Editorial Intern Post

Job post for an Editorial Intern at XOJane Magazine (online site). It reads like a blogger’s to-do list. Some of these I do and some I try to do and one I have not done for quite awhile.


Editorial interns should be creative, hard working, and able to multi-task. Familiarity with Jane Pratt’s work, the voice and tone of the site, and a desire to contribute to the production and growth ofthe site is crucial. Must have a go with the flow ‘yes’ attitude and sense of humor. Interns should be comfortable with delicate topics. Writing for xoJane.com often means sharing personal stories, so those looking to get clips should have the desire to write in the style of the site’s current editors. Responsibilities:

  • Reading xoJane daily
  • Working with social media to contact individuals and brands who are mentioned on the site
  • Creating creative #hastags for @xojanedotcom
  • Managing our Tumblr page
  • Contributing and creating site content
  • Assisting editors on photo shoots
  • Tracking traffic from link partnerships and syndication deals
  • Attending weekly editorial meetings
  • Planning and managing giveaways
  • Assist beauty and fashion editors with special projects and creating content

Interns must receive and provide proof of school credit for this internship. This opportunity is unpaid.

14 Reasons Why Artists Keep Visual Journals

14 Reasons Why Artists Keep Visual Journals.

April 13th, 2005

By Joan Martine Murphy

Keeping a visual journal helps the artist develop a sense of self–discipline.  By drawing in your journal everyday you are developing the habit of creativity.  The drawings can be ever so simple and as time goes by you will have developed a repertoire and a visual source book.  When the time comes to design a long term drawing, a painting or sculpture you will have a wealth of ideas available and you will have developed your skills so that drawing up your design is just a matter of applying what you have learned.

The chronological nature of the journal means that you are automatically recording your personal improvement.  By recording trouble spots that need attention you are creating a path for yourself to follow.  Because the internet is such a rich source of instruction and example you should put aside time to go online to find out what the solution to your artistic problems may be.  Once you have collected a variety of examples and ideas use them to work out a personal solution by trying out all that you have seen.  This process will nurture your artistic development and help you develop a sense of direction.

A journal can become for you a ‘place’ where you can work out what themes are developing on the journey.  As issues, questions and ideas develop ‘go with them’ and let them give you direction.  Themes are good because they give you a dialogue and point of interest.  This can be a good starting point for discussions with other artists and fellow students.

It is always good when you are presenting your work to be able to fit it into a theme.  Many exhibitions are grouped in this way.  The working out of a theme also gives the artist a sense of completion when that thematic response has been followed to its logical conclusion.

Style is a process of evolution.  When you begin keeping your journal you may not even know what your preferred style is.  As you develop on a daily basis a personal style will emerge.  Dialogue with that style.  Ask your self why you have gone in this direction?  Does it make it easier?  Can you see patterns and relationships?  Do you know what is influencing you?  Write you’re self-questioning down in your journal as you go it will make interesting reading in years to come.

Once you have begun to develop the habit of creativity you will also have begun developing an intuitive awareness.  You will see things that stimulate curiosity and provoke fresh and new ideas.  You will not be able to keep up with them.  Jot them down.  Keep your journal at hand at all times. Make sure you always keep it handy and small enough to fit into any bag or in the glove box of the car.  Draw everything that catches the eye.  Later you will be excited by all of the things you have gathered as source material that you would have forgotten about entirely if you had not recorded them in the minute.  Collect ideas by jotting them down (scribble neatness doesn’t count) come back to them at a later date when that intuition or inspiration becomes relevant to the work at hand.  If notes aren’t taken at the time…the thoughts may be lost forever.

Everybody has artistic talent and can be good at drawing. You only have to tune in to the creative, intuitive and artistic side of the brain – the right side – and you will be able to draw accurate and imaginative portraits, landscapes, still lifes.

Regard your journal as your personal safe place. A collection of experimentations. No one should be looking over your shoulder …it is your space for trying out techniques in a non-threatened way before committing to a more public form of artwork.

It is also a means of communication, a holding place for ideas to share with other artists and students who wish to learn.  So keep it with you when mingling with other artists.  If you are making preparations for submissions or to win contracts make sure you are keeping your notes in this way as it can facilitate discussion at a later date if this becomes necessary.

