Become A Good Columnist

An essential way of becoming a good columnist is to read skilled columnists. If you go to your local library, you can find collections of columns published by popular columnists.

Perhaps you’ve already been reading columns in your local newspaper written by seasoned columnists, and you’ve already developed a list of your favorite ones.

Some of the classic collections of columns written by columnists throughout the past decades, are:

1) “All Things Considered” and “So This Is Depravity and Other Observations,” by Russell Baker. In these books, you will find columns on urban life, politics, aging, and nostalgia.

2) “Four of a Kind,” and “Motherhood The Second Oldest Profession,” by Erma Bombeck. These columns by Bombeck reveal comic insights on everyday life and problems.

3) “Keeping in Touch” and “Paper Trail,”
by Ellen Goodman. These books contain columns on a variety of topics, including events, people, and issues that readers can relate to.

4) “When My Love Returns From The Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old To Care,” by Lewis Grizzard. These columns deal with everyday life in a humorous way.

5) “Living Out Loud,” by Anna Quindlen. These columns are written in a personal, reflective style about daily life.

6) “Like I Was Sayin’ ” by Mike Royko. One of the greatest American columnists of past decades, this collection is famous for Royko’s outspoken style, sarcasm, wit, and irreverence on society and politics.

7) “With All Disrespect: More Uncivil Liberties,” by Calvin Trillin, contains columns on social issues of past decades.

While many of these collections were written decades ago, they will give you ideas on what’s relevant today and what you can write about now. You can ponder and evaluate how times have changed, and can create your own columns accordingly.

For a more complete list of columnists and their collections, you can find my book, “You Can Be A Columnist,” through libraries in the U.S. and other countries.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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