Entries by Erin Peterson

Will Your Readers Love Your Story? Find Out With A “Performance Pretest.”

When I was an editor at an alumni magazine, one of the most frustrating experiences I dealt with was never knowing whether or not the brilliant story idea I had was going to resonate with readers. Would a story generate lots of congratulations, letters, and other feedback? Or would it barely create a ripple? The […]

“I Wanted A Magazine That Would Make People Say, ‘I Don’t Want To Throw It Away.’”

One of my favorite things to do every year is talk to the winner of the Sibley Magazine of the Year. This year, I was thrilled to talk to Maria Henson, who is editor of the knockout Wake Forest Magazine, a three-times a year publication for alumni. Henson, a 1982 Wake Forest alum, has been at the […]

Harvard makes the case for a class notes section as long as “The Grapes of Wrath”

As a former class notes editor, I couldn’t possibly be more excited to share this interview and some incredible resources with you. Here’s the scoop: Many years ago, I served as the class notes editor for an alumni magazine. It was grueling, thankless work. I carefully transcribed cursive notes from alumni who were 3,000 years […]

The “five-year value” of your print alumni magazine

One of my all-time favorite podcasts is Longform, which features in-depth interviews with narrative nonfiction writers. Recently, the podcast featured Casey Cep, the author of the white-hot national bestseller about Harper Lee called The Furious Hours. In the interview, Cep mentioned that when she was a college student she got a fellowship that allowed her […]

Do you need more exclamation marks in your writing? Yes! Here’s why.

Here are a few things my team and I have found lately that we think are worth your time. Struggling with a roundup? Roundup stories are a great way to profile a series of alumni or faculty in a similar field, but how do you make that story reader-friendly? Here are a few suggestions. Everyone […]