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Journalism Assignment Sit-Down Sunday (in person at HVWC) with Steve Ditlea

September 25, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Unlike literary journals, which seek finished works by submission (note the subservience), journalism outlets tend to be more accessible and interactive, ideally responding to an appropriate pitch and a great sample of previous work with an assignment to cover your idea, for decent money. The devil is in the details. Seasoned professionals and aspiring journalists are encouraged to gather once a month face-to-face to exchange tips and insights on promising markets and editors. Hosting will be Steve Ditlea, who began his fifty-year freelance career sitting in the spirit of cooperation with other writers, some of whom would become legendary and others who would later look back in awe at the people they met. All media and specialties welcome.

This group will meet in person at HVWC. We are located at the Philipse Manor RR station (3oo Riverside Drive, Sleepy Hollow NY). There is ample parking on Sundays or take Metro North’s Hudson Line to the Philipse Manor Station.

Steve Ditlea is “the most widely published print and online journalist you’ve never heard of, proud of it.” He was born in Washington Heights, speaking French before American, an alien in his native land. His first Lacoste shirt was a gift from Danielle Steel, his classmate at 8. He earned a B.A. in French at Columbia University. He learned from the best on Morningside Heights, including poet Kenneth Koch, film critic Andrew Sarris, sociologist Daniel Bell, and tai chi master Da Liu. His post-grad education consisted of meeting weekly in midtown Manhattan with writers P. J. O’Rourke, Jeff Greenfield, Joyce Wadler, Blair Sabol, Ron Rosenbaum, Susan Berman (later Robert Durst’s murder victim), and more.

Over five decades as a fulltime freelance (never a day on staff) journalist, of all his honors his favorite is having written 3 of the “500 Worst Rolling Stone Reviews”–including the one that actually helped make Willie Nelson famous in 1973. He also put Apple’s Steve Jobs on his first business magazine cover, for Inc. in 1981. As a medical reporter for the New York Daily News he assisted in one of the earliest minimally-invasive knee replacement procedures in 2006. In 2011 he wrote the 914INC magazine cover profile of Regeneron’s George Yancopoulos and two other Westchester biomed leaders who went to Columbia med school together. He still covers pop culture for SPIN magazine.

His most notable books: Rock Stars (Scholastic, 1979), written about Kiss, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, others; and Digital Deli (Workman, 1984), his anthology of over one hundred original articles on computer culture, resulting in handwritten turn-down notes from “new journalists” Tom Wolf and Norman Mailer and two fan letters from classic comedian Henny Youngman.

After five years in exile in Philadelphia, Steve Ditlea is looking for a rental in his former hometown, Tarrytown, NY.


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September 25, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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