How to Become a Syndicated Writer

Written by duncan jenkins
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Have you ever dreamed of having your name in print in newspapers across the nation? Syndicated writers earn a name for themselves early on and then are granted a national audience due to increased readership. The key to gaining a coveted syndication position is hard work, solid writing skills and a little luck.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


    How to Become a Syndicated Writer

  1. 1

    Start local. A great way to break into newspaper writing is to write for a small, weekly newspaper that covers local politics, crime, economics and culture. Earning a name can be easier with a local editor who can begin the process of networking you through the chain of editorial contacts. Be prolific and varied in your writing. Try all types of writing and find a niche that suits you.

  2. 2

    Write freelance. Establishing contacts outside the local paper will help give your byline credibility and weight. Write opinion pieces whenever possible. Most syndicated columnists write in a narrative style, offering their opinions and ideas on subjects of all kinds. Attempt humour writing--many papers are interested in smart writing that also incorporates humour as it appeals to a wide readership.

  3. 3

    Apply for positions at larger papers. Use your contacts to facilitate interviews and new contacts. Prepare yourself for an early career that involves moving from paper to paper. Syndicated columnists have a multitude of experiences at different papers. Continue to write freelance and attempt to get column positions at new papers where you've established yourself as a reliable, informed reporter.

  4. 4

    Make contact with syndicated columnists and learn about their history, resume and career track. Work your way into a national, daily paper with a high readership. Secure a column at that paper by establishing your own personal readership. Develop your voice and tone and attempt to appeal to a large swath of the community with different interests and tastes. Attain a position as an editor.

  5. 5

    Apply for a syndicated position. Most outlets that accept applications are flooded with requests to become syndicated. Stand head and shoulders above the field by using your large network of editors and writers to make a contact. Present your best clips and best reasons to become syndicated.

Tips and warnings

  • Prepare for a long career before syndication. It's rare for a columnist to become syndicated before completing a long career in newspaper work.

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