MCom 100w

Writing Workshop

Query letters, “enterprise” articles and final features

I’ve been keeping things interesting (that’s one way to look at it!) by making a few changes to our class schedule. Please check it out.

I know there’s been some confusion about query letters, enterprise articles and final features. We talked about it in class today, but let me also put it in writing. Here’s the scoop:

Query Letter: You will be graded on one query letter. It’s worth 25 points. You can use your query letter to pitch either your enterprise article or your final feature — your choice. Be sure to specify your intended target publication.

Since I want to review your topic for each of these pieces before you get started, please write me a short topic memo or email about the other one (the one for which you aren’t writing a pitch letter). If you haven’t yet submitted your query letter and/or topic memo, please do so by 6 p.m. Sunday, 10/21.

Alternatively, if you want more practice writing query letters, you can write query letters for both of these assignments. I’ll use the best one for your grade, and give you 5 points extra credit for the second optional one.

Enterprise Article: This 300-500 word article is due Nov. 14. It’s worth 50 points. See Assignments tab (#7) for details.

Final Feature: This 1,000-1,200 word feature, trend story or profile (a.k.a. #9, the “Term Paper”) is due 12/5, the final day of class. It’s worth 100 points. The description of this assignment also includes information on the query/pitch letter assignment. You’ll also see a “Term Paper Research Memo” listed as a separate assignment — I will instead ask you to bring a list of your sources for this story (people you’ve interviewing, articles you plan to cite, etc.) to class along with your first draft of this story on Nov. 21 for peer editing.

Getting Published: I know it’s not easy, but try to get either your Enterprise Article or your Final Feature published in the Daily, Access magazine, or a local daily newspaper or magazine. Getting published is worth 25 points extra credit. If you make a good faith effort (submit a query letter and get a response, but don’t get in) it’s worth 10 points. If you get a letter to the editor published, it’s worth 10-15 points, depending on the letter.

I hope that clears things up. Email me if you still have questions.


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