So, You Want to Be A Columnist?

or beer!

One of the many questions I’m asked on a weekly basis, apart from, “Have you paid for that sir?” and “How much longer are you going to be in the toilet?” is, “How did you get a start as a weekly columnist?”

Well, it all happened one fateful afternoon a couple of years ago when I got caught digging through the bins at the back of The Observer.  I had been hoping to stumble upon an uneaten sandwich, when I was accosted by two journalists who had popped out for a ciggie.

They asked me what I was doing, and I replied, “Muckraking?”  They seemed to think it meant something else altogether, so they ushered me inside to meet the Editor, who immediately plopped me down at a desk and told me to write a polemic discourse on a contentious local topic.  I said I’d give it a crack; then asked for a dictionary so I could work out what the hell she had just said.

Dear reader, I did my best, but it soon became apparent that I was not about to become Gladstone’s answer to George Negus.  Nevertheless, I made a brave fist of things, and throwing myself on the floor, I pleaded for a job; any job!

Much later that night, after I’d finished cleaning the windows and mopping the floors, I emptied the office bins and happened to discover certain controversial receipts.  The next day I began my writing career; starting with a note to the manager which read:

‘All is known.’

And that folks, is how I became a weekly columnist!

So, if any of you want a crack at the column writing game, then send some samples of your work to me at:, and I’ll have a chat with the Editor about giving you a guest shot at on a weekday slot (because the plum Saturday spot has been earmarked by a certain hack who is refusing to budge).

This wondrous opportunity is open to any resident, regardless of age, sex, political or spiritual leaning.  All you need is the ability to write a light hearted column, of slightly less than 400 words, on a regular basis.  Note:  knowing what ‘polemic’ means will earn you extra points.

Gladstone writers, get scribbling!  I’m waiting…

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