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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 6, July 1978 - August 1978
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 6, July 1978 - August 1978 - Page 4. July 1978 - August 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 5, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/683/show/677.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1978 - August 1978). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 6, July 1978 - August 1978 - Page 4. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/683/show/677

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 6, July 1978 - August 1978 - Page 4, July 1978 - August 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 5, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/683/show/677.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 6, July 1978 - August 1978
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1978 - August 1978
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 4
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_542d.jpg
Transcript "A reporter's responsibility is to the reader. The reader is my client and my purpose is to keep the reader informed." —Susan Wright ^1^ up, the newspapers and radio were a bore. There were no women reporters or announcers. The people who did those things were men. So I read a lot of magazines because I noticed that this was something women did, women wrote stories that were published in magazines." Wright's family was very supportive when at a very young age she began writing poetry and "boring everyone who came to our house by reading it to them." After graduate school at Columbia, she went job-hunting in New York. It was a harrowing experience. The New York Herald-Tribune had just folded and every job opening in town had a dozen Herald- Tribune reporters standing in line with 10 to 15 years experience. She finally did land what she calls a "stroke-of-luck" job, however, working on a documentary for WOR-TV. Wright developed an interest in consumer topics when she moved to Austin. She wrote consumer protection and investigative pieces for the Texas Observer. In 1972 she came to Houston as the consumer reporter for KPRC-TV, later switching to hard news. She now writes a monthly column, "Image," for Houston Business Journal, and teaches a course for news reporters at the University of Houston. "The public's right to know is more important than a person's right not to be libeled," Wright told participants at the second lecture. "The Supreme Court, however, is taking a more and more narrow view of Writers on writing by Anita Freeman Davidson "Freelance writing is very lonely work. I came here to meet other writers. " "People always tell me I write great letters. Well, I want to find out if I can do anything else." "Iget paid to write and I don't know how to do it. " -participants Series for Serious Writers sponsored by Breakthrough Foundation "Community response to our writer's seminar was tremendous," said Ruth Barrett, the new executive director of the Breakthrough Foundation. "The class is filled to capacity and it is clear we answered an important community need." The foundation office received over 200 calls and accepted 50 participants for its six week Series for Serious Writers which began on July 22 and continues through August 26. Barrett attributes the success of the seminar to the strong interest of writers who want to improve their marketable skills and to the high caliber of professionals who agreed to share their experience with the group. "We came up with a program that we thought was first-rate and then we invited first-rate speakers. Once we decided we wanted a session on the art of interviewing, for instance, we invited expert interviewer Thelma Schoettker. Everyone on our list accepted enthusiastically. We were delighted." In addition to Thelma Schoettker, other speakers are Wendy Haskell Meyer, associate editor of Houston Home & Garden; former news reporter, Susan Wright, now a University of Houston journalism instructor; Jim Asker, a reporter with the Houston Post; Charlotte Moser, art critic, Houston Chronicle; and Neal Barrett, author and communications consultant. Wendy Haskell Meyer offered a great number of practical suggestions to participants at the opening lecture. " Type your manuscripts in large type so they will be easier for editors to read." She also gave valuable advice about gathering information and conducting interviews. "Listen, and people will write your stories for you. Even if you don't agree, keep it to yourself and the person will keep talking." A self-taught writer, Meyer did her first writing in a private journal which she started at the age of 42. "I enjoyed writing and decided that if I was going to expend my energies, I might as well try to sell something." She attended writers' workshops and clinics, read writers' magazines and started submitting her work. "The first ten things I sent out came back. But I always had at least five things out and when something would come back, I would just rewrite it and send it out again." "I really began to feel like a pro when I became the Houston correspondent for the National Observer." Meyer had a story in the first issue of Texas Monthly, and when Houston Home & Garden began, she went to them and said, "Look, I have 10 ideas for stories. Can I submit them on approval?" They didn't buy all the stories, but it was the beginning of a very profitable relationship. When the magazine underwent a reorganization two years ago, Meyer became an associate