Writing about writing: Splitting a story

The latest installment of a series on writing about the articles I write for the Wire. You can read the first one here.

My last assignment was to write about adult education in the Seacoast. Our area happens to have a lot of great adult education courses, especially in Kittery, ME, and Dover, NH. I was excited to do this–I had fun taking a cooking class through Dover’s adult ed a couple years ago, and was eager to sign up for Ladies’ Night Out/learn to fix your car class.

Unfortunately, the class was cancelled. I ended up sitting in on a computers for novices class, which was also great.

In the course of reading online about adult ed (I just Googled “adult ed” and used Google News to find other articles about it), I discovered that the GED is changing in January. This led me ask some of the teachers I interviewed about it, and then I called up the GED testing service to confirm what they told me about rising cost, difficulty, and other things.

Turns out the GED is sold to states, who set the price themselves. I called the NH department of education to confirm the new price, and found out–wait for it–NH isn’t going to use the GED next year. They’ve adopted a new test.

This is a scoop! What started as a mildly wild goose chase ended in a new story. After some back and forth with my editor, we agreed to split the original story in two. This meant I didn’t have to scrap my original research on adult enrichment courses (like cooking and car maintenance) and allowed me to go more in-depth into the GED issue. You can read the enrichment article here and the GED article here. A win-win (-win, because adult ed wins too!).

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