Your journal is your note-takers paradise … as a place where ideas can be kept in the written form as well as visually…  Keep the writing short and precise but do write down any ideas that come to your head as we often forget what stimulated our visual inspirations and the writing may be useful.  Supplement your scribbles with poems, haikus, prose, and songs what ever is helping shape your thoughts and ideas at the time is relevant and may become useful.

Keep technical notes as well make sure you are learning about mixing colours, learning theory. Writing down and recording what you learn means that you have a ready reference.  Again the internet is a great way to find our information… if you are having trouble understanding light sources for example enter that as a search term and you will be amazed at how much free information you can find.  Be patient and don’t just click on the first few sites you find.  There is a wealth of information out there for the taking if you put in that little extra effort.

Set your self-learning tasks of specified natures with a particular learning outcome anticipated. For example record atmospheres by going for a walk in the same place on a daily basis for a month but at different times of the day.  Draw or paint in watercolour exactly what you see.  Or go to a different place but at same times of the day.  Don’t just look for atmospheric or natural effects look to at the kinds of activity you can find.  One example of this might new going to the same street corner at different times throughout the day – even the expressions on the faces of the people will change as they come and go.  Try it you may be amazed.  Another way of creating a learning exercise is to look at and examine objects from all sides and views.  Keep on setting yourself small learning tasks like tis and you will be amazed at how much you improve and how your understanding of techniques increases.

Again your journal is a safe place where you can experiment with abstractions finding ways to express emotions and feelings.  You can make your artistic journey a catalyst in your personal development by recording dreams, daydreams and locating meaning in them through exploration and analysis.  Again the Internet is a great place for subscribing to discussion lists where people want to explore self-empowerment and personal development.

Above all this safe haven of personal expression can become for you if you let it a source of relaxation.   A ready breathing space in a busy way of life.  Learn to do relaxation and breathing exercises before and after you draw not only so that you tap into the more intuitive side of your brain but that so that the discipline of drawing and the artistic pathway becomes a source of great personal pleasure.  Your journal should never be a chore but something you look forward to as a little breather in the busy pace of life.

Eventually your journal will naturally evolve into your precious planning tool. It will be a place where compositions are mapped out over a period of time before any major painting is begun.  Projects will no longer be daunting, as you will have a never-ending fountain of reference ideas and information.  Above all enjoy the journey and don’t let it cause you even the slightest stress.

Journaling is best if it is done daily.  It is also easiest to remember if it is the first thing you do when you wake up of a morning.  Start the day by recording a drawing of your dreams.  Or if you haven’t dreamt throughout the night, simply draw the first thing that occurs to you when you wake up.

I copied this for myself years ago. I had kept the link with the original post but that site is no longer online. I did find Joan, still writing at Suite101 and I have given that current link to her and her writing about art and creativity.

Write a Novel in 30 Days

Writing Novels

Free eCourse from SuteU.

By Sara McGrath


You can complete a novel of at least 50,000 words within thirty days while receiving the guidance through this course. You’ll learn to write for quantity and quality while you steadily increase your word count, advance your story, and give your characters, plot, and theme the added impact they need to catch the eye of an agent or editor.


Lesson 1: You Can Write A Novel in Thirty Days

You can write a novel of at least 50,000 words in thirty days even if you have a day job, a social life, and a toddler. I know this because I have all three. In this first lesson, I’ll discuss being a writer, scheduling your writing time, finding inspiration, and staying motivated. Then we’ll start writing.

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Things Not to Say to a Writer

How big will your list get for this Twitter hashtag: #ThingsNotToSayToAWriter

(If you say no). Oh, come on… It’s not like you’re really doing anything all day anyway. #ThingsNotToSayToAWriter

Yeah…. but how do you make any money? #ThingsNotToSayToAWriter

So, have you written anything that I could read? #ThingsNotToSayToAWriter

I had my top three in a few minutes. It took more time to type them than to think of the 3 cringeworthy things I hear most often.

Writing Should Not be Like Playing Bingo

What does BINGO have to do with writing?  I don’t know. But, I have it in my head today. BINGO!

The funny thing about playing Bingo is how much it’s like turning the handle on a Jack-in-the-Box. Any second, at any time, any moment… Bingo! I don’t like Jack-in-the-Box. I don’t like that kind of surprise. It’s the same reason I gradually built up a dislike for frogs and toads. They jump out at you. This is really too much of a surprise. Have you ever been out in the country, walking through long grass and feeling kind of happy and at peace with the world?


