At our June BDWN meeting, Michael B. Kaminski, publisher of WOMAN Magazine, will educate writers on how to write for a publication with a purpose, focusing on the creation, mission and purpose of his magazine. He will explain what he looks for in potential writers and what makes a good and a bad pitch.
WOMAN Magazine works to empower, enrich, enhance and enlighten all women with articles highlighting local women making a difference and changing lives. The publication is an extension of the Sharon Fisher Bassett Memorial Fund on community awareness of domestic violence, sexual abuse, eating disorders and basic equal rights for women.
Kaminski, creator and former publisher of The One Magazine to the arts and entertainment, holds a master’s degree in divinity/theology with a minor in psychology and undergrad degrees in political science and criminal justice. At present, he is writing children’s and historical fiction books. Mike chatted with us about his publication, his cause, and his wildly varied professional background.
BDWN: Thanks for speaking with us, Mike! You’ve worn a number of “hats” professionally. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the jobs you’ve held?
MIKE: Before beginning WOMAN magazine, I created another magazine. THE ONE Magazine of the Arts and Entertainment. I have been an ordained minister since 1989. After ordination, I worked in parish ministry full time for about a year and a half. Then I went to work with Northumberland County Human Services as a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist. After about a year and a half, I resigned and started my own counseling agency.
Prior to seminary, I had a private investigative agency in Baltimore for five years. Before the P I work, I was a police officer in Baltimore for six years. The last 3 and 1/2 years as a police officer I worked undercover in organized crime, narcotics and vice investigations.
I also worked for the Bureau of Customs in Washington, D.C. as a graphic art illustrator prior the becoming a police officer. However, my first real job was in the Air Force. That experience took me from Washington, D.C. to Southeast Asia and Vietnam.
BDWN: Can you tell us about the Sharon Fisher Bassett Memorial Fund? How does the Fund and WOMAN Magazine work together?
MIKE: I created The Sharon Fisher Bassett Memorial Fund shortly after my wife, Sharon, died in April of 2005. Originally, it was established to work with community education and awareness of domestic violence, sexual abuse and related eating disorders. Sharon has a very bad first marriage and she became very anorexic as a result of the psychological, mental, sexual and physical abuse. When I created WOMAN Magazine, I also expanded the mission and goals of the memorial fund to include gender bias and inequality, gender discrimination, cultural stereotyping of women of different races and sexism in the workplace. The primary goals of both the memorial fund and the magazine is to empower, encourage, enrich, enlighten all women. Please go to www.aroseforsharon.com to learn more about the memorial fund. WOMAN Magazine is an extension of The Sharon Fisher Bassett Memorial Fund.
BDWN: Tell us about the kinds of stories best suited for WOMAN Magazine. Are you currently looking for writers?
MIKE: All articles and stories that go into the magazine are focused on empowerment, enrichment, enlightenment, encouragement, education and information to women. I am always looking for stories of women and by women who have succeeded in life and who have overcome obstacles. The articles and stories should be about local woman making a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. I am always looking for contributions by writers. However, I cannot pay writers at this time for their articles.
BDWN: What's next for you?
MIKE: I just finished the first draft of a children's book. I am beginning another book about my work as a chaplain of a gentlemen's club. Eventually, I will write a book about Sharon's story and incorporate most of the stories and interviews we have collected from the women in the past years who have talked to us about their healing from domestic violence and sexual abuse. Finally I will complete my book about my life undercover in organized crime and drug groups.