Ten things I learned from Medium editors

Jennifer Karchmer
Apr 13 · 2 min read

I finally sat down (well, cooked dinner) and watched the video, “Writing in a time of crisis: Insights from Medium’s Platform Editors.” I had it bookmarked because I’m a big fan of Medium (and a writer) and wanted to learn how editors curate stories.

The three panelists (Megan Morrone, Kate Green Tripp and Michelle Woo) and the facilitator (Kawandeep Virdee) did a great job encapsulating how Medium editors think and tell us what they’re currently looking for on the platform.

For those who missed the talk live, or who don’t have 54 minutes to devote to watching the vid, here are some highlights I gleaned:

  1. To write about coronavirus, consider how this unique time in the world is affecting you. Kate Green Tripp says: “How does it impact our marriages, our sleep? How are we functioning?” <Go to 12:39 and listen to Kate Green Tripp and what she’s seeking for Elemental.>
  2. Yes, humor stories are needed.
  3. Yes, medium editors welcome non-COVID-19 stories. <Go to 31:24 and hear Megan Morrone talk about exploring other topics.>
  4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself during quarantine to produce. <Go to 27:25 and listen to Michelle Woo talk about focusing on the micro instead of the macro. “Let’s lower the bar,” she said while holding up this book to suggest ways to spark creativity.>
  5. Topics of interest that came up: Self-Help, How-To stories, Grief, Creativity, Leadership, Work, Mental Health, Productivity, Digital Lives, Family, Relationships, Personality. (See #6 for more.)
  6. Before pitching, read the publications on Medium and get familiar with content, tone and theme.
  7. Remember to insert hyperlinks to credible sources throughout your article.
  8. Medium is not trying to be a breaking news source but it does have a new Coronavirus blog with timely stories related to COVID-19.
  9. If you’re wondering what angle makes a great story, Megan Morrone says “Pay attention to the conversations you’re having with your friends.” <Go to 33:54 to hear Megan Morrone expound on this idea.>
  10. Consider how you want to make your reader feel after they read your piece. “ The reaction we are aiming for … is, ‘Wow, I needed this today, or ‘Wow, this helped me today,’” Michelle Woo said. <Go to 50:10 to hear Michelle Woo.>

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