“One of the perks of being a columnist and working as an opinion editor is the email I get. I receive direct responses to what I’ve written as well as letters to the editor about issues of the day and op-eds from the community at large. I say this is a perk because I do not exist in an echo chamber or some sort of political vacuum. Because of this, I read kindness from all sides and perspectives. I also see meanness from all sides. It’s difficult to maintain an us-versus-them attitude when I have the opportunity to witness a melting pot of humanity right here in my inbox.”
I hope you’ll read the full column in the link below.
Foster Kindness, Identify Solutions and Spread Joy in 2022, by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
On New Year’s Eve, when I was a kid, at the stroke of midnight we would run outside and bang pots and pans with a wooden spoon to ring in the new year. Those were the modest homemade noisemakers of our small Kentucky town.
if you missed my column about why we shouldn’t give Santa so much credit for gifts I hope you’ll read below.
Why Parents Shouldn’t Rely on Santa for Big Christmas Gifts, by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
Between the breaking news from the tornadic devastation in the Midwest, I worked on Christmas crafts with my kindergartner. The juxtaposition of hardship and the holidays reminded me of Christmastime with my daughter when she was young.
I hope you’ll join us! A Conversation with Columnists May 22, 2021, 01:00 PM Mountain Time 3:00 Eastern Time Via Zoom, registration information below.
Columnists add color to the black and white of newspaper facts. Through an exercise in free speech and open discussion, columnists hold opinions but refuse to be swallowed by a partisan divide. They straddle the fence, providing a sharper focus and analysis on real issues. Three columnists will discuss how they came to write a column, how they feel they interact with their readers through their work, and what value columnists bring to journalism.
Columnists include: Joline Gutierrez Krueger is the last remaining original UpFront columnist for the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico’s largest and only statewide newspaper. She joined the staff in 2008 after the closing of The Albuquerque Tribune, where she had worked for 20 years. She is the winner of numerous journalism and writing awards from such prestigious entities as the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Top of the Rockies, Best of Scripps, New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors, New Mexico Press Association, New Mexico Press Women and Albuquerque the Magazine.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer and syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. She is the Media Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a member of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, and a board member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives with her family in Northern Kentucky. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie or at WriterBonnie.com.
Algernon D’Ammassa is a reporter and columnist with the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico. Lacking any background in journalism, he submitted volunteer opinion pieces to his local newspaper for several years before being offered a weekly deadline (with pay) and, later, a job as a reporter. Now appearing on Sundays, his “Desert Sage” column tackles a wide range of topics across politics, arts and humanities.
Moderated by: Cassie McClure, columnist for “My So-Called Millennial Life” which is nationally syndicated through Creators.
This year, Mother’s Day is especially painful. Thanks to COVID-19, we have lost loved ones at an alarming rate. So, if this Mother’s Day is hard for you for the first time, I’m here to tell you it’s OK to sit this one out. It’s OK to say no to this holiday that feels like everyone is celebrating “at” you.
Read full column by clicking below
Mother’s Day. It’s Not for Everyone, by
Moms rock, but Mother’s Day? Not so much. The commercials, consumerism and social expectations would like me to believe differently.
I used to write a mommy blog for a parenting publication. After it won an award (and with my editor’s support), I approached the publisher to explore ways to help it grow. Turns out the publisher had never actually read my blog, and this prompted her to take a look. When she did, she deleted the posts with which she personally disagreed.
This workshop on how to craft the perfect freelance pitch was recorded in February. If missed it, no worries! Access the 90-minute recording is now available for just $15. Find it HERE
“Hands down, this was the most useful and informative training I’ve ever received on the topic. Wishing I had found NSNC sooner!”
Ann Peck, National Society of Newspaper Columnists member and workshop attendee
More writers are turning to freelance work in this gig economy making the art of the pitch so important. In this workshop, award-winning freelancer and NSNC Communications Director Bonnie Jean Feldkamp takes you start-to-finish through real-life examples. From finding leads, researching the publication, writing the pitch, and landing real assignments.
You’ll also receive a valuable resource sheet on where to find leads.Price: $15
I had the absolute honor of interviewing David Maraniss the two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and award-winning biographer about his writing process.
You can watch the 30-second end clip before you commit to watching the whole hour-long video (posted at the end of this blog).
