Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Writing in South Korea

Welcome Korea Herald readers and anyone else who stumbled across "Ask the Expat" today. Look around, get acquainted with the site and feel free to ask me a question. Today, I thought I would delve into a related topic.

Here's the question:

I am an aspiring writer and journalist and was wondering how I might go about getting in touch with somebody at the Korea times, or even, more generally, if you had any recommendations for getting work published. I have a lot of experience writing for newspapers, both at my college and in my hometown. Do you have any suggestions? I'm not picky, I'll write for nearly anyone and about anything.

Getting yourself into the papers isn't all that difficult. Getting published on a regular basis is often where the challenge lies. So many of our fellow expats out there are good writers and many of them want to write in the papers as well, so standing out or writing something unique is a must.

First, you gotta know which papers are open and willing to publish expat contributions. Korea Herald, Korea Times and JoongAng Ilbo appear to be the friendliest to expat submissions, however, you can always shoot for the other publications. Some of them will be in-print while others will be online. Click here for a list of publications.

If I were to offer any advice, it would be to make sure that what you're writing about hasn't been covered in that publication before. For instance, I know that the topic of my column today has been discussed many times before, however, offering advice on how to get around the hiring practices has not. Also, think about expat issues that might not have been discussed in much detail before. For instance, next week I have an article coming out about an issue that I know has not been discussed in papers or blogs.

Knowing your audience is important, but I think having an objective take on Korean history and culture is a must and one will not be able to write well without that. I know my Korean history pretty well and between my Korean wife, family and daily life, I'm slowly pickup the intricacies of the culture. Perspective is key.

I encourage you to get out there and start sharing your thoughts. The K-Blogosphere might be overrun with the same stories, but it's a great collection of experiences and a wonderful way to bring the community together. Start a blog, write a column and share your side of the story. I makes us all a little closer.


Bryan Saxton said...

That's awesome if it's true. I graduated with a degree in journalism and have done a lot of newspaper writing, and I was kind of bummed that I might not be able to do it for a year.

Thanks for the article!

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