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Outdoors Story Ideas.....

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by JosephC.Myers, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. JosephC.Myers

    JosephC.Myers Active Member

    If this needs to go on another forum, I'd appreciate the mods moving it. My putting it in the wrong forum wasn't intentional, I assure you.
    The paper I do some freelance work is needing someone to write a weekly outdoors column/story and offered me the chance. I have a little bit of knowledge about the subject, but not a lot. However, I'm willing to learn and give it the old college try. The editor said he'd hook me up with the former writer for contacts, story ideas, etc. and I plan to take advantage of it. But along with what I come up with and the former writer's ideas, I'm wanting to generate some other story ideas as well since this is supposed to be a 52-week-a-year thing.
    That's where you all come in. I'm looking for any outdoors story/column ideas you might have. No suggestion will be scoffed at or anything. Just trying to solicit some help from people who have a little more experience in this field than I do. I appreciate any help y'all can give me. Thanks.....
  2. JosephC.Myers

    JosephC.Myers Active Member

    Forgot to mention you can either put your ideas in this thread or PM them to me. Doesn't matter which. Thanks in advance.....
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I would talk to the local Department of Natural Resources and find out what issues they're dealing with on a regular basis. It's really difficult to discuss outdoors topics without at least knowing what part of the country you live in, but you could also go to hunting or fishing gear stores.
  4. JosephC.Myers

    JosephC.Myers Active Member

    I live in Southwest Georgia, the Columbus area to be exact. I've already gotten on the DNR's e-mail list for every conceivable subject and wrote my first column on how there's still outdoors stuff to do (small-game hunting, trapping and fishing) between the end of deer season and the start of turkey season, which falls on March 24 here.
  5. Mr. Costello

    Mr. Costello New Member

    Saw this in a nearby paper. It's a bit time-consuming, which I know is not an ideal attribute for a weekly column, but it's worth some consideration.
    Go out at a local trail, hike it, taking in all the details, and write up the experience -- not as a critic, but as a chronicler.
    Doing this for a special section myself.

    Good luck.
  6. nmsports

    nmsports Member

    I had a similar gig for several years at my local paper. It was fantastic. A great place to find ideas is the bulliten board at the local REI (or other outdoor gear shop). People are always posting interesting things that are happening. Those employees are also good to know because they are plugged into what is going on in the community. I tried to vary the stories between feature/advances for upcoming events or competitions; personality profiles; outdoor adventures, etc.
  7. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Get in touch with the local forest ranger and game warden and ask them what's been going on. They'll have a wealth of ideas.
  8. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    The former outdoors writer there, who was a damn good one, should give you some good ideas.

    You need to think two ways:

    1) Think about the season at hand. It's spring. Fish are biting, turkey season is almost here. Paddlers are getting ready to hit the water.

    2) And always think ahead 3-4 months to see what's coming. It will be hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock in just a few months. No one will be hiking unless they're gluttons. Think about what's going on at night when it's a little cooler, like fishing, bow fishing, indoor 3D archery events. When it's July, think about late summer dove seasons, bowhunters getting ready for deer season, the Georgia alligator season.

    Use the "new gear" or "hot lure" idea if you get in a pinch. Ask the local outdoors stores and Conservation Department people about issues or trends. Find out how the wildlife and fisheries are holding up; any significant changes, losses, gains, effects from drought, heat, etc.?

    Listen to your readers, too. If they're whining about lack of bass tournament coverage, give them some ink every few weeks with names and maybe a photograph. If they're bitching because there's a hot-button topic, pursue it. Names, faces, kids, older readers, men, women - a good outdoors section is LOCAL and not enough fucking newspaper managers realize that or pursue it smartly to make revenue.

    Find someone now to go turkey hunting with in spring. Go on a gator hunt during the summer season, too, and if it's not the most exciting thing you've ever done then you don't have a pulse.

    Lots of great outdoors stories for someone who will dig for them.
  9. Mr. Costello

    Mr. Costello New Member

    "Two rats fucking in a wool sock" might be the best simile I've heard.
  10. turski7

    turski7 Member

    Typical fishing, hunting stories work. Also, check with schools or Dept. of Wildlife to see if any tournaments/hunts/activities for kids are coming up. See if the area has any gun/hunt clubs who may have a trap/bird shoot or something similar coming up. Or talk with DOW to see about wildlife areas people visit (not to kill animals) and what these places have to offer.
  11. kathleensu

    kathleensu New Member

    This might sound dumb to all you guys, but how about a few columns on the 10 best places to take a date on an outdoor adventure? Maybe you could ask readers to send in some ideas and anecdotes. Or even run a contest. Actually running contests of all sorts might also work: worst ever hike, best hunting trip, worst 10 accidents, etc
  12. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Hell, that's all kinds of brilliant.
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