At the first national Master Gardeners conference (April 5-7, 2013) in Huntsville, ON, I had the opportunity to facilitate a panel discussion on garden writing. It was a perfect fit for someone like me who loves both gardening and writing.
Master Gardeners frequently volunteer to write articles for local publications and to support their group's education efforts. Solid advice from the professionals about how to do this well is valuable. So are any tips on reaching a wider audience through paid writing.
I have to tell you that the panelists are my garden heroes.
Aldona Satterthwaite is Executive Director of Toronto Botanical Garden, a post she is soon to leave for -- we hope -- plenty of gardening and garden writing. I remember enjoying Aldona's sensible editorials in Canadian Gardening magazine where she was Editor-in-Chief for eight years. Whenever I read an article by Aldona, I know the information will be solid and the perspective encouraging. It was a delight to hear Aldona speak about her dual passions. "For me, gardening and writing are like breathing," she told those attending the conference session.
Beckie shared an editor's perspective on writing for a garden magazine like hers. Best tip? If you think you want to write for a specific magazine, make sure you understand the publication's audience and the topics the magazine has covered previously. Oh, and be specific -- very specific -- about your article idea. In other words, do all you can to make the editor's job easier.
Lorraine Hunter was a new face for me, but I quickly discovered she has plenty of writing experience. A Master Gardener and active volunteer at Toronto Botanical Garden, Lorraine's work has appeared in Garden Making, The Toronto Star, Gardening Life, Canadian Gardening, and Canadian House & Home. Lorraine was also Editor of the Canadian publication, Plant & Garden Magazine.
Lorraine had a seasoned editor's suggestions on how to write for success. Just how important is it to be concise, accurate and engaging in our writing? In a phrase, very important!
Our session time flew by. I felt I was in a compressed writing seminar with my old journalism professors, except it was all about gardening, and it was wonderful. A special thanks to my heroes.
Who is your favorite garden writer? And what gardening resource do you rely on?
Share in a comment.