I have been getting Writing Magazine from the UK for years now – in fact I have over 3 archive boxes full of issues. When I was looking around for this weeks review – I noticed that I had never covered this mag here on this site – so I thought I had better remedy that situation.
If you are a Radio Copywriter (who maybe wants to also dabble in writing fiction) then I highly, highly recommend Writing Magazine. If you don’t dabble, then I would still recommend this magazine to you.
The April Issue has a couple of brilliant articles for those of us in radio to sink our teeth into, and I will cover those below…
Number 1: TAKE NOTE is a short one page article about the importance of carrying a notebook with you. For a copywriter I suggest that this is a vital piece of advice. Jenny Alexander gives some reasons and an exercise or two to wrap your mind around why – I do this to capture snatches of conversation that I can use (as I find my conversational style ads all need a lot of work done on them to make them sound realistic)
Number 2: The new series CREATIVE READING may not appear from the outset to be useful to radio copywriters – but it is in oh so many ways. From reading as a writer to exposing yourself to new styles, new content and new ideas – it is vital. AND, it is something that I truly believe in – the more you expose yourself to new writing, new commercials, and new radio, the better your writing becomes as a copywriter. So Ian Ayris’ new series in Writing Magazine is going to be one I look forward to each issue.
Number 3: Perhaps the most interesting article is one that I have been toying with, off and on for years – that of workshop writing. In YOUR WRITING WORKSHOPPED, James McCreet, takes a piece of work, and it is workshopped over and over again. This highlights the importance of taking your work from first draft to product, in a workshop setting – and surprisingly, one radio station that I worked at previously did this with almost every commercial. Their team of 6 copywriters worked in a circular office and would spit-ball and workshop ideas until they came up with something that not only worked, but REALLY worked well. James’ article is a brilliantly good read and inspirational – you just need to think outside the realms of writing fiction and shift the mindset to writing for radio.
Another thing to look at in each issue is the competitions. Although they are mostly for those living in the UK – they are a great jumping off point to stretch your creative muscle and write something outside your normal day to day radio scripts – I do these just as a workout for my creative muscles, warming up my mind and trying things I normally wouldn’t write.
How? By picking the best 2 or 3 for the month to work on and to write as if I was entering – I have never submitted any – but I use them as training.
Sometimes I get some amazing ideas from them that have bled over into my radio commercials. Particularly any short or flash writing comps – as I find these operate as a sort of copy brief to start writing from.
Or you can try the Coffee Break Exercises that they have on their website – or the GET THE WRITE IDEA section in the magazine – they sometimes inspire some truly weird scripts for me.
The April issue of WRITING MAGAZINE is well worth the cover prize, and the time to read it – enjoy.