editor. "Every job I've had, I got because I was very aggressive," says Meyer. Her editing post leaves no time for freelancing, but she hasn't given up writing. In her spare time, she is collaborating with a gynecologist on a self-help book about women's genital infections. It will be published by Putnam. Susan Wright, speaker for the second lecture of the series, calls herself a "reformed magazine junkie." "In Oak Clair, Wisconsin, where I grew the public's right to know." She noted the recent Supreme Court ruling that police officers were acting properly in their 1971 surprise search of the offices of The Stanford Daily, Stanford University's campus newspaper. Other recent Supreme Court decisions in libel law also narrow the press's franchise. "A reporter must know enough about the law, as based on major rulings, to know when to call in an attorney," said Wright. Asked what reporters could do about the narrowing of press freedoms, Wright urged reporters to insist upon their rights under the First Amendment, but to be fully prepared to meet police and/or judicial retaliation. "A reporter's responsibility is to the reader. The reader is my client and my can't believe art is that complicated." Asked how she went about viewing a painting in an exhibit, Moser said, "First I analyze it on a purely retinal basis, scanning for information like color, texture, structure,. Then I just look and let it worP on me. Either it grabs me or it doesn't. Art is something of the soul, and for me it has to be responded to that way." "You have to see a work of art objectively, assimilate it personally and then put it in historical perspective." "Artists are dependent upon critics to get their point across. An artist's reputation will be affected by a critic's misinterpretation. It's a tremendous responsibility. A critic must be prepared to say that an artist's work is mediocre, or good, or phony. You have the responsibility to art and to your readers to say this. You have to be prepared not to be loved. Criticism is not the field to go into if you are looking for strokes. You won't find many." In the opinion of many news professionals, Thelma Schoettker is the best interviewer in town. She shares her skills in the fourth lecture of the series. Schoettker's first job was writing television promotion. "I went to an employment agency and told them I didn't know what I wanted to be, but I wanted to be something." Schoettker came to Houston 15 years ago to do a talk show on KTRH. She had a mid-day show on KPRC-TV for a while, and then moved to KEYH as Program Director. Jim Asker is a Rice graduate who began his career as a reporter writing a political column for the Rice Thresher. "I approached writing as though it were a science that I would master to convey complex ideas and make people understand what I was thinking. The poetry of putting words together came later." Asker started out at the Houston Post four years ago on the suburban desk— sometimes known as the "Boondocks"— covering everything from hurricanes to rodeos to the Ft. Bend County Commissioners meetings. Later he was a one-man Baytown Bureau. Then he went to the city desk where he covered education. "Now I am in the happy position of being free from the responsibility of a daily department," says Asker. As a general assignment reporter, he does some daily work when a department is particularly heavy, but most of his assignments are for features and special projects, which means he usually has at least a couple of days to work on a story. In the fifth lecture of the series, Asker will talk about getting the words on paper, rewriting, and judging when the copy is ready for an editor. He will also critique the work of participants. Neal Barrett, Jr. has been a writer most of his life. He even has a degree in writing Listen, and people will write your stories for you." purpose is to give information and keep my client informed." The third lecture of the series was by art critic Charlotte Moser. "I like the idea of criticism as documentation. I am documenting art." Moser took a degree in studio painting from the University of Texas, but chose to be a writer and taught herself the craft. "I wanted to help people make decisions about art." She began by writing art criticism for the Daily Texan while still in graduate school. Moser freelanced for several publications including the Houston Post back in the days when they published art features on Sunday only. In 1974 she moved into her present position as art critic for the Houston Chronicle. "A more relaxed, humanist style of writing is coming into fashion," Moser said. "Formal criticism is boring, it's too cold for me. As one artist I know said, I —not journalism—from Oklahoma University, one of the few schools in the country that grant a degree in writing. He can often be found back at OU during the summer, teaching short writers' courses. In fact, OU turns out a high proportion of successful writers, and Barrett is one of them. Science fiction is his specialty: he has published 10 novels and about 350 short stories. Barrett's first job was editor of a house organ for an Oklahoma City daily paper. He has held numerous corporate positions, including Director of Promotion for Bran- iff International. He and his wife, Ruth Barrett, own a communications consulting firm, providing services to ad agencies. As the final speaker of the series, Barrett will focus on editing skills, and from his own experience, will offer the views from both the writer's and the editor's sides of the desk. JULY-AUGUST 1978 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH