Each week, a CWILL BC member offers a tip about writing or illustrating, the creative process, or getting published.
I just had a piece published in the Honolulu Advertiser (Jan 17, 2010 paper). I found a really cool story that no one had ever written about on the big island of Hawaii. I tracked down the sources, interviewed them, took some photos and sent it in to the paper. They published it on their web site and said it was so well written that they were going to put it in the paper.
Newspapers are looking for content and don’t want to pay much. If you can get a story or blurb onto their web site, and then into print, then you can use this in your portfolio, especially if you have a slim portfolio. It shows your writing style, and versatility. And if you want a traditional publisher to look at your work, it shows you have initiative.