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Marcie Writes is Up and Running – Follow Me There!

30 Jan

I am pleased to announce that my self-hosted Marcie Writes site is  up and running. I will no longer be updating posts on this site after January 31, 2012. I will, however, continue to respond to comments.

Also, check out my other sites and social networks:

The Write Design Company – This is my business site where I highlight corporate writing, blogging and social media training and services as well as content creation.

Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource – Find about culture, education, employment, health and youth programs and activities on the South Side of Chicago.

Real Skate Stories – This is your chance to share your roller skating memories in text or video.

Twitter: marcie_hill

Facebook: The Write Design Company and South Side Shorty
Thank you for your support!


Marcie Hill, The Happiest Writer & Blogger in the World

22 Nov
Marcie Hill, Writer & Blogger

Marcie Hill, Writer & Blogger

Ok, I’m really cheesing on this picture, but I love writing, blogging and live blogging. Do I look like I’m promoting myself or Apple??

Challenges with Covering Community People & News

15 Nov

I just wanted to share the issues I have encountered in trying to help build my community through media coverage. Ok, I know I’m not a multi-billion dollar media outlet. YET.  I can’t say I have a thousand dollars to spare these days, but I do have a passion for covering people and stories that are relatively unknown in my community.

Why Community Organizations Are Unknown

Who are you?

I had a conversation with a fellow news creator about why many organizations on the South Side are unknown. She said that many of them want coverage by large newspapers and tend to reject stories by smaller sources. I never thought of that. But after a recent conversation with a leader of a relatively unknown community organization who wanted to know how many people were going to see the story I intended to write about them, I realized how true my colleague was.  Dude, only people in your immediate community knows who you are!!! Granted, I’m not Clear Channel Communications, but I do have a following. And, depending on the size and recognition of the organization, isn’t it better to have a little coverage than none?

Why Aren’t  People Using Skype?

SkypeI am working on branding myself as a journalist, online engagement guru and author. One way I am going to do so is by conducting Skype interviews, and either audio or video recording them.  Many people seem to be anti-Skype.

One person wanted me to do an in-person interview. I really didn’t have a problem with that if time permitted.  But to travel for the interview, conduct the interview, edit the content, and post it will take at least 4 hours of time for a 15 minute interview. If Skype were used, we can set up, interview and possibly post all within 2 hours, and that’s stretching it. I admire his efforts to follow his dreams, which is why I wanted to interview him in the first place.  But seriously?? And he did not seem open to a telephone interview.  Needless to say, that interview never took place. Work with me please!!

Anyway, I think many people are anti-Skype because they do not know how to use it. And instead of asking for instruction, they look for other alternatives, which are time-consuming and not very productive. Also, some people just hate it, which is understandable, too.

My advice to independent professionals and small businesses who are called for interviews:

1. If a reputable media source of any size calls you for an interview, consider it. You don’t have to do it, but don’t discount it, either.

2. Remember, they are busy just like you, so try to work with their schedules as much as possible.

3. Learn Skype. Even if you hate video interviews and are having a bad hair day, the interview can still be audio-recorded using Skype. These recordings make it easier to post on other sites, which will extend the reach of your interview.


Have you ever been approached my a small media source for an interview? What was your experience? OR

Are you a media source that approached community people and organizations for a story and got snubbed? Please share.

Images: kyle-nelson, wirespot

Explanation About Toastmasters Payment Policies

28 Sep

Toastmasters InternationalI wrote the editor a letter expressing my disappointment about not being paid despite everything I read about them being a paying market.  She explained:

“it would be more accurate to say we typically don’t pay for unsolicited manuscripts or those requiring a substantial amount of staff editing. It is true that we pay up to $450 for published stories. We pay for articles that we commission to authors with an assignment requiring a a substantial amount of research and interviews.”

I told her that this explanation was a great help, however, it should still documented in their writer’s guidelines and shared with the sources reporting that people will get paid.

Anyway, it is great to know that Toastmasters stand on their mission of being a communications and leadership organizations. Just by responding, the editor helped to clear my negative feelings about submitting another story to the magazine. Heck, I like being dubbed an “International Journalist.”  And, one more thing, my story did not require a substantial amount of staff editing. 🙂

Image: sftoastmasters

Cool Discovery: Put Your Face on A Magazine Cover

12 Sep

While conducting research for a Time Magazine cover for a blog post, I found a site, Mag My Pic, where you can put your face on a fake magazine cover. I know you’re wondering, “Why would I want to do that?” For me, it was fun. Secondly, it took away the reality of all of the work that I had to do- if only for the time it took to create the cover. And thirdly, it was FREE.

Here’s my cover:

If you want a pleasant distraction, run over to Mag My Pic. They have quite a few covers to select from. You also have the option to save andprint your high resolution cover.

My Dreams of Being in Time Magazine Shattered….Temporarily

8 Sep

Time Magazine

Time Magazine is one of my “dream” publications to write for. I have an idea that would fit perfectly, but they only accept articles written by staff members.

That’s OK. I have come up with two ways to get into this magazine: 1) as a subject matter expert and 2) as a staff member. Now, I just have to work on the relationships needed to make either one possible.

Twitter, here I come!


Image: Time Magazine

Black People in Chicago Were Not Always Allowed to Roller Skate Indoors

2 Sep

Roller skating at the Savoy Ballroom - Jazz Age Chicago

In fact, Black people were first allowed to roller skate indoors at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago’s Bronzeville community on December 8, 1938 thanks to Jimmie Davis, the manager of The Savoy at that time.

I don’t have the newspaper articles back this up because the microfilm machines were down at the Vivian Harsh Research Collection center at Carter G. Woodson Library. I will share as soon as I am able to get copies.


Image: Jazz Age Chicago