They make me scream every time. It’s embarrassing to be laughed at over a frog in the grass. So I don’t love frogs or toads. I live with them but keep apart – as much as I am able.

What if you had to write around a Bingo game? Or, what if you had to write like a Bingo game. At any moment the floor will fall out from under you. Or, the computer will automatically shut down, without notice. Or, your Mother is going to call and ask you to get something or do something for her and of course, it has to be right now. Drop everything. Bingo!

I don’t like writing and being interrupted, especially by people. I can try to understand house fires and other such things. I just feel annoyed and aggravated when people phone, knock at the door or ask to be driven to the hospital emergency room because the house fire caught them before they managed to get it under control.

Before you begin to write for the day, or the hours you have planned to write, turn off the phone and notify the people who are likely to interrupt you. Pin a notice on the door. If necessary draw threatening things like forest fires, sharks in a feeding frenzy, hurricanes, etc. Not everyone is polite enough to read notes, for them illustrations can be made available.

Thanks for reading today. I’m off to dig a bigger hole in the backyard. Never ask a writer where they bury the bodies… you might get a surprise answer.

To Read or Not to Read

Date A Girl Who Reads

I’ve been rather late on this, but a lovely little essay has been making rounds on the Internet, apparently in response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date An Illiterate Girl. Rosemarie Urquico writes:

You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


You Should Date An Illiterate Girl

Jan. 19, 2011

ByCharles Warnke

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.

Writing a Children’s Book

Originally posted to SuiteU, part of Suite101. SuiteU is being removed from the site. I wanted to save the ecourses so this resource would not disappear.

Writing a Children’s Book

By Sally Odgers



Do you enjoy writing for children? Have you often read books to children and thought you would like to write one? Do you read some books for young people yourself, just for enjoyment? Have you kept up with the success stories and the controversies surrounding different juvenile titles over the past few years?

Do you often pop into the children’s section at book shops or the local library? Do you look at the books your kids bring home to find out what they’re reading? Have you recommended books to your children, or to any other young people?

Do you have an active mind? How about a good ear for dialogue? Can you quote two or three catchphrases kids use now? Do you enjoy the company of children and young people? Have you ever read stories to a child, or children, apart from your own? Can you remember the stories you enjoyed most when you were young?

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Writing Mysteries

Originally posted to SuiteU, part of Suite101. SuiteU is being removed from the site. I wanted to save the ecourses so this resource would not disappear.

Writing Mysteries

By Janet Blaylock

Janet Blaylock writing on Helium


What are your favorite genres? Romance perhaps? Maybe it’s Adventures or Comedies? How about the more intense genres of Mysteries, Detective Fiction, Suspense, Horror, or just good old Thrillers? Have you ever wondered how they are written? How the author builds up the suspense and the excitement that keeps you turning those pages right to the very end? If you do, then you will probably find “Writing Mysteries” intriguing. In the previous course, “Mysteries,” you learned about the different writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie; or the later writers such as Catherine Coulter, Nevada Barr, Sara Paretsky; or the famous authors of suspense or thrillers such as Mary Higgins Clark, Tess Gerritsen, Stephen King, and John Grisham. They have learned the essence of a good thriller/suspense book. When you first pick up a book and you say to yourself, “This looks like a great book.” They have already captured you and will now hold you hostage until the plot is inevitably revealed. Finally, you say to yourself, “Wow, I wish I could write a book like that!” Well, you can! You will learn about the elements of fiction writing such as settings, themes, characters, plots, etc. You will also learn how to write mini-mysteries and short stories. The information you receive in this course will help you to write your first novel, so lets climb on board and let the suspense begin!

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Technical Writing

Suite101 is closing and removing their ecourses from SuiteU. I’ve copied some of them here so they will not be lost and future/ current writers can still learn and benefit from the ecourse.

Technical Writing

By Thomas Martin



Technical writers have been around for a long time. In some ways, you can even look upon the illuminated manuscripts from medieval times as early technical writing! I mean, they do instruct the faithful in the mysteries of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth or failing that, how to find enough salvation to convince St. Peter let you past the “Pearly Gates.”

However, the job title of technical writer has only existed since the late ’70s or early ’80s. Until then, the programmers who coded the software or the engineers who designed the products wrote most of the documentation.

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