Think up a Decent Title

C’mon, don’t make your editor do all the heavy lifting. If you’re assigned a story on saddle fitting, don’t title it “Saddle Fitting.” Work a little harder than that to suggest one or more descriptive or clever titles.

June 27, 2017
Writing Tip

USDF Connection Wins General Excellence Award

USDF Connection won the General Excellence Association magazine award in the 2017 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards contest in its circ category. Very proud! 

June 27, 2017
News

Shorten, Shorten

Even in long-form journalism, get rid of extraneous words and verbose phrasing. Ask yourself: Is there a more pithy way to express this idea?

August 05, 2015
Writing Tip

WEG Coverage Wins Award

My 2014 World Equestrian Games coverage for USDF Connection took first place in the 2015 American Horse Publications awards contest. Very proud and honored.image

August 05, 2015
News

Be a Local Resource

With travel and edit/art budgets cut, editors may be relying more heavily on freelancers who live near people, places, and events they need covered. If you live near someone or something of interest, let editors know.

July 11, 2013
Writing Tip

AHP Awards

image USDF Connection magazine and I won several awards in the 2012 American Horse Publications awards contest. Among the winners: My coverage of the 2012 Olympic dressage competition, and my 2012 Olympic equestrian blog for TheHorse.com.

July 11, 2013
News

Don't Editorialize

Unless your nonfiction is an op/ed piece, leave yourself and your opinions out of it. Use quotes and detail to flesh out the story; then let your readers draw their own conclusions.

November 28, 2012
Writing Tip

New Amazon Bookstore for Horse Lovers

Find my books and those of my equine-author colleagues in this new Amazon.com store (just in time for the holidays!): Books for Horse Lovers

November 28, 2012
News

Be Accurate

Check your facts. The best-written piece in the world falls flat on its face if it contains errors.

July 29, 2012
Writing Tip

Double-Duty Olympic Blogger

I’m in London for the 2012 Olympic Games! Check out my blogs for the US Dressage Federation and for TheHorse.com.

July 29, 2012
News

He Said, She Said

Especially in nonfiction, most quotes are best accompanied by “says” or “said.” Other verbs (shouted, groaned, cried, hissed, etc.) can work in fiction if used sparingly, but keep in mind that they’re “telling” the story, not “showing.”

June 07, 2012
Writing Tip

USDF Olympic Blog Launches

My equestrian Olympic Games blog for the US Dressage Federation is live! Check out “The London Eye."

June 07, 2012
News

Check, Double-Check

Not many publishers can afford to employ fact-checkers any more. Your editor will love you if you check spellings, titles, dates, and other facts before you hand in that story or manuscript.

February 09, 2012
Writing Tip

Follow Me


November 21, 2011
News

How Good Is Your How-To?

A “how to” or “step by step” article may seem simple, but writing one isn’t easy. Use the “cookbook test”: Can you follow your own instructions and arrive at the desired result the way you can follow a recipe?

November 17, 2011
Writing Tip

Follow Me on Twitter

Follow me on Twitter: @JenniferOBryant

November 17, 2011
News

An Amazing Writing Tip!

The most overused adjective today is “amazing.” Find another way to describe that view, vacation, performance, or pair of shoes.

October 11, 2011
Writing Tip

Awards

USDF Connection held its own in this year’s American Horse Publications awards contest. AHP is the organization for all forms of equine-related media.

October 11, 2011
News

Be a Backpack Journalist

Editorial and art budgets are leaner than ever, while demand for multimedia is exploding. Learn to be a jack of all trades--writer, photographer, videographer, blogger--and you’ll set yourself apart.

September 28, 2009
Writing Tip

WEG Blog Launches

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, are one year away. My “Countdown to WEG 2010” blog launched today on TheHorse.com. Click here to read. Enjoy!

September 28, 2009
News

Got Multimedia Skills?

Today’s media consumer demands it all: text, images, video, and interactivity. Learn to produce a multimedia story well and your skills will be in demand.

July 02, 2009
Writing Tip

AHP Award

My coverage of the 2008 Olympic equestrian events for TheHorse.com won first place in the online coverage/news breaking story category in the 2009 American Horse Publications awards contest.

July 02, 2009
News

Just the Facts, Ma'am (or Sir)

Major media may employ fact-checkers, but the littler guys usually can’t afford that luxury. Endear yourself to your editor by verifying spellings and stats before you hit “send.”

June 06, 2009
Writing Tip

Twittering About Horses

Follow me on Twitter! I’m tweeting about dressage and other horse sports, horse-world goings-on, and especially that quest for harmony between horse and rider. Click here for my Twitter page.

June 06, 2009
News

"Dressage 101" Podcast

Petlife Radio interviewed me for a “Horsing Around” podcast. Download “Dressage 101” at Petlife Radio; click on “Horsing Around.”

