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Our View: Have a passion for writing? Apply to Write Team

The Write Team platform is expanding.

More than a decade ago, an idea was hatched to share more local voices – on a regular basis – on the opinion page. What transpired was The Times Write Team.

Editors choose a new team every six months, with the columnists submitting a column every other week on topics of their choice. Their work is published Monday through Thursday in The Times as well as online, and often promoted on Facebook.

And now, we’re excited to announce Write Team columnists’ work will reach an even bigger audience. Starting with the next team in November, the La Salle NewsTribune, which is now part of Shaw Media, will begin publishing Write Team columns.

To be clear, it will still be one team of eight writers, selected by The Times Managing Editor Tammie Sloup and NewsTribune Managing Editor Linda Kleczewski.

For Write Team veterans, the application process and guidelines will not change.

For those considering applying, please don’t hesitate.

What’s required? A passion for writing. Ideas. And the ability to make your deadlines. We prefer you live in our coverage area, but we will consider applicants with strong local ties who may no longer live in the region.We believe everyone has stories to tell. You have opinions. You have observations. And believe us, while people may not always agree with you, they enjoy reading local voices.

Still nervous about applying? We’re more than happy to talk with you. Feel free to call Managing Editor Tammie Sloup at 815-431-4048. Some current Write Teamers also shared their thoughts on the experience:

“I would say, ‘Just try.’ It’s a little scary to tell your stories, but the deeper you dig and get personal, the better your writing will be. Six months of columns may sound overwhelming, but break it down to twice a month and you’ll be surprised how quickly it goes by.” – Karen Roth

“There is no better way to explore one’s thoughts and concerns than to write about them.” – Jonathan Freeburg

“What a privilege to have the opportunity for our words to press into our community. Maybe they will heal a heart, or perhaps inspire a person to educate, grow and best yet, LAUGH! ” – Shari Tvrdik

“Serving on the Write Team has expanded my opportunities to write and speak, increased my appreciation of Ottawa, and the value of a local newspaper. It’s fun to know people read my columns!” Carole Ledbetter

“I tried to quit this gig several times but something keeps pulling me back in. Getting my thoughts published seems to help unclutter my mind and soul.” – Kevin Foster

The application deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 16. To apply, send:

A short bio about yourself and why you like to write. One or two sample columns (500 to 550 words). Ideas for future columns.

Send to tsloup@shawmedia.com or mail to The Times Newsroom, 110 W. Jefferson St., Ottawa, IL 61350.

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