· Veronica Coons ·
Veronica Coons, journalist at the Great Bend Tribune is a talented writer who has recently joined the Kansas Authors Club. That’s how I met her.
I figured anyone who has such a high visibility job isn’t too likely to be hiding from social media. Sure enough, I learned a lot about her before ever meeting her in person.
If you weren’t born in Kansas you’re a transplant. Like me, Coons grew up in an urban area but found joy in rural America. In one of her posts she shared a memory of delivering newspapers. How cool is that? From newspaper delivery girl to area reporter!
“I grew up on the North Denver Tribune. Delivering it was my first job. I was about 10, hand delivering door to door in the neighborhood I lived in. We would drive to the locksmith shop each week and pick up our bundle, and then my brother and I took as big of stacks as we could handle and headed out, stopping back home once or twice until they were all gone. We got paid weekly and we learned to work. I’ll miss Mom saving an edition for me to read when I came back to visit. Change is inevitable, I know, but some change is sad.” (Note: Sad is in reference to the Denver paper going out of business.)
I wondered how long Coons had lived in Kansas and I was curious about how she got started as a reporter.
With three kids at home Coons had been freelancing articles to an almost-local weekly.
“They wanted me to cover city council and school board meetings at a nearby town, so I did. Dan Thalman at the Washington County News was the first editor to take a chance on me. That summer, I worked at it, and I applied for part-time reporter positions at other local papers. I ended up landing a part-time reporter position at the Belleville Telescope. I eventually became full time, and then the position at the Great Bend Tribune opened up (2012), and I went from working for a weekly to a daily, and eventually became a pretty decent and reputable feature and beat reporter. For the past three years, I’ve been writing content for two of our magazines, Inspire Women’s Health and Senior Active Living.
Coons understands the value of local voices and local issues. She’s passionate about reporting for the Tribune. http://www.gbtribune.com
“I love to interview people around me who are making a difference in the lives of others close to them, who struggle with the issues rural America is facing, and come up with unique solutions that are unlike those found in metropolitan areas. So often, organization and bureaucracy get in the way of solutions in highly populated areas, but here, in rural Kansas, passion finds fewer obstacles, more freedom, and passes unimpeded between people of different ages, education and means. It’s exciting to follow a story from its unlikely start to a remarkable finish.”
Besides countless articles and interviews, Coons has written an unpublished novel. She’s a big fan of Cathy Yardley, and has been outlining some ideas and has written a few chapters of a novel that is too early to share. Her future goals include completing some manuscripts, probably chic lit, but possibly romance.
Please help me welcome Veronica Coons to the Kansas Authors Club. She’s a remarkable story teller and a valuable resource. One day she may look back at her newspaper career and write a memoir, but for now she’s actively writing stories that must be told.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!
The Kansas Authors Club http://www.kansasauthors.org is a statewide organization that encourages and supports great writing. It’s divided into seven districts. In Hutchinson, Reno County, (part of District 6) we have monthly meetings at Hutchinson Community College http://www.hutchcc.edu.