April 13, 2009
News

Specialize

Writers hate being pigeonholed in terms of subject matter, and good ones can produce quality copy on many topics. But, particularly in a tough economy, specialized knowledge or experience may give you an edge in selling yourself to an editor or other content buyer. Are you an avid gardener? A teacher? A veteran? A parent? Yes, even certain life experiences may lend you an advantage in breaking in to certain markets.

March 31, 2009
Writing Tip

New Book Celebrates Retired Racers

Eclipse Press‘s new book, Second-Chance Horses, contains heartwarming stories of ex-racehorses (many rescued from slaughter) that are succeeding in new careers. I was pleased to be asked to contribute a chapter: on Standardbred pacer Getaway Hall, who was found wandering roadside in Delaware. 

March 31, 2009
News

Reading Isn't Dead

Reading isn’t dead, but ink and paper are poised to go the way of the Gutenberg press, especially in light of skyrocketing costs and economic woes. Ready or not, this is the era of electronic media. And if you need an editor or a writer for your own project, drop me a line.

December 12, 2008
News

Show, Don't Tell

Show, don’t tell--that’s what my high-school creative-writing teacher taught me, and her advice still holds true. Make your interview subjects or your characters come alive through detail. How they dress, where they live, what car they drive, how they talk--all speak volumes about their backgrounds, values, and world views. Actions speak louder than words (narrative), which can be flat and dull.

December 12, 2008
Writing Tip

Book Signings at Dressage at Devon

Dressage at Devon, Devon, PA, is the preeminent dressage show in the US, with a great trade fair. I’ll be signing copies of Olympic Equestrian and The USDF Guide to Dressage at The Paddock Saddlery booth Friday, Sept. 26, from 2:00-3:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 27, from 4:00-5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 28, from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

September 20, 2008
News

Writer's Block Is a Gift

Writer’s block is a gift. Why? Because it means you have time to fiddle and faddle with your words (or the lack thereof). Writing on deadline—as in news coverage for a Web site—is a sure cure for I-don’t-know-how-to-begin. Get yourself an assignment that requires you to file the story right away, and you’ll find that when you absolutely, positively have to write, you can somehow manage it. Don’t know how to snag such an assignment? Try signing up for a Journalism 101-type class—anything that will force you to create on the clock.

September 03, 2008
Writing Tip

Book Signing This Weekend

Saturday, September 6 is forecast to be rainy. What better way to spend the day than with good books? Come out to the Chester County Book Company, West Chester, PA, one of the area’s largest independent booksellers. Fresh (and mostly rested) from the 2008 Games in China, I’ll be signing copies of Olympic Equestrian: A Century of International Horse Sport beginning at 1:00 p.m. I’ll be happy to share stories of Hong Kong!

September 03, 2008
News

Off to Hong Kong

I’ll be spending much of August in Hong Kong, covering the 2008 Olympic equestrian events. Read my reports and blogs for USDF and The Horse.

Need Olympic equestrian coverage for your media outlet or a press release for your business?

July 30, 2008
News

Awards for USDF Connection

The magazine I edit, USDF Connection, took home three prizes from the 2008 American Horse Publications awards contest. An article and a cover illustration each took first place in its respective category, and the magazine won the General Excellence, Association Magazine honorable mention.

June 30, 2008
News

Deconstruct Good Writing

Sit down with a few copies of a magazine you enjoy. Don’t just read the articles; analyze the way they’re crafted. What do you admire about the writing, and why? What kinds of “voices” shine through? What narrative and organizational devices do the stories employ? To become a better writer, become a critical reader.

June 25, 2008
Writing Tip

Book Signing

I’ll be signing copies of Olympic Equestrian: A Century of International Horse Sport Saturday, June 28, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Rick’s Heritage Saddlery, West Chester, PA. 

June 25, 2008
News

Go the Extra Mile for Your Editor

You’ve slaved over your story: an assigned profile of business tycoon Donald Trump. Don’t send your editor the story with the non-title “Donald Trump Profile.” Give it a catchy headline that’s appropriate for the media outlet, and add a deck (subtitle) while you’re at it. Your title may or may not get used, but your editor will appreciate your efforts.

April 27, 2008
Writing Tip

Author Q&A online

Read a Q&A about the newly revised edition of my book Olympic Equestrian in Eclipse Press’s Media Room.

April 27, 2008
News

The Devil Is in the Details

Paint your readers a complete picture. Refer to “the slender fawn Greyhound with huge dark eyes and a black-tipped muzzle” instead of “the brown dog.”

February 09, 2008
Writing Tip

Pilates Book Featured at USDF Convention

Betsy Steiner, lead author of A Gymnastic Riding System Using Mind, Body & Spirit, signed books and was a keynote speaker at the 2007 USDF convention. 

February 09, 2008
News

A Recipe for "How-to" Writing

Step-by-step “how-to” articles are difficult to write well. Think of your article as a recipe in a cookbook: If the reader follows your instructions exactly, will he or she achieve precisely the desired result? If not, find the glitches—perhaps missed steps or imprecise instructions—and fix them for a delicious outcome, every time.

