When I was in the process of quitting full-time work back in 2000, I started doing some freelancing for Connect Savannah, which at the time existed as a weekly broadsheet. I was also doing some work for Contents Magazine here in Savannah, including a lengthy interview with actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers that I published here at Savannah Unplugged a few weeks ago. I also interviewed director George C. Wolfe for aRUDE magazine, but issues that far back haven’t appeared online yet.
After I interviewed Eartha Kitt for Connect (also not online, apparently), editor Peter Jackson asked if I could start writing a weekly column about goings-on about town. By the end of 2000, I was writing City Talk for the Savannah Morning News, as well as doing other freelance pieces for the paper.
And then I started getting more and more work teaching at Armstrong Atlantic State University, which eventually developed into a fulltime job.
So I’ve led sort of a charmed life as a freelance writer: I went from doing a smattering of newspaper and magazine pieces right into having a regular column at the daily newspaper in one of America’s most interesting small cities.
And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about my writing career.
The long and the short of it is that it has been a long time since I’ve done significant freelance work beyond my City Talk and Man About Town columns.
Until a couple months ago, when Rachel Bailey — the associate editor of Georgia Music Magazine — contacted me via Facebook about doing some freelance work on the Savannah music scene. For the winter 2013 issue, I wrote an almost-1000 word feature on the upcoming Savannah Stopover and a 200-word piece on The Jinx owner Susanne Guest Warnekros. I also shot Susanne for the magazine’s annual special section on Georgia music industry insiders.
I’ll confess that Georgia Music Magazine, which is a product of the nonprofit Georgia Music Foundation, hadn’t really been on my sprawling media radar screen, and I’m not sure Savannah has been consistently on GMM‘s radar screen either. Four hours from the busy, overwhelming Atlanta scene and almost as far from the legendary Athens scene, Savannah has sometimes been an island of its own.
I finally picked up a hard copy of the latest issue of Georgia Music Magazine on Friday night at the Stopover’s temporary storefront on Broughton Street. It’s an impressive magazine. Nicely designed, with good photos and something for a wide range of tastes. Rachel Bailey’s cover story is about country star Dallas Davidson but there’s lots more. Only some of the content is available online, but the postings give a good glimpse of the magazine’s diversity.
My piece about the Stopover wasn’t the most exciting writing that I’ve done — I felt like a large number of readers needed considerable background on the festival. But I was fairly happy with how it reads; you can see an image of the spread with great photos from the 2012 Stopover by Geoff L. Johnson and Matthew McCully in this post. You can peruse a copy of the magazine for yourself at the Stopover office on Broughton or at Barnes & Noble — or you can order one here. In addition to my Stopover piece, there’s a full page preview of the Savannah Music Festival and plenty of other items of interest.
I sent 7 shots of Susanne from The Jinx. The editors chose one of my least favorites, but I wouldn’t have sent it if I didn’t think it would work. Here are a couple of the other photos I submitted, with the understanding they’d likely be cropped or that text might appear over part of the pic.