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What Your Personal Website Says About You

Professional-website-articleWhen’s the last time you checked in on your personal website and examined it from the perspective of an editor who has landed there after receiving your emailed pitch query? Since your page will define who you are as a writer, whether by design or default, it may be time to put some work into it.

We’ve culled advice from experts on what makes for an effective site, from must-have pages to the fancy add-ons you don’t really need. But before you get caught up in the design process, don’t forget the tedious but necessary process of checking your links:

[Freelancer Susan Barnes] puts all of her clips on her site over the past two years, and makes it a practice of always asking for PDFs of print pieces. [Carol Ticefounder of several web resources for writers] also emphasizes the importance of keeping your clips organized. “Once a year, I have somebody go through and make sure the links [to my work] are valid. If you have stuff you love, get PDFs or physical copies. Magazines go under, websites fold, and you’re going to lose that work.”

For more tips, read: How to Create a Writer’s Website That Gets You Work.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Jill Abramson, Steven Brill Back Long-Form Journalism Start-Up

jill abramson picA new start-up venture spearheaded by former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson and award-winning journalist/Court TV founder Steven Brill focusing on long-form journalism says it will advance writers around $100,000 to produce substantial, longer-than-magazine length articles, according to Poynter.

Abramson, who fleshed-out plans for the as-yet unnamed venture at a Journalism and Women’s Symposium last weekend in California, said the venture will feature one story per month and will be available by subscription.

Although Abramson did not elaborate on potential investors, she said that she and Brill “were very close” to a possible deal with a funder.

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Enter Your Work for Free in Smithsonian Photo Contest

Calling all photographers: the 12th annual Smithsonian Photo Contest deadline is coming up on November 28th. Have you entered yet? It’s free, so you should probably get on it.

Entries fall into six categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Altered Images, and Mobile Photos. There’s one grand prize of $2,500, then each category has its own winner at $500, and there is a Reader’s Choice award who will receive $500, too.

They will announce 60 finalists in February and after that will hold a month-long online vote for the Reader’s Choice Award. We’ll give you a heads up when you can vote. You can read more about the contest and the rules here. For inspiration, Smithsonian spokesperson Melissa Wiley shared some of her favorite entries so far:

Mashable Wins Election Night With #LegoSenate

The real winner of yesterday’s mid-term elections was Mashable, who tracked the Senate seats with a #LegoSenate. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Election coverage is always rough, long, and hard to follow as you wait for organization after organization to confirm results. Turning to Vine and Legos is brilliant.

Someone buy the Mashable news team a beer.

Deca Journalism Co-op Caters to Global Audience

10463028_703699209689658_6014054535422016043_nCooperative journalism startups are all the rage these days, and Nov. 6, NYU’s journalism program will celebrate another one being added to the list. The concept behind global journalism cooperative Deca isn’t totally unique, but I like its chances of surviving mainly because it operates with a worldly point-of-view.

Writers for Deca are based in more than 90 countries and every continent. Their idea for entering the digital journalism sphere starts with solid, rich reporting, as it should, and they are selling Deca’s products to consumers via a $15 yearly subscription fee. At least ten times a year, Deca writers, which include National Magazine Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, will publish one piece of long narrative nonfiction. This is after a lengthy vetting process where the writer works with another Deca network member to edit the piece, respond to feedback and get the go-ahead from other Deca writers, too. The articles are longer than a magazine item but shorter than a book and will finally be available for purchase as e-singles.

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