Workshop on Media Writing (19 Oct)

The Feminist Research Network invites you to
Pitching Feminism without Compromising Feminism:
A Workshop on Writing for the Media as a Feminist Academic
Dr Michelle Smith (Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow, Deakin University)

Date: Wednesday 19th October 2016
Time: 12 – 3 pm (lunch included)
Location: LHA Research Hub, Building 19, Room 2072
RSVP: By Wednesday 12th October for catering purposes Sharon Crozier-De Rosa

Feminist discourse has never been more visible in the media. Popular feminist writers like Clementine Ford, Celeste Liddle, Laurie Penny, and Lindy West are well known for their contributions to major newspapers, radio and television interviews, as well as their own books. What role can feminist academics play in this expanded—and yet often extremely hostile— space for feminist writing for the general public?

Deakin University academic and feminist columnist for The Conversation, Dr Michelle Smith will share her experiences of writing opinion pieces for a range of publications from major daily newspapers, such as The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, to online sites such as The Guardian and The Drum. She will discuss the differences between scholarly writing and writing for the media and the challenges posed by writing about feminist topics, in particular. She will guide participants through the process of writing for the media from the initial idea and pitch through to dealing with the repercussions of your writing if your piece goes viral.

In the second half of the workshop, we will work on several tasks that are essential for writing for the popular media, including the following:
– Pitching your topic to an editor
How to make feminist topics “print-worthy” and shareable without compromising your feminism.
– Reframing your writing
How to abandon footnotes and complex theory, but seize the opportunity to convey unfamiliar ideas to a wide audience.
– Crafting your bio note and media persona
What does an academic feminist look like? How to frame your academic identity and prepare for media interviews.

Dr Michelle Smith is an academic at Deakin University, feminist columnist for The Conversation and contributor on feminism, literature and popular culture for a variety of media outlets including The Age, Washington Post, New Statesman, The Drum, and Some of her 2016 Conversation articles include: ‘‘Not fit to be president’: Hillary Clinton and our problem with older women’; ‘From scolds to “talking underwater”: Policing women’s voices’; ‘Meg Ryan’s face and the historical battleground of ageing’; ‘Friday essay: the ugly history of cosmetic surgery’; ‘No, you’re not ‘hardwired’ to stare at women’s breasts’; and, ‘Witches both mad and bad: a loaded word with an ugly history’. See​