Have you ever wondered just where your Manship School degree might take you? For Lindsey Duga, a 2012 advertising graduate and account manager for the digital advertising agency Gatorworks, the writing skills she honed during her time at the Manship School have helped her become a published novelist.
“I chose the Manship School because I was extremely impressed by the writing curriculum,” she said during a class visit to public relations instructor Doug Draper’s public relations writing class Thursday morning.
In her day job as account manager at Gatorworks, Duga stressed the importance of keeping up with the constant changes in the digital advertising industry.
“It’s such a fast-paced field. Google is constantly changing the rules for how content displays in their searches, and that has important consequences for how our clients appear online,” she said.
While Duga loves her role in digital advertising, her favorite writing outlet takes the form of fiction books for young adults and middle-grade kids, who range in age from eight to twelve years old. She writes 2-3 novels per year, she said, and has sold several to established publishing houses. Kiss of the Royal, a young adult fantasy romance, was released by Entangled Teen publishing house in July.
Besides her writing skills, Duga attributes her success as a novelist to her ability to give a powerful “elevator pitch.” Although not a journalist, Duga said learning about the inverted pyramid structure, a traditional journalistic way to organize information, at the Manship School helped her to develop this skill.
“I’m better at pitching books than others because I know how to get to the most important information first. The origins of that came from the Manship School,” she said.
Duga said she has a 100% success rate with these pitches: to date, every agent or editor in her target genre has asked her for pages from the book she pitched them. However, she notes that the publishing world can be tough, and persistence is essential to succeed.
“Kiss of the Royal went through about 100 rejections from different publishers before it got published,” she said. “You do have to grow a thick skin.”
Duga left the class with one key piece of advice for current Manship School students.
“Learn to love writing because it’s literally everywhere. Anything you can do with writing is extremely important,” she said.
You can find out more about Duga on her website, LindseyDuga.com.
Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta