. CapeCodder

    CapeCodder Member

    Waylon, I'm with Shaggy. If you work at a big enough paper, good for you. (The fact that you have some time because of the beat will definotely work in your favor.) I know some larger papers that have allowed a month for writers to take off for a book. But I'm finishing one up now at a paper where I could take that kinda time, and I've had to take vacation time, as well as a few "sick days" here and there to make it work.
  4. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    I wrote my first book on sabbatical from my then paper. It wasn't too hard to arrange, but it was a larger outfit.

    You can usually sell these things by saying that if your profile increases because of the book, and if you'll trumpet your employer at every reading and in every interview, it can only benefit them in the long term.

    That being said, a smaller paper would probably have trouble doing without you.

    Oh, and I got six weeks. Perhaps not surprisingly, the book reads exactly like it was written in six weeks. Nowadays, I wouldn't wipe my ass with it.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You know, Shooter's Dad, that a debilitating back injury can last weeks and weeks.
  6. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    Some papers have a plan for this, it's called a layoff.
  7. jambalaya

    jambalaya Member

    I've been writing a new book, or trying to, on my down time. It's not easy, but I like the challenge. I'm on a beat, so May to mid-August is a great time for me.

    If I asked for time to finish, I'm sure my eds would laugh.
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