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Newspaper Writer - Stringer

Do you want to be a newspaper writer to earn extra money?

If you do it freelance style, you are a "Stringer".

You can get extra cash on a per job basis.

Newspapers big and small are using "stringers" to bring in stories and photos and even web video for their on-line publication.

Call or email and ask for an appointment with the managing editor.

If you do get the appointment be prepared to submit examples of your work.


A good idea is to cover some local stories about local events that they have covered such as fairs or festivals or the grand opening of a shopping mall and be sure to do a better job than you've seen in the newspaper coverage of the same event.

If you are accepted, you may be asked to sign a

"Submission Guideline Agreement"

or a "Correspondent's Agreement", a contract of some kind, or a "Copyright Agreement", etc..

Understand the meaning of any agreement so as to keep out of trouble with the paper and editors.

Get names and info of any people in pictures usually from left to right, and follow the same format that they use for writing style.

Use a digital camera and submit quality jpg photos.

Never email a photo that is too large and may jam the email box at the newspaper.

I once got a great story with pictures of a car accident where someone I knew pulled a man out of a burning car.

I wasn't a regular stringer, and they needed the rescuers' phone number to corroborate the story. I didn't have it.

The very abridged story was published without pictures and partially corroborated by a state police officer who appeared on the scene after the fact.

My local newspaper has many different columns and blogs on different subjects that have stringers covering them.

Some papers separate photography from writing, and others use one person for both.newspaper and man

This fall the paper offered a free 10 week course in writing skills specifically designed to create new writers in the style that they need for their newspaper.

The editor giving the course told me that the course applicants' ages ranged from young teenagers to older retirees.

Look for that opportunity for yourself.

A friend writes a weekly column about the music business. He brings his camera and takes several photos to be edited later.

He takes notes in a small old fashioned notebook and then heads over to the newspaper where he sits down and finishes the story with follow up research.

He submits it and is gone. It's just a part time business with interesting work and usually fun at the same time.

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