I was recently featured in the article, Student Storytellers: Creative Writing and the English Department at Carleton University, alongside other Carleton University alumni who launched author careers after graduation.
As an author, getting featured by your alma mater can be a great marketing boost for your books and your author career. Universities have a level of authority and credibility something like blog interviews or podcast appearances can’t necessarily replicate.
Here’s how to go about getting featured by your alma mater.
Do Something Worth Writing About – If you’re an English grad who hasn’t published a book, you probably aren’t going to be featured by your English Department. If you’re a journalism student who now works in IT, your J School probably isn’t going to be interested in writing about your work. Do your school proud by taking what you learned and making something of yourself after graduation. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
Maintain Relationships – Following graduation, I’ve remained in contact with many of my former professors. These mentors challenged me, educated me, and supported me in a way I’ll be forever grateful for, so it was important to me to make the effort to touch base with them from time to time in the years following graduation. With Facebook and other social media tools, there’s no excuse not to remain in contact with people who have touched your life in a positive manner, and that includes incredible teachers and educators.
Return to Campus and Help Promote the School Whenever Possible – I’ve returned to campus on a number of occasions. I’ve given talks to potential graduate students about my experiences at Carleton. When I published my first novel, The Page Turners, I provided a copy to the English department to include alongside the work of other graduates in a display case. When the English Department put together some new webpages featuring successful alumni, I gladly agreed to be included. When I hosted the first live versions of my course, The Novel Writer’s Blueprint, I chose to do so on-campus. The best years of my life were spent at Carleton University, so I’m always looking for a reason to get back, and give back, to the school.
Respond Promptly and Professionally – When the school contacted me about being featured in the article, I provided the information requested in a prompt manner and I had professional quality photos ready for use in the article. If a journalist of any kind is interested in helping to promote your career and your work, you should be ready to do everything possible to make their lives easier.
The benefits gained from a university education don’t just stop when you’re handed a diploma. Use the simple steps outlined in this article to continue to leverage your university experience to support your author career.
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