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Medium Writers Newsletter: Writing tips, updates, and spotlights

Illustration: Kawandeep Virdee

Updates from Medium

“We’ve had a busy summer,” writes Ev Williams, CEO at Medium, before highlighting recent product updates and sharing upcoming features including custom domains and new profiles. Looking at the bigger picture, it’s about sharing compelling ideas and deepening our understanding of the world: “[Medium] is perhaps the only place where someone with no industry connections, no investment, no social followers, and no technical or marketing expertise can show up and offer a story or idea to the world that finds an audience of thousands or even millions of people.” Read the full story at “What’s Around the Corner for Medium.”

You own all the content you post on Medium

We recently updated our Terms of Service on Medium. We published a post clarifying what it means to you, but the simple language is:

  • We do not, and will not, sell your content or information. Ever.

New topics announcement: Nonfiction and Astrology

The topics on Medium are regularly reviewed and updated, based on a variety of factors including what we’re seeing published across the platform and what we see readers interested in. A couple new topics were introduced this past month.

How should I edit my own writing?

A crucial step to improve the quality of your writing is editing your story. Slackjaw Editor Alex Baia shares a series of questions to facilitate your story self-editing in a Q&A with The Writing Cooperative. Take the questions and go deep on a story, paragraph, and sentence level. “Self-editing is a tough but necessary skill,” Baia notes, “But that doesn’t mean you can always hit a home run on your own. I have made my writing immeasurably better with the feedback of writing buddies, writing groups, teachers and mentors, and even random people sitting next to me in a coffee shop.” Check out the story to see the full set of questions to guide your edits in “Editors Explain: What Should I Look for When Editing My Own Writing?” and check out the full Ask the Editors series.

Story spotlights on the platform

Medium editors are on the lookout for great stories published on the platform and work with the authors to edit and produce the stories. What makes a story resonate? There’s a variety of reasons — read more to learn what the platform editors found compelling about these stories in particular.

A Supercomputer’s Covid-19 Analysis Yields a New Way to Understand the Virus” by Thomas Smith

In the midst of a devastating pandemic and the unfolding story of a confounding, deadly virus, there is rarely cause for excitement. This story was an exception. Tom has written for OneZero and once previously for Elemental — but this was our first opportunity to work together. The piece details a new theory (which emerged as a result of a supercomputer’s analysis of patient data) about how Covid-19 impacts the body. To responsibly tell the story of a promising new framework for understanding the coronavirus of course requires extreme caution — so as to guarantee that we’re not forwarding unfounded assumptions or promising solutions to the world’s most acute problem. Thomas delivered on that while also putting enthusiasm, time, and energy into spreading the fascinating news. The story invited a huge tide of readers — which is always fun to see.

August earnings payouts

By the 8th of each month (so in this case September 8), we initiate the payments for the prior month’s earnings. Please allow 3–7 business days to receive the August earnings payouts in your Stripe account. Based on member engagement from this period:

  • 6.2% of active writers earned over $100.
  • $49,581.31 was the most earned by a writer, and $9,958.82 was the most earned for a single story.

Words to write by

Last month we included a feature of LEVEL’s 40 over 40 in hip-hop series. If you scrolled through to the #1, you’ll find Jay-Z. In this month’s writing inspiration, Genius Turner looks at what we can learn from Jay-Z in “How Jay-Z Can Help to Improve Your Writing.”

Tips, tricks, and tools for Medium creators