Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tutor's determination to make it as writer a great example for students


Chris Williams stays pretty busy when he isn’t working as a tutor in Germanna Community College’s Writing Center.

 The Germanna graduate writes about politics, history, culture, race and music for the Huffington Post, the Guardian, The Atlantic, Ebony and Wax Poetics. 

 When he’s not tutoring or writing, he’s usually working social media to further his writing career.

Williams, a 32-year-old Spotsylvania County native and Courtland High School graduate, grew up in the Massaponax area. He earned his associate’s degree at Germanna, his bachelor’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University and spent a month at the University of the West Indies in Barbados studying history as an ambassador for VCU.

 “It’s been fun,” he said about his first semester at Germanna’s Writing Center.  “I really enjoy the people I work with.” He said Tutoring Services Coordinator Ann Lyons made him feel comfortable immediately. Of working with GCC students, he said: “I’m learning from them as well. It’s been a wonderful experience. I feel blessed.”

His reporting experience includes covering Capitol Hill and the White House in 2011 as a freelancer for the National Newspaper Publishing Association. 

Williams said he got his start working for two years as a freelancer without getting paid. He was writing mostly for startup publications to show what he could do.

 “The media is changing so much,” he said. “A lot of publications are really tight on money.”

He said freelancing is an arduous process. 

“The key is the pitch,” he said. Even after an idea is approved, the freelancer generally must then produce a piece the editor likes before seeing any money.

 Williams spends much of his time developing contacts via social media.

 He said Facebook and, to a greater extent, Twitter, “changed the trajectory of my writing career.” Social media, he said, has provided him access to people he otherwise would not meet.


Never stop building a network of contacts.
Research publications--and their editors.
Pitch ideas other reporters are missing.
Pitch several ideas at a time.
Create an online portfolio.
Share the wealth by hooking others up with jobs.

1 comment:

UK Political News said...

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