January 25, 2008
Writing Tip

Olympic Equestrian Revision Coming Soon

In time for the 2008 Games, Eclipse Press is publishing the revised edition of my book Olympic Equestrian—now subtitled A Century of International Horse Sport. With updated results, new rider profiles and interviews, and stunning new photos. Look for it this spring!

January 25, 2008
News

Lean, Mean, and Clean

Got a 1,500-word assignment? Take the time to pare your story down to the allotted length. Turn in clean copy: fact-checked, spell-checked, and with suggested head, deck, and subheads. Your editor will thank you.

July 02, 2007
Writing Tip

AHP Awards

The USDF Guide to Dressage took third place in its book division in the 2006 American Horse Publications awards contest. “Competitor’s Rescue Guide,” a piece I wrote for the April 2006 issue of USDF Connection, took third in the large-circ “Service to the Reader” category.

July 02, 2007
News

Lead by Example

Readers love anecdotes--real-life stories they can relate to. So for that “disease of the month” story, find an affected person and lead with her saga. 

April 29, 2007
Writing Tip

Awards Finalists

Articles I wrote for USDF Connection—plus the magazine itself—are finalists in the American Horse Publications 2006 awards contest. Winners to be announced in June.

April 29, 2007
News

Olympic Equestrian Revision

Eclipse Press, publisher of my first book, Olympic Equestrian, will release an updated and revised edition in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, with all-new photos, results, and interviews.

April 15, 2007
News

Increase Your Activity

Don’t let your words be passive victims. Energize them by using the active voice whenever possible.

April 15, 2007
Writing Tip

Write What You Know

Few general-interest publications remain, while “niche” mags abound. If you have specialized expertise, that knowledge may help you break in to a market. Amass a track record of solid writing and you may just become indispensable.

February 05, 2007
Writing Tip

Pilates Site Features Book

Balanced Body Pilates features Equilates: A Gymnastic Riding System, my book with dressage trainer Betsy Steiner, in its new brochure for equestrians. Betsy is also featured on the brochure’s cover.

February 05, 2007
News

Grab Them with Anecdotes

People like to read about people. For an attention-getting opener, start your nonfiction story with a real-life anecdote about someone with the problem du jour. It’s a tried-and-true method of drawing the reader in to the story.

December 05, 2006
Writing Tip

Local author night

Live in the Chester County, PA, area? Come to the Chester County Book Company in West Goshen Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The USDF Guide to Dressage and I are on the bill for Local Author Night.

December 05, 2006
News

So What?

Good service journalism clearly states why readers should care about what you’re telling them. I call it the “so what?” Explain why and how the information you’re presenting will help your reader be happier, lose weight, make money, master a sport--whatever the purpose of the story. 

November 13, 2006
Writing Tip

Book signing at USDF convention

Coming to the 2006 U.S. Dressage Federation annual convention in Kansas City, MO? Stop by and say hi. I’ll be signing copies of The USDF Guide to Dressage from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Convention details at http://www.usdf.org.

November 13, 2006
News

Mix It Up

Repetition of adjectives or adverbs in a paragraph makes for dull reading. If your subject was “happy” in the first sentence, then perhaps she could be “elated” or “joyful” if you refer to her state of mind again.

October 10, 2006
Writing Tip

Book signing, talk at UConn

I’ll be talking about and signing copies of The USDF Guide to Dressage at the University of Connecticut Co-op bookstore Sat., Oct. 28, at 1:30 p.m. Details at http://uconncoop.booksense.com

October 10, 2006
News

Be Wasteful with Words

Writers: Go ahead and let those words pour out. Try not to self-censor (it’s hard, I know). Put the piece away and look at again in a day or two. The awkward, extraneous stuff will leap out at you like a neon sign.

August 25, 2006
Writing Tip

Book signing at Dressage at Devon

I’ll be signing copies of The USDF Guide to Dressage at Dressage at Devon (PA). Come by the USDF booth from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30. 

August 25, 2006
News

Five Star Review

The USDF Guide to Dressage just received a five-star review (posted to Amazon.com) from ArmchairInterviews.com. What a way to kick off the Amazon reader reviews! The book was so much work—three years in the making, give or take—so it is immensely gratifying to see it receiving a warm welcome. At BookExpo America in Washington, DC, last month (the national book-publishing trade show), Storey representatives told me that sales were brisk. The thought of introducing many people to the sport of dressage and to USDF is a real thrill.

June 16, 2006
News

USDF Connection finalist

USDF Connection, the magazine I edit, is a finalist in the 2005 American Horse Publications awards contest! Awards to be announced in late June.

June 09, 2006
News

Writing Tip of the Week - June 12, 2006

What do you like to read? Those genres are probably what you’ll find easiest to write. 

May 29, 2006
Writing Tip