In addition to my usual courses this semester, I am overseeing an independent study. Kelsey Weekman, a UNC-Chapel Hill senior majoring in journalism with a minor in screenwriting, will examine the rise of email newsletters.
Kelsey came to me with the idea near the end of the fall semester. She said that she was interested in studying the voice, design, length and illustrations in newsletters such as The Skimm and The Charlotte Agenda. Here’s what she said in her plan for the independent study:
I’m passionate about newsletter writing, and a class that delves into it just doesn’t exist yet at UNC. In this independent study, I want to learn how industry professionals write newsletters, both personally and through researching the writing itself.
So this semester, Kelsey will create a blog dedicated to this topic. Each week, she will post an analysis of an email newsletter. She also plans to interview editors who put together such newsletters.
By the end of the semester, Kelsey will write a paper to provide an overview of her findings and create the prototype for a newsletter. I’ve invited her to talk with my Advanced Editing class about her findings.