Volunteer for The Real Dirt Newsletter or Help with this Website

The Real Dirt

An easy way to add volunteer hours is writing for The Real Dirt, the online newsletter for the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan (MGANM). The Real Dirt newsletter is always looking for contributors and there is never any pressure.  You contribute an article that interests you and you do not need to write for each edition.  The Real Dirt is a bi-monthly publication…January, March, May, July, September, and November.

At least a month in advance of each edition, you will be provided a list of possible topics. Of course, you are always welcome to suggest your own ideas. You might want to write about the tree, shrub, or bulbs you planted. You might want to write about the trouble you are having with one of your indoor plants and the steps you took to address and correct the problem. Did you go to the library, or search online to see what others are saying? Where did you get your information? Share with us what you found; keeping it science based. You can write about anything and everything that is plant, yard, or garden related. The articles are generally relevant to the current time of year, and if your article is better suited to a later edition it will be put in a file for future editions.  There is already a file for both articles and topics for future editions, so please feel free to share what you have at any time.  It is always a good time to write when the writing muse speaks!

Remember, you do not need to be the best writer to share a story or some insight into a topic that other Master Gardeners might find beneficial. Just do your best. If it needs a little sprucing up, the contributor group will take care of it! All articles will be sent back to the group for final editing, plus we have a couple of professional editors in the group.

There are 4 categories that the MGANM writing group has chosen to focus on when writing articles.  These are: Serve, Beautify, Nourish, and Steward/IPM.  The goal is to have articles for each category, however, we know that may not always be possible for each edition.

Once you have a topic in mind, please send your selection choice to realdirt.newsletter@gmail.com to prevent topic overlap. You can even share a topic and write together with someone. Sometimes 2 people have information on a topic and a collaboration can make a wonderful article. It is best to have all articles submitted by the 15th of the month before the newsletter date. As the articles come back, they will be editorially checked and then sent back out to the group for everyone’s review. We want to go by the adage, “two heads are better than one” since there are all levels of knowledge in this group.  Keep in mind that edits are not personal, but for the good of the readership and to make a great article an even better article.  I do not think I have ever read a book where the editor and proofreaders are not thanked by the author.

Please remember that contributing need not be a burden, but a fun and creative outlet for your talents.   Some on the writing group submit every edition or just take a break until they want to write again. Besides educating the newsletter readership you earn volunteer hours for doing your research and writing.

MGANM Website

Do you have technical website knowledge? You can earn volunteer hours helping with the maintenance of the MGANM website. The website is built using WordPress site builder. If you have knowledge of WordPress, HTML, Google Analytics, or any website experience, you can use that knowledge to earn your volunteer hours. We need your help and knowledge.  Please consider helping us.

If you are interested or have further questions, please email info@mganm.org.

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