Writing opportunities for DU students

By Taylor Sienkiewicz and Daniela Santos.

The University of Denver (DU) holds various majors that tailor to prospective writer’s aspirations. For example, students are able to focus on their creative writing by majoring in english while fact-based analytical writers can major in journalism. Other writing practices can include business writing, short memos, long-form theses, etc. Nonetheless, no matter what the style is that pertains to the prospective writer, having a platform to publish their own work is important to polish one’s skills and continue sharing one’s stories.

Copies of the Clarion are distributed around campus.

Copies of the Clarion are distributed around campus.

One platform for writers to circulate their work is by becoming a contributing writer for DU’s student newspaper the Clarion. Ryan Ninesling, the executive editor for the paper, saw the Clarion as his outlet to discuss his love for film and return to study liberal arts.

“I was originally a physics major here at the university […] and doing that I realized that I missed writing, and my big passion was for film and I wanted an outlet where I could talk about film in kind of a way that people were actually gonna read,” said Ninesling.

Over time Ninesling became the “de facto film critic” for the paper and was promoted to entertainment editor his junior year. Now, he is elected to be the executive editor for the next school year.

Clarion editor-in-chief John Poe see’s their outlet as a welcoming place for anyone to share their passions. “It’s a great place to express yourself,” said Poe, “I mean after all we are the voice of the Pioneers. One thing that I think is really cool about our publication is we actually strive to publish everyone. No matter how poor you think your writing skills are, we’re happy to sit down and work with you and […] help you build writing skills to ensure you get published.”

When it comes to improving, Ninesling believes his time at the Clarion has been beneficial for him. “I have grown in a lot of different ways as a writer. I think my critical voice as a writer and kind of my argumentative voice has grown tons writing for a newspaper.”

His ability to write in many diverse formats, said Ninesling, is also due to his experimentation with writing for other sections including: news, sports and lifestyles.

“I like to think of it as unprofessional professionalism,” said Poe regarding the environment of the Clarion whose writers and editors behave like co-workers but are also there to be, “your college family.”  

University of Denver student MacKenzie Mantsch researches internships through the MFJS internships page.

University of Denver student MacKenzie Mantsch researches internships through the MFJS internships page.

Taking part in an internship is another opportunity for writers to practice and share their work. Associate Professor and interim Internship Director, Derigan Silver, sees value in applying for one. “[Internships] sort of exposes [students] to the working world and allows them to put into practice the things that they have learned in class,” said Silver.

“In some ways internships can kind of be a test run,” said Silver, “we have a lot of students who actually get their first job through their internships.”

These opportunities, he explains, build up a writer’s portfolio and give them work that they can share later in their career search. Writers are then able to develop a portfolio filled with the work they have done during their time as an intern such as producing clips and articles. Previous internships that the media, film, and journalism studies (MFJS) department offer include working for a magazine and TV broadcast stations.

“The best internships are when they put you to work and you can actually produce material,” said Silver.

Whether it’s through DU’s newspaper or by getting an internship, the opportunities for writers to develop their work and expand their horizon is beneficial and significant to one’s career. The Clarion will reunite in the 2017 fall quarter on Monday nights and MFJS does have an internship page where students can look for opportunities as well.

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