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Dispatches From Israel


While working on my MSJ, I won a scholarship to do my journalism internship overseas. Through the kind support of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and Mrs. Shirley Fleischer, I interned at a news bureau in Jerusalem, Israel, during 2006.

To see what mischief I got up to in the Holy Land, click on the links below.


Dispatch One: Welcome to Israel (March 6, 2006)
Dispatch Two: I start work (March 13, 2006)
Dispatch Three: Out and About (March 25, 2006)
Read Laura's article: April 15

What's a nice novelist like me doing in a place like this?


Some people, both here and back home, have asked what on earth I'm doing on a journalism internship in Israel.

Is this a career change? Did I quit fiction? Have I gone insane?

No. No. And, not yet (but the night is young).


I woke up one day and realized, "Wait a minute. I'm a full-time, self-supporting career novelist. I have no other viable professional background, and I don't have any relatives about to die and leave me a fortune."

In other words, I belong to one of the most unstable, unreliable professions in the world, and I had no back-up plan. Once I noticed this, I decided to do something about it. Because, as Hemingway once said, writing for a living makes horse-racing seem like a stable, solid business.


So I decided to go get a master's degree in journalism, to expand my skills, opportunities, and résumé for writing fields besides fiction. I also wanted to earn a degree (the master's) that would potentially qualify me for some academic positions.

I attended the EW Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. And since experience is the best teacher, I applied for one of the overseas internship scholarships that's available via an endowment there. I chose to come to Israel because it's a very busy place, in terms of news, and I gathered from various advisors I consulted that I'd get more experience packed into an internship here than almost anywhere else. And after a few weeks on the job here, this seems to be true.

My decision is something that most freelancers readily understand; but many other people live stable, salaried lives and are unaware of just how unstable even a fairly successful fiction career is. So a number of people have wondered what on earth a nice novelist like me was doing in graduate school, and what I'm doing on a journalism internship in Israel now.


Meanwhile, I have novels under contract and I'm working on them while I'm in Israel. As a quick tour of my website will reveal, I'm also still writing short fiction and essays for various editors with whom I have longtime associations. My fiction career continues at a healthy pace, and I look forward to its next few stages!

Laura Resnick
March 2006