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Get Out' Sprang From An Effort To Master Fear, Says Director. - NPR (Whether it's called narrative nonfiction, literary nonfiction, long-form journalism, creative nonfiction, or narrative journalism true stories, well-written and compelling) What is narrative nonfiction? Conferences on narrative nonfiction/​longform journalism Reports from conferences Story structure and storytelling Books on the craft of narrative nonfiction Good explanations and narrative nonfiction resources Outstanding narrative nonfiction books Anthologies of short creative nonfiction Publication and sites that feature narrative nonfiction E-singles, long-form journalism, and "read later" bookmarking systems About audio narrative (including digital and radio storytelling) Multimedia journalism and storytelling Personal storytelling venues Online venues for true stories and narrative nonfiction The Moth Online examples of excellent storytelling Other venues for stories told aloud to a live audience Paris Review interviews with nonfiction authors Why's This So Good? (Nieman Storyboard on why the classic narrative nonfiction stories work) Excellent online examples of narrative journalism Accuracy, honesty, and truth in narrative nonfiction Characters in narrative nonfiction Narrative nonfiction goes under many names, including creative nonfiction, literary journalism, and fact-based storytelling. In short form, it's an alternative to the traditional newspaper pyramid structure (in which, if you lopped off the bottom part of the story, the reader would still have all the key information). With narrative nonfiction you don't present the main point in the first paragraphcompelling narrative keeps the reader reading to find out what happens, and the journey to the epiphany is half the point. Narrative nonfiction--joining good research with compelling, character-driven storytelling--reads like a novel. "Creative nonfiction" is misleading in that it implies the facts can be made up. You stick to the truth--the storytelling is fact-based--but you adapt some of the features of fiction (creating a narrative persona, setting scenes, presenting interesting characters, creating the look and feel of a setting, telling a story) to the purposes of journalism. Basically, it's fact-based storytelling that makes people want to keep reading. Forms of creative nonfiction include literary journalism, the memoir, the lyric essay, the prose poem, and the nonfiction short. The Nieman Narrative Digest (see links below) provides links to many excellent newspaper series that take advantage of the form. Among magazines, you can find excellent examples of narrative nonfiction in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Points of Entry, and River Teeth. After a series of links here you will find a list of classic book-length narrative nonfiction, followed by links to a few exceptionally good short narratives or newspaper series readable online. 8, 2014 --The Berkeley Narrative Journalism Conference, cosponsored by ASJA Educational Foundation), this new conference brings top editors and writers to Berkeley for a daylong exploration of nonfiction storytelling. The Mayborn literary nonfiction conference (Grapevine, Texas) The Power of Narrative Conference has convened in several places under several names since its founding at Boston University in 1998. Attendance is limited to 75 writers; experience (in any genre) a must. See An intimate new narrative conference, Cali style (Paige Williams, Nieman Storyboard, 6-6-14) Vanity Fairs Bryan Burrough on writing narrative: people are dying to put down your article . (Andrea Pitzer's Nieman Storyboard report from Mayborn Conference, 8-6-10). "Theres only one way I know to get people to the end of the story... There has to be a holdback." Narrative nonfiction events and conferencesis there something here for you? (Andrea Pitzer, Nieman Storyboard, 2-22-10) Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference (this link changes often--just google the name of the conference, if this one doesn't work) Learning to Listen (Gina Kolata interviews Rita Charon on narrative medicine program at Columbia, NY Times, 12-29-09) See also Writers conferences, workshops, and other learning places (a separate page on Writers and Editors) Nieman Narrative Conference Three threats to narrative journalism that New York Times editor Bill Killer is not buying (Beth Macy, 4-27-10, reporting on Keller's talk at Nieman Narrative conference) Tips from Nieman Narrative: What Works for Readers, Editors & Sources (Bill Kirtz, Poynter) Nieman Narrations: Tips and Tales from Top Storytellers (Bill Kirtz, Poynter, 3-17-08) Tips and Tales from Some of the Best in the Business (Bll Kirtz on Nieman 2006, 11-20-06, updated 3-3-11) Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference(Grapevine, Texas, July) As experienced by Sam Eifling and described in I Heard It While in Grapevine (Columbia Journalism Review, 7-28-09) Mark Bowden on