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Sports Writer looking for work

Discussion in 'Freelance/stringer help available' started by InTheCards, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. InTheCards

    InTheCards New Member

    Hi everyone, I'm new to these forums, so I'll introduce myself. My name is Brady Holzhauer. I'm from a very rural part of southeast Arkansas. I am a sports writer for the Stuttgart Daily Leader newspaper in Stuttgart, Arkansas. I am sixteen (soon to be seventeen) years old, and I've been writing a column in the paper for about a year now (since October 2005). I started this job on a volunteer basis, and I still work for free, but now I am looking for a paying sports writing job. I have a lot of credentials to my name, such as:

    -I have done interviews with: Famous sports writer Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, former Arkansas Razorback/Dallas Cowboy/Current AFL Quarterback Clint Stoerner, current Arkansas Razorback basketball players Steven Hill, Sean McCurdy, and Cyrus McGowan, and finally, current minor league baseball players Cory Meacham and Colby Rasmus (St. Louis Cardinals farm system). I am current working on an interview with NFL Wide Receiver Matt Jones of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
    -I have written for MLB superstar Albert Pujols' personal newsletter twice, and I will be writing another article for them before long. (www.pujolsfamilyfoundation.org)
    -I have written for two St. Louis Cardinals websites (www.redbirdcentral.com, www.albertpujolsclub.com) in the past, but I now run my own informal Cardinals MLBlog at http://inthecards.mlblogs.com.
    -I job shadowed sports personalities Craig O' Neill and the late Paul Eells to get an idea of what all types of sports journalism are like.
    -I have done feature stories, covered high school football games (from my high school), and done my columns for the Daily Leader for a year now.

    Now that all of that is out of the way, I'd like to explain who I am and what I'm about.

    Being 16 years old, I usually get shunned by bigger media outlets, but I'd prefer everyone judge me by my work, not my age. If my columns or articles aren't up to par in your opinion, then show me how to get better, because I'm willing to learn. I am willing to share the best and worst of all my work I've done. I am constantly striving to get better, and I feel like I have done a lot in the way of overcoming those challenges. I love to take initiative and make big things happen---such as the interviews---and I want to entertain the readers with a well-written, witty, and truthful column. As for game stories, I did cover my high school football team for some time, but the lack of pay prevented me from being able to travel with the team (gas money). I do like to cover games, but high school football has been something of a challenge at my high school (lack of a working scoreboard, no rosters given to me before or after games, having to take my own stats while taking notes of things happening in the games, impossible to get quotes from the coach after the game (and even when I have, I've had to write it out because I haven't been given a tape recorder of any kind, and I can't afford one). My preferences are fairly simple, but I will hear anyone out.

    I would like to be a paid columnist (daily, weekly, whatever it takes), where I can cover anything that the readers would enjoy. Coming from Arkansas, I love to write about the Razorbacks. I also love to cover my beloved St. Louis Cardinals...and don't worry, I don't write with a bias unless it's needed. In Arkansas, those teams are probably the most followed...as for NFL, I enjoy writing about the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars. (The Jaguars have an Arkansas connection with Matt Jones being one of their starting receivers). I will go out my way to get interviews, get that exclusive story, or just give the readers a good read. I have developed a huge fan base here in southeast Arkansas, and I've gotten numerous compliments and e-mails from people. I even received a phone call this morning from someone saying they enjoyed my articles...

    Basically, I just want to get the point across that I am trying to develop a great sports writing career, and everything helps. Naturally, I dream of being on shows like Around the Horn or Pardon the Interruption, but right now, I want to do everything I can as a columnist to help out a newspaper. As for pay, I need pay just to help myself out right now. Living in a farming family, things aren't too great this time of the year, but every little bit helps. I'm not looking for big money, just something. If anyone wants to read a sample article that's been published, just let me know, I'll give it to you. I have a full portfolio in a booklet and a copy of all my articles on the computer, as well. Thanks so much for your time, and I hope you can help me take a new step in my career.

  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    So, how long before the Mods move this thread?
  3. InTheCards

    InTheCards New Member

    my bad, does this not belong here?
  4. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member


    Sitting here reading your post while waiting for the Arkansas-Alabama game in the Reynolds Razorback Stadium press box, I have but one thought ...

    Good for you.

    I hear over and over again, from all corners, how much this profession sucks. And it is refreshing to hear about a youngster like you who wants to break into the business and who what I love. Keep on writing (for anyone, and anywhere ... even if it is for free). Hone your "voice". Take criticism constructively. Bust your ass for opportunities. Be reliable. Be honest. Be fair. Be open-minded to new things and new ideas. Go to school, but focus less on the classes and more on the "marrow of life" that you can extract from the experience. Live your life with eyes wide open. Good luck to you!

  5. InTheCards

    InTheCards New Member

    Tell me where to move it to, I'll move it myself.
  6. InTheCards

    InTheCards New Member

    Thanks, Rockbottom.
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I would say it belongs on the stringer board, but I could be wrong.
  8. InTheCards

    InTheCards New Member

    Ok, well once the mods say something I'll move it for them...didn't mean to do that, had no idea.
  9. Pulitzer Blues

    Pulitzer Blues New Member

    Wait. Don't go anywhere because YOU"RE HIRED!
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    (This should probably move to the JTO board, IMO.)


    Develop thick skin. Easier said than done.

    But keep your passion. If you do what you love, and love what you do, you can withstand anything that gets thrown at you in this business.

    RB's right. This business often takes a beating, from all corners. There's a reason for that, which is partly why I say to develop thick skin. But most of us in this business are in it for the same reasons as you: we love it. (It certainly ain't for the money.) That's not the case for most fields you could get into -- there's a ton of people out there who don't like their jobs. Here, most of us do.

    Keep writing. Reading (especially reading good writing.) Learning. Asking questions (even when you get dumb answers, which you will ... especially here. ;D) Listening. Being respectful. (If you're not the next Red Smith, don't act like you are.) Learn to evaulate yourself honestly. (If you're not the next ..., part deux.) Don't think of yourself as ever being above any assignment (gotta pay your dues; you don't just "become" a columnist or a beat writer or an editor or anything else.) Give 100% to everything you do, even the grunt work. That'll make you stand out. ... Most importantly, keep up with what's going on outside your world. And keep an eye out for the right opportunities. (You never know who could give you a job. You never know where you could end up, or what you could be doing, or what you'll fall in love with doing.)

    Good luck.

    (And welcome to SJ. We're a crazy bunch of fuckers.)

  11. I would add: Even if you are the next Red Smith, don't act like you are.
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