Monica Eng is a writer and reporter at WBEZ – Chicago Public Radio whose work often focuses on food, health, and agriculture. She hosts Chewing the Fat, WBEZ’s food podcast, and has previously worked at the Chicago Tribune. She will moderate the “Breaking into Newspaper and Magazine Writing” panel at CWC 2015.
What does a day of work look like for you? What’s your process?
I look at the news, at story pitches and talk to people and decide what kind of things I’d like to cover. Once I have chosen a subject I may be out interviewing people, going over tape of them and then figuring out a skeleton of a story based on what they told me and what I’m learning in my reporting.
Once the script or story is done, my editor looks at it, we go back and forth on changes and we either record it or put it up online.
What has been the biggest help (a piece of advice, a mentor, a particular residency) for your career?
Write like you are telling a friend a story and the tone will come to you.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in writing?
It’s just always been the way I’ve been most comfortable expressing myself and I like to tell people stories.
Why attend the Chicago Writers Conference?
We can get so caught up in our particular projects that it’s hard to remember that many people are going through the same problems we are. This gives us a chance to understand the collective issues of our professions and help each other out and remember that we are a community.