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Writing About Women's Sports: an Interview with Katie Reilly

by Writing Workshops Staff

A month ago

Writing About Women's Sports: an Interview with Katie Reilly

by Writing Workshops Staff

A month ago

A freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, Katie Reilly has carved out a niche with her narrative work in women's health, sports, mental health, and parenting. Her writing, featured in prestigious publications such as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and Elle Magazine, showcases her ability to blend in-depth research with compelling narratives.

As women's sports continue to surge in popularity, Katie's upcoming course, Writing About Women's Sports: A 2-Week Nonfiction Zoom Seminar, promises to equip aspiring writers with the tools they need to serve a hungry audience.

Katie's class offers a rich exploration of sports writing, encouraging students to delve into the multifaceted world of women's sports. Participants will analyze diverse articles, brainstorm essay topics, and engage in weekly discussions, all within a supportive environment designed to nurture their writing journey.

With a focus on getting stories published, students will also learn the art of crafting effective pitches and navigating the submission process.

Katie's students have seen their work published in high-profile outlets such as The New York Times Modern Love, HuffPost, and Good Housekeeping, testament to the course's effectiveness.

In this interview, Katie shares her insights into the art of sports journalism, her passion for women's sports, and what participants can expect from her upcoming seminar. Join us as we dive into the world of women's sports writing with Katie Reilly, a journalist who brings stories to life with every word.

Writing Workshops: Your new course focuses on analyzing diverse approaches to writing about women's sports. Can you share an example of an article that you think does an exceptional job in this area and explain why it stands out?

Katie Reilly: We will look at different types of essays focused on women's sports like personal essays, opinion essays and reported essays. I can't think of just one but I enjoyed reading this op-ed Pay Caitlin Clark What She's Worth that was published in the NYT.

WW: You have a rich background in writing about women's health, mental health, and parenting. How do these topics intersect with your writing on women's sports, and how do you plan to incorporate these intersections into your seminar?

KR: Women's sports is not just about statistics or game scores. It's about the issues faced by female athletes, which include other important topics like pay equity and racism. I will choose readings that examine these different areas when writing about women's sports.  

WW: Women's sports are gaining more visibility and recognition today. What are some of the most exciting developments in women's sports that you think writers should be paying attention to right now?

KR: I LOVE this question because there are SO many exciting developments happening in women's sport.  I think writers should pay attention to what they're drawn to, but I'm drawn to the increasing investment, visibility and respect that is finally being given to female athletes, among other things! I'm also really interested in the people and institutions on the periphery of women's sports that are contributing like investors, sports bars that only play women's sports, or female sports journalists. 

WW: In your seminar, students will work on their own articles and receive individualized feedback. What common challenges do you anticipate your students might face when writing about women's sports, and how will your course help them overcome these obstacles?

KR: I think a common obstacle is picking a topic (and staying focused on that topic), which will be particularly challenging in this class because it's a two week course. I will be there to help students in this process and provide feedback.  

WW: Pitching to publications can be a daunting process for many writers. What are some key strategies you will teach in your seminar to help students craft effective pitches and find the right outlets for their stories?

KR: Knowledge is power, right? The more information we have about how to write an effective captivating pitch, how to find the right editor, how to find an outlet that's a good fit for our writing, etc -- the more likely we are to find success. I plan to cover all these topics and I will try to find an editor to join our second class. 

WW: Your students have had their work published in prestigious outlets such as The New York Times Modern Love and HuffPost. What do you believe are the essential elements of a successful article on women's sports, and how will your seminar help students achieve this level of success?

KR: I don't think writing a successful article on women's sports is different from writing on other topics. Generally, to write a successful article, we talk about different craft tips in class, read compelling essays and write and revise as much as we can!

WW: Thanks for this great interview, Katie. We love offering your Writing About Women's Sports class!


Instructor Katie Reilly is a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area in California. Katie's writing generally focuses on women's health and sports, mental health and parenting. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Elle Magazine, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, USA Today and HuffPost, among other publications.

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