Patti Mengers has been a professional journalist for more than 40 years starting as an intern reporter at the original Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin. She is currently a staff writer and editorial board member for the Delaware County Daily Times. She has also been involved with theater regionally as an actress, director and playwright for more than 30 years. Mengers has won awards from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, the Philadelphia Press Association and the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists where she served as president from 2001 to 2005.
Patti will be leading a three day workshop called “Journalism as a Writing Tool” in which she’ll discuss the tenets that make up good journalism and how they can be applied to a variety of writing styles.
We asked for Patti to share some of her thoughts about the writing world today. (More after the break)
PWC: How has your personal writing community influenced and assisted you?
PM: I work in a very convivial newsroom where, every day we share sources, resources and give each other input (whether it is requested or not). There is a nice synchronicity between the “youngsters” and the “oldsters” (like me).
PWC: Where do you draw your inspiration?
PM: Real life.
PWC: How important are conferences and conventions to a writer?
PM: They can be valuable for networking.
PWC: What are some hints for getting your butt in the seat and your hands on the keyboard (or notepad)?
PWC: How do you balance your writing time with the rest of your life’s responsibilities?
PM: Because I make my living as a newspaper reporter, a good part of my day is spent either researching or writing stories, five days a week. I try to catch-up with the rest of my life on weekends or late at night although, thanks to e-mail, I can intersperse some of my personal life among my work duties. However, that can have a domino effect and cause me to burn the midnight oil at work.
PWC: When did you first realize you were a writer?
PM: My fourth grader teacher, Miss Casey, told me one day after several of us students had written short compositions on the board that I was going to be a newspaper reporter.
PWC: What are you most looking forward to at the 2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.
PM: I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people who care about good writing in a variety of styles.
Want to see Patti at the 2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference? Register Online!