My months at Midwest Living magazine have taught me a lot. In my journalism classes at Drake, we often talk about magazines are no longer magazines; they are brands. Working at Midwest Living has solidified that knowledge. A lot of what I do is fact checking stories, but those stories are not just for Midwest Living, Midwest Living has a division that creates state travel magazines that I often work on. Part of the Midwest Living brand is creating travel guides and that division is an offshoot of what Midwest Living has always done well.
Beyond Fact Checking
Another chunk of what I do as an editorial assistant is work on online content. I often work on slideshows that will never be in print in any type of way but the website is such an important part of the Midwest Living brand that is gets its own content. One of my favorite projects that I have worked on at Midwest Living was creating a slideshow of zucchini recipes. I hate zucchini. But it was a great opportunity to flex my writing muscles in a new in and challenging way. Being a good writer goes beyond “writing what you know.” Creating the zucchini slideshow also introduced me to the art of writing a blurb. It is hard to communicate effectively in 15 words or less, especially when attempting to describe a recipe. Meals are so much more than taste; they are texture and smell and flavor combinations. Creating short and snappy recipe descriptions was quite the learning curve. But I figured it out and learned to love it. Who knew writing about zucchini could be so fun? I have also had the opportunity to write about basil varieties, miniature flower arrangements, and how to create decor from tree cuttings.
Working at Midwest Living is an application of the skills I have learned in classes. It also has allowed me to explore new skills; writing 500 word articles is one thing, using 20 words at a time to describe a recipe is another beast. My experiences at Midwest Living feel very co-curricular, I have the knowledge to do my job because of my education, and my job reinforces what I learn in class.