Advice from Erin Millar

Seek out opportunities to get your work published. So many journalism students I met when I was an editor had learned all the skills and passed the right courses, but had no practical experience or published clippings. Don’t underestimate the value of a strong clipping from a student publication or small regional newspaper. The quality of your writing is much more important than where it was published, and editors take the student press seriously if they see a promising student journalist. So make sure you’re getting hands-on experience outside the classroom.

Learn how to work in different platforms, especially online. Journalists are increasingly expected to file their story in different formats. (Reporters for CBC need to file both online and radio stories, for instance.) It’s difficult to carve out a place for yourself as a specialist. If your favourite medium is print, fine, but also be proficient with a camera, willing to live blog and able to record for radio.

About Erin

Erin Millar

  • Name: Erin Millar
  • J-school: none (I went to the other j-school, and have a degree in jazz music)
  • Current: I’m a self-employed freelancer, working regularly for Reader’s Digest, The Globe and Mail and The Walrus. My publisher is Thomas Allen & Son. I’m represented by the literary agency Canadian Writers Group.
  • Past: Canadian University Press, Maclean’s Magazine
  • Publications in which your work has appeared: The above plus BC Business Magazine, The Georgia Straight, The Tyee, Memewar Magazine, University Affairs Magazine, CBC Radio and others. My first book is called “The Canadian Campus Companion”
  • Platforms you work in: print, online, books, photography
  • Website: erinmillar.ca
  • Twitter: @erinmillar
  • Sample work: Dustin’s Town
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