How should I preserve my articles?
January 11, 2007 9:37 AM   Subscribe

How should I be keeping my published articles/writing samples?

I'm eventually angling for a job as a music critic, and to that end have had a couple articles printed in the (now-defunct) local alt-weekly and some very short (70-word) reviews in a semi-national magazine. I've saved them in their published form, but should I do something specific with them? Cut them out and mount them on cardboard? Photocopy them? Obviously I'll put them some a scrapbook or something for personal reasons, but I'm wondering more in terms of writing samples that I'd need when applying for jobs or pitching articles. So far, most editors have accepted emails with copied-and-pasted text, but I figure I should have some of the actual articles around for backup.
posted by maxreax to Work & Money (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Scan them and save them as high-quality PDFs. I have copies of a few of my long feature stories (my career is still young) saved as PDFs. You have to figure that the originals are somehow going to die of old age/handling, so this is a good way to have backups. If you want something physical, cut them out and mount them on foam board after you've scanned them.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 9:40 AM on January 11, 2007

Best answer: Usually you'll put together a small portfolio with them in it, depending on what magazine/editor you're dealing with. I usually have used photocopies in sheet protectors, all put together in a small binder.

Just keep your "master copies" somewhere relatively safe.
posted by dead_ at 9:41 AM on January 11, 2007

(I say relatively because it's usually quite easy to call a newspaper or magazine and get an extra copy of an old issue in the case that you might lose or destroy one of the originals.)
posted by dead_ at 9:42 AM on January 11, 2007

Best answer: I had this problem as well, and it is especially frustrating because with all the advice on "becoming a writer" out there, no one has much advice on how to display your clips.
Here's what I decided to do, and so far it seems to be working out:

Black leather binder with three rings. It zips up. It looks something like... um...this.
I got rid of the stuff inside, and instead, put plastic sheet protectors with my clips inside. If they're one page, you could try mounting them on card stock to make the pages flip a little more nicely.

These should be your originals, and you should take this around to show to editors in person. Don't send the originals in the mail, though -- photocopies only.
posted by crackingdes at 9:44 AM on January 11, 2007

Best answer: I regret never scanning mine in as SJU suggests. I say, do that as a backup.

Then, put your originals in a portfolio binder, like cracking suggests. All mine are in an artist portfolio that I got at my local Utrecht. It's bigger than 8.5x11", so fits non-standard newspaper and magazine sizes.

If you're asked to send thru the mail, send a photocopy, and if you go in for an interview, bring your portfolio.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:59 AM on January 11, 2007

Best answer: When I've applied for jobs, I've either sent prints outs of the online copies of my stories or photocopies of paper clippings. Both have gotten me jobs.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:52 AM on January 11, 2007

Best answer: I put together a simple portfolio website for a non-techy freelance writer friend of mine a while back. Most of the site is static, but I integrated an install of Movable Type, and he uses it to put up writing that he's had published and retains rights to, or pieces he's shopped around that haven't been bought. It's easy and painless for him (he can just paste in the copy and hit the button), and he can point to the site to show editors or whoever some of his past work.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 PM on January 11, 2007

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