David shared his writing experiences for writing his most recent book, A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father (2019). For this book he researched his own father with a biographer’s eye. David’s father Elliott Maraniss was a WWII veteran who had commanded an all-Black company in the Pacific. He was spied on by the FBI, named as a Communist by an informant, called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, fired from his newspaper job, and blacklisted for five years. Yet his father never lost faith in America and emerged on the other side with his family and optimism intact.
In our conversation, David gives great writing and research advice when dealing with personal and painful memories, especially when it focuses on family. Watch the full hour interview at the link below:
For upcoming interviews and workshops visit my Events Page.
If you like this interview you may also like my interview with John Avlon and Mary C. Curtis on the Art of the Interview:
After last week’s events this is a conversation you do not want to miss. Presented in Partnership with Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists and Moderated by Cincinnati Enquirer’s opinion editor Kevin Aldridge, Pulitzer winners for commentary Clarence Page and Kathleen Parker will talk about the power of writing to heal and unite. Can this be possible and how can we columnists work toward that goal? Just $25 for NSNC Members. SPJ members use Coupon Code CINCYSPJ for member discount as well. Register now:
Write to Unite – National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Register now $25 for NSNC Members. Register Here – Login to access your discount. $45 if you are Not a Member of the NSNC. Register Here (SPJ members Use CINCYSPJ Coupon Code Here for discounted rate) Not a Member? Join Now! Together in partnership with the Cincinnati chapter of the Society of Prof…
After a seven-month legal battle, the courts ruled and then Ohio Department of Health continued to stall. I was super frustrated. Each email from ODH angered me. You see, I was a wrier on the Eye on Ohio project that aimed to report hospital capacity numbers for the public during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our whole team was tired and frustrated for having to continue to argue with the ODH lawyer to gain access to what the courts had confirmed was public record.
I decided to write an op-ed. I am a freelance writer but I’m also a columnist on the Editorial Board of the Cincinnati Enquirer. So, I wrote the op-ed linked below to specifically call out the Socrates Tuch, the ODH Lawyer who insisted on giving us a hard time. The op-ed appeared on Saturday, November 21, 2020.
Read that Op-Ed Here:
Opinion: Ohio Department of Health needs to release hospital data
Despite a court order, Ohio Department of Health officials are slow to release data on the number of beds and ventilators available across the state.
The following Monday, November 23, 2020, ODH Press Secretary Melanie Amato sent an email that stated:
Here is the latest information on your public records request. Moving forward, please send your requests to me for I will be supplying you with the information. Please stop sending to the legal counsel for they have other things to continue to work on. I appreciate the help.
Magically the data we requested started rolling in and Socrates Tuch was taken out of the loop.
Now, the citizens of Ohio have a clear understanding of what the hospitals in their state are facing with COVID-19. Click the link below to check on the capacity of each hospital that is reporting data. It will help individual communities cope with what’s happening in their area.
Ohio’s Hospital Capacity Data in Ten Charts
Interactive: Explore Newly Released Hospital Data This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Updated: Additional data from Nov. 21-24 released on Nov. 27. Ohio’…
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer and columnist. She is the Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, member of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, and a board member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives with her family in Northern Kentucky. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie.
I’ve kept a journal since childhood. Beyond that writing always seemed to come attached to a punishment. I had to write sentences or an essay about how I felt. I’m not sure that’s the best way to encourage kids to write. Writing is about the use of language and literacy so you can’t start later and just say “write this down.” I really believe it starts when you’re young and teaching kids the context and language of the world that they live in. Teaching them how to articulate how they feel. Before they even write it on paper if you can help them find the words for their five senses and articulate that to you, it’s almost a version of emotional intelligence.
Kirsten and Matthew Scott Talk Musical Theater, Broadway Dreams, and ‘Rock of Ages,’ Plus Writing, Kids, and Gratitude Journals – Episode 515 – Dr. Nancy Berk
, their musical theater-driven journey and work with shows from ‘Jersey Boys’ to ‘Rock of Ages’, their new routines, and thoughts on Broadway’s safe comeback. Plus, the actors share their suggestions for children and young adults (and their parents) interested in the performing arts. In segment two,…
Grateful to talk to David LëGere of Woodhall Press about writing, inspiration, and process as well as the upcoming book to which I’ve contributed – Fast Funny Women edited by Gina Barreca. I hope you’ll take 20 minutes and watch the interview.
I’ve written more about my contribution to this book here. Learn more about me here.