the value of beginners mind. Andrea Pitzer's Nieman Storyboard report from the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. Bowden is the author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War Narrative tips for nonfiction writers: more from the 2010 Mayborn Conference (Tom Huang, 7-28-10) Colin Harrison and Sam Gwynne on the editor-writer partnership, going deep and the difference between a subject and a story Boston University (BUniverse) talks on narrative nonfiction, many of them from the 2012 Narrative Arc conference (videotapes): 300 Little Words: How to Write Narrative Short and Good (Roy Peter Clark's talk, which starts at about minute 9 or 10) What It Takes: Getting Stories Told in the New World of Narrative Nonfiction (panelists Ken Auletta, Jill Abramson, Hampton Sides, Amanda Urban, and John Stauffer discuss what it takes to be a long-form narrative nonfiction writer in todays fast-evolving technological world) Clearing Space for the Agenda: Setting Narrative in Digital Journalism (Dean Sparkman) Jill Abramson: The Power of Narrative The Moth & Friends: The Rise of Stories Out Loud (Jay Allison, independent broadcast journalist, curator and producer of The Moth Radio Hour) Beyond the "Like" Button: Digitally Addictive Storytelling and the Brain (Amy OLeary, a news editor and multimedia producer for The New York Times) Reaching New Audiences with Digital Devices (Jill Abramson, Managing Editor for the New York Times) The Power of Narrative: The Rebirth of Storytelling (about storytelling in all kinds of media, on all kinds of platforms--held at Boston University). Cousin of the now-suspended Nieman Narrative Nonfiction conference. Here's one participant's reports: 10 Highlights from #BUNarrative (Susan Johnston, The Urban Muse, 4-10-13). Susan also posted: Star-Tribs Laurie Hertzel at #BUNarrative: Write with a camera angle (on E-byline's The News Hook, 4-9-13) And here's a story about one keynote talk at the conference (also with video: Dean Starkman on the Confidence Game , in which he emphasizes that story is not everything; in the story about Enron, for example, journalists should have been thinking more about the numbers. Power of Narrative Conference 2013 Tips from Power of Narrative Conference 2013, in Boston Star-Tribs Laurie Hertzel at #BUNarrative: Write with a camera angle 10 Highlights from #BUNarrative (Susan Johnston, The Urban Muse, 4-10-13). Plus a bit about Barney Frank asking why the press has become so negative and adversarial. Avoiding story killers, finding genius moves with NYTs OLeary at #BUNarrative (Susan Johnston, The News Hook, E-byline, 4-9-13) More reports and stories from various conferences Mary Karr on truth: the least of my problems as a memoirist, as a writer, is getting my facts right (Mary Karr at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, 2010, as posted on Nieman Storyboard) Narrative tips for nonfiction writers: more from the 2010 Mayborn Conference (Tom Huang, Nieman Storyboard, 7-28-10) From research to story. On Nieman Storyboard, Andrea Pitzer presents excerpts from presentations at the BIO (biographers) conference 2011 by Anne Conover Heller (author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made), John Aloysius Farrell (author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned), and Jane Leavy (author of biographies of Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle). The final quote sent me (clearly square) to Wikipedia. The future of long-form narrative by Gerry Marzorati, the NY Times Magazine editor's keynote address at the 2009 CASE Editors' Forum Gary Smith on intimacy and connecting with subjects (Any uneasiness you bring is going to cost you dearly," says the writer from Sports Illustrated). Andrea Pitzer, for Nieman Storyboard, reporting on the Mayborn Conference. 4 is] a well-wrought road map to navigating the twists and turns, thrills and pitfalls, and joys and sorrows of the writer's journey." ―Donna Marie Smith, Library Journal The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism , ed. Helpful tips from a Harvard writers conference (Livia Blackburn's blog, A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing) The Storytellers Summit blog . Kevin Kerrane and Ben Yagoda The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing, by Francis Flaherty (excellent short takes on the architecture, bones, & tendrils of story and character development, especially for journalism) Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction by James Stewart To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, by Janet Burroway Now Write! You can watch videos of great talks from this conference held at the University of Florida in 2010: Roy Peter Clark, Andrea Billups, David Finkel, Ellis Amburn, Lane De Gregory, Keith Sykes & Tom Corcoran, Liz Balmaseda & Fabiola Santiago, Tom French, and three biographers: John Capouya, William Mc Keen & Ellis Amburn. With humor and aplomb, he recalls anecdotes about how he approached a story: from interviewing and reporting to drafting and revising, to working with editors and publishers . Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers ed. Clicking on a title/​link will take you to the page for the title, where you'll find information about the book. "Mc Phee has set the standard for the genre of creative nonfiction . by Sherry Ellis (writing exercises of masters of creative nonfiction) Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth, ed. Any purchase you make after following such a link will bring a small commission to this site (which helps support the cost of providing it). Bill Roorbach (anthology that brings together examples of all three of the main forms in the genre: the literary memoir, the personal essay, and literary journalism) Intimate Journalism: The Art and Craft of Reporting Everyday Life, ed. Walt Harrington The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction: How to Write and Sell the Novel of True Events by Peter Rubie (published in an earlier version as "Telling the Story: How to Write and Sell Narrative Nonfiction") Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction , by Lee Gutkind (less practically helpful than other books listed here) Literary Journalism, ed. Norman Sims and Mark Kramer Literary Nonfiction: Learning by Example, ed. Patsy Sims The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing, ed. Alice La Plante (how writers create -- for serious writing students and teachers) The New New Journalism: Conversations with America's Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft by Robert Boynton Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, ed. (Read online Listen (Jay Alison, Afterword to the book). See also: Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production by Jonathan Kern The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers, edited by Dinty W. Moore (a handbook on the brief essay form) The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrativeby Vivian Gornick (a slim book about writing essays and memoirs, with examples from other writers. Writes Gornick: "Memoir isn't what happened but what the writer makes of what happened.") Story Building: Narrative Techniques for News and Feature Writers by Ndaeyo Uko Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction by Jack Hart. An excellent book on the craft of short narrative nonfiction from the former managing editor of the Oregonian, who guided several Pulitzer Prizewinning narratives to publication. Jack Hart was hands-down the best narrative editor ever to work in newspapers, writes Jon Franklin Telling the Story : How to Write and Sell Narrative Nonfiction by Peter Rubie (a solidly practical book to how to write a narrative nonfiction BOOK and the book proposal that will land an agent to sell it to a publisher, by a former literary agent) Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, ed. Mark Kramer, Wendy Call (an excellent guide) Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola. See especially A Braided Heart: Shaping the Lyric Essay by Brenda Miller The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Dennis O'Neil To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction by Connie D. Griffin (students like the personal essays that reveal the writers' internal processes) Writing a Book That Makes a Difference by Philip Gerard (principles that apply to both fiction and nonfiction--books that are memorable and change people's lives) Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin. A classic guide to identifying the conflict-resolution outline (conflict, rising action, climax, denouement) that makes for a good story and helps you "write smarter." Writing Creative Nonfiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs, ed. Carolyn Forche and Philip Gerard Some works aimed at fiction or screen writers may also be useful to writers of narrative nonfiction: The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, by John Gardner The Passionate, Accurate Story: Making Your Heart's Truth into Literature, by Carol Bly (you'll have to buy used copies as it's out of print) The Screenwriter's Workbook, by Syd Field Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew,by Ursula K. Le Guin Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert Mc Kee The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction--from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between, ed. Lee Gutkind Tom Wolfe's mid-century anthology, The New Journalism, is out of print but available as used books. As one reviewer observes: "The predictions in Wolfe's manifesto haven't panned out as pervasively as he expected - if anything, today's writerly writers, by and large, are more gimmicky, narcissistic and insulated than ever - but that's capital-L Literature's loss, and the night is young." Can narrative journalism overcome the political divide? (Danny Funt, Chava Gourarie, and Jack Murtha, series In Brands We Trust? , Columbia Journalism Review, 6-30-16) Traditional magazines