Adventures in Newspapering

It is not scary, as an editor, to get a story pitch from a 17-year-old. After all, it's incredibly easy to say no; that's the answer given to the vast majority of story pitches anyway.

But it is scary, as an editor, to get a really good story pitch from a 17-year-old.

That's the situation I found myself in a couple of months ago, when Brandon Kosters shared his story with me. In every way, it was compellingÑhow often do teenagers drop everything to run off to a disaster-relief effort after being offered a bus ticket by a stranger? Not very often.

Brandon's first draft of this piece was more than 2 1/2 times the size of the version running this week. But after going through several story drafts, a meeting at Epic Café and countless back-and-forth e-mails, I am quite happy with what Brandon came up with. Be sure to check it out.

· Be sure to also check out our Winter Yum! dining guide, in this here issue. It's chock full of wonderful featuresÑand topped off with our A-to-Z Chow Scan listings. It's a keeper. LiterallyÑI recommend holding on to it for reference until our Summer Yum! Throw one in your car, and I promise you it'll come in handy one night when you're looking for a place to eat.

· This is your last chance to submit any reader rants that you'd like to share in the Weekly. The deadline for them to reach Weekly World Central via either snail mail or e-mail is Monday, Feb. 13. (Don't forget to include your phone number for verification purposes.) We've received some fantastic rants (and some, um, strange ones) so far. Check 'em out in the Rant Issue, scheduled to hit the streets on Feb. 23.