Calling all young writers!

Near the beginning of the film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” writer and reporter Lloyd Viogel (Matthew Rhys) is accepting an award for one of his stories.

Lloyd begins his remarks by saying someone once asked him why he does what he does for a living. “Because nothing else feels like living” is his succinct response. If you’re able to chisel through the hardened exterior of most journalists, I venture to say they’ll have the same response.

But during my 15 years in journalism working on community newspapers, my colleagues and I were often asked to talk with high school students and younger about what we did for a living. Our cynical running joke amongst ourselves when students asked for advice on pursuing a career in writing or reporting?

Don’t do it!

We had many solid reasons why it wasn’t a prosperous career path. Chief among them were the long hours spent at borough council, township commissioner and school board meetings during the week. I wish I could calculate the number of hours I spent listening to elected officials discuss replacing sewer pipes, fashioning yearly operating budgets and building new elementary schools but I’m afraid it would be too much for my brain to handle.

Still, reporters still do it in the dwindling number of cities which still have community newspapers. I’ve heard many of my editors over the years refer to writing as a “calling.” And that it certainly is. I’ve always said writers don’t write because they want to.

They write because they have to. Why else would anyone want to do it? It’s a rewarding experience to be able to write and see your work published. With modern technology anyone has that opportunity these days on social media and internet blogs.

But, for me, nothing beats seeing your writing on honestto-goodness newsprint. With that in mind, I’ve decided to do what I can to encourage more participation by young people in The Byzantine Catholic World.

Are you a young adult — high school or college age — interested in writing? Or do you know someone interested in writing? Well, I want to hear from you! Ideally, I’d like to fill a page in The BCW with stories written by young

“But what can I write about?” I can hear students wondering.
I’m glad you asked!

  • Write about an activity you are involved in at your church and how it made you feel.
  • Write about traditions at your church or in your family and why they are special. (The Great Fast and Easter are quickly approaching.)
  • Has your faith helped you accomplish something special in academics or sports at school? Or your everyday life? Of course, there are many other possibilities that you can do with a blank sheet of paper. BCW readers want to know
    what you’re thinking!

Hopefully, this venture takes off and we’ll have stories written by young adults in future issues. If you’re one of the aforementioned who has an affinity for writing, please go for it!

Send an email to me (Dave) at and tell me what you want to write about. There are very few wrong answers. Let me know your questions and concerns. I’m willing to offer any help you need along your way to a finished product.

You’ll gain valuable experience and help spread the good news about your church. I know there are lots of good
stories out there needing to be told.