FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The following article was written by Emily Scimeca, Brendan Devine, Lauren Shuster and Maggie Mitchell, seventh graders at Fairfield Woods Middle School, and submitted by their language arts teacher, Susan Tamagni.
“Read, read, read.” Stacey Pressman has advice for young writers.
On Feb. 22, our class got the one in a million chance to Skype with ESPN writer, Stacey Pressman. The room was bursting with excitement as we Skyped. We learned all about Stacey and her job, inspiration and ideas, and lastly, her writing process.
Stacey works for ESPN magazine. She was born in Connecticut but moved to California. She played tennis as a child. Dick Schak was her mentor who lived in the apartment above hers. It took the nine months to put together her most recent piece, which was about recreating famous album covers using sports stars. She is currently writing a screenplay with Alissa Ronan. “The best part about my job is it is always different.”
“Did you always want to be a writer?” was a question from Winnie Akaba. Stacey’s honest answer was no. Stacey wanted to study politics and history. “What inspired you to be a writer?” Maya Newton and Maggie Limone asked. Her reply was that she loved writing in her politics and history classes. “How did you manage in a sport’s world dominated by men?” asked Lauren Schuster. She responded by saying that she tries to blend in.
“Do you do background research on all of your articles?” was a question asked by Megan Buck. Stacey explained how she does background research on all of her topics so she knows as much information as possible. “Do you have a writing partner?” asked Maggie Mitchell. Stacey grinned as she told the class that she works alone. “What are some of the writing techniques that you use when writing an article?” was a question from Brendan Devine. Stacey stated that the process comes from researching, listening to the tapes of the interview, typing out notes, and putting it into a Word document. It is a little like putting a puzzle together.
Who edits your work?” was a question from Emily Scimeca. She described how the paper goes back and forth from an editor in Connecticut back to her home in California, and it keeps going until it is perfected. “Who was the most famous person you have interviewed?” was a question asked by Blake Cheney. Stacey replied probably Koby Bryant or LeBron James. “What’s your favorite sport to write about?” asked Vince Camera. She answered football and baseball. These are a few of the question asked during the interview.
“What advice do you have for these young writers?” our teacher, Susan Tamagni, asked. Stacey replied, to read a lot: blogs, and current events, anything that interests you. You should use the web a lot, and the writing is sometimes hard. It’s like a puzzle with information that you have to piece together. “Read, read, read,” were the wise words from Stacey Pressman. We enjoyed Skyping with Stacey and hope to do it again soon.