Denise Morris is an editor for TrueU.org. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas. She has written and edited for some small and some large publications; spent time in Spain learning how to make tapas; cheers for Minnesota sports teams (especially the Timberwolves); likes to debate; and enjoys spending time with friends and/or enemies.
I asked Denise to give us an idea of what she does and offer us any advice. Definitely check out TrueU.org and read a few of her articles.
• I’m the editor of TrueU.org, which is a webzine for college students. We publish three articles every Thursday and are continually involved in conversations on our forum.
• Because we’re a webzine, we don’t have to work very far ahead. I usually get articles from my authors about two weeks in advance (although I often beg them to get the articles to me a month early). We then have two people edit each piece (we edit by making suggestions, not just making cuts), and then we send them back to the author for approval. Once the article gets back to me, I implement the changes, put in a bunch of html so everything looks right online, and then plug it into our online publishing system.
• TrueU is a site dedicated to helping college students understand and discuss the Christian worldview. Because of this, we need a lot of “experts” speaking to certain topics. One section of our site is called Academics, and we only have professors write in that area. Every fiscal year, we contract authors to write a certain number of articles for us. This doesn’t leave much room for extra freelance articles, but we do have a few holes to fill every now and then.
• For authors who are submitting articles to magazines/webzines, I would encourage them to get to know the publication before you submit. TrueU has a very specific style (scholarly in Academics and conversational/casual in the Dorms), and we want authors to write accordingly.
• I write a TrueU article once a month, which is really fun. Many of my articles come from things I’m learning, so I’m often required to be honest and vulnerable (yikes!). College students appreciate this, though, so it’s worth it. The best is when friends write to me and tell me that when they read my article, they could hear me saying those things — just like it was a normal conversation. I love when my voice comes out that clearly in what I write. It’s one of my goals.