Writing for the Media: Post #1 – It’s All About Me

This spring I am taking a class on Writing for the Media. Part of the class is keeping a blog – rather then creating a whole new blog, since it’s topic related, I’m going to keep the ‘class assigned blog posts’ on here.

This first post will help you with a little of my history and might let you get to know me a little better.

I’ve always been interested in media. If you wanted to be literal, about the time I was five my father taught me to read using JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In highschool (I went to Newburgh Free Academy), we were divided up into ‘academies,’ and I was in the Communications Academy. I got really into Video editing and digital media. I liked the nitty-gritty; getting the details right; making sure if someone was walking down steps, and in one shot I did a cut that ended with them on their right foot that the next clip showed them lifting their right foot off the ground and stepping down with the left. In addition to video, I took a couple of writing classes. Senior year I had a woman who should go down as one of the best teachers in history. Mrs. Aber taught me grammar.

That might suprise you a little; that I didn’t know grammar until my senior year in highschool, but that’s just a statement on public schools today. Grammar is the nitty-gritty of writing, and without it language wouldn’t make sense.

When I had to choose a college, number one of my list of important things was that the school had BOTH a film and a writing program. That’s how I ended up at Manhattanville (there were a few other factors too- something about have a real castle on campus). Time and experience (my uncle works in video producing, I took a couple of classes and worked with a professor on an independent film) showed me film wasn’t a perfect fit. My writing classes, however, I really enjoyed.

I took fiction workshop, poetry workshop, creative writing, journalism, and narrative writing. This semester will add writing for the media and journalism II to that list.

Somewhere along the line someone mentioned Pace’s Publishing program to me – and that they do a joint degree with Manhattanville. The dual program allows you to get your masters in five years. I’m doing it in four. This year is my third year at Manhattanville and I’ll graduate this May, get a job in Publishing, and start grad school full time at Pace in the fall (all Pace grad classes are night classes, so they won’t interfere with a job).

The joint program has allowed me to take financial aspects of publishing and professional editing at Pace last semester. This semester I’m taking book production and design.

The ‘BIG’ goal? I’d like to work in book publishing and write on writing and publishing for magazines. Last semester I didn an internship with Columbia University Press. This semester I’d like to get at least one article published in a print magazine. I’m working on a guest post for Lindsey Pollak’s Career blog. I think that’s a step in the ‘write’ direction.

Hopefully this writing for the media class will be another step.

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2 Comments on “Writing for the Media: Post #1 – It’s All About Me”


  1. Hey Melissa,
    I TOTALLY agree with you that “Grammar is the nitty-gritty of writing, and without it language wouldn’t make sense.” If you read my little post about grammar, you’ll see that I’m very anal about proper use of punctuation. I like your writing style here– it’s conversational yet informative about your background. I also enrolled in Pace’s Publishing program, but after completing the Book Production and Design, I decided that I’d rather BE the freelance writer than hire the freelance writer. I enjoyed the class, but realized that as much as I love books, publishing isn’t for me. I wish you all the best of luck in your pursuit, though!! Im sure you’ll do fine, but if you ever need any information on the book production and design course, I have all the books.

    So, anyway, I think your writing is witty– the pun in the last sentence is an example of that–a step in the “write” direction. Very cute.

    You seem like someone who is very focused and will be successful in the future. You’ve certainly taken a good amount of courses in the writing and communications departments!

    P.S. I can’t believe your father taught you to read JRR Tolkien before anything else. That’s pretty awesome.

    Hope you take a look at my blog, too!

    ~Danielle T (hollypinafore.blogspot.com)–>she’s my alter ego (haha)

  2. Jenny Garcia Says:

    Seems like you know exatly what you have wanted to do for a while now. You can tell from your blogs that you have a love for writing. I think you will enjoy this class a lot. I almost forgot, Lord of the Rings is awesome!


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