no longer have a monopoly over longform journalism. With so many players in the game, how do readers decide which stories to trust? We conducted a study to find out."Were all familiar with suspension of disbelief in fiction. For the duration of a movie or a book chapter, we agree to live in a world where weve colonized space, dogs can talk, or a boy with Muggle blood can save the world. Our study suggests that this same principle extends to longform nonfiction stories that bend the rules, not of the physical world, but of our political worldviews. If its gripping enough, were willing to suspend judgement, if only for a little while." Why we trust, and why thats changing online (In Brands We Trust? series, Danny Funt, Chava Gourarie, and Jack Murtha, CJR, 6-17-16) "An experiment initiated by the George T. Delacorte Center and carried out by CJRs three Delacorte fellows sought to learn how much weight readers give to a publications brand when evaluating a storys credibility. The term magazine today is less descriptive of a particular medium than of an intimate and immersive relationship between a publication and its audience. When people read individual articles online without first encountering a print cover or Web homepageor making a purchaseits worth exploring to what extent that sort of relationship survives.... When readers spent longer on a story, brands mattered less.... Brands are essential to journalism in part because evidence suggests that consumers are inept judges of quality.... News consumers are investing their time, if not their money, and they reward an efficient experience with more of their attention.... Online, design is key to generating reader trust... People typically process web information in superficial ways, they concluded, adding that using peripheral cues is the rule of web use, not the exception.... News sites have realized the diminishing significance of their homepages; Buzz Feeds enormous success has come from embracing distributed publishing, using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to go straight to its audience...'Because The New Yorker brand hinges on high-quality journalism, the magazine has been shielded from many of the money-generating schemes that other outlets have, whether enthusiastically or reluctantly, embraced, The New York Observer noted earlier this year. We wondered how much The New Yorkers cachet raises our estimation of a piece, apart from the copys merits.' An interesting discussion in a scary time for journalism. The New Yorker, Buzz Feed, and the push for digital credibility (Danny Funt, Chava Gourarie, and Jack Murtha, CJR, 6-27-16) "This is an industry thats very much based on trust in publications and in individual journalists, and that trust is very fragile. "Although more of our subjects trusted The New Yorker than Buzz Feed, the digital native wasnt far behind. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from our study isnt that readers judged The New Yorker more credible, but that a 10-year-old website that began filling out its investigative unit less than three years ago came close to matching the clout of a 91-year-old magazine of indisputable prominence." "Groups like The Trust Project at Santa Clara University are researching how news outlets can use story-level cues, such as highlighting the authors credentials and sources, or how intensely an article was fact-checked, to boost their credibility among digital readers." What were following: truthiness in narrative. Truth in Nonfiction: A Testimonial (Dylan Nice, Rumpus Room, 7-3-12) Gay Talese and the Problem With New Journalism New Journalism has long been bedeviled by the very problem that has now entangled Talese: the tendency for fact and fiction to merge when novelistic narrative methods are applied to reporting. Since 1980, hes been researching, off and on, the life of Gerald Foos, a Colorado hotel owner who claims to have spied on his guests for decades. Taleses book on Foos, based on interviews with the hotelier and his diaries. But it turns out that Foos lied to Talese about basic parts of his story. (Lee Gutkind, Creative Nonfiction, Issue 25, 2004) "Does this sound fair, to only present one side of a complicated story? But ...[the other writers appearing in this collection] are not in any way attempting to achieve balance or objectivity. This is a significant way in which creative nonfiction differs from journalism. Subjectivity is not required in creative nonfiction, but specific, personal points of view, based on fact and conjecture, are definitely encouraged." Errol Morris v. The documentary filmmaker takes on the Jeffrey Mac Donald murder case. In his new book A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey Mac Donald, Morris addresses flaws in two well-publicized books: Fatal Vision by Joe Mc Ginnis and The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm. Error writes of Two journalistsone who betrays Mac Donald by twisting the facts and another who tells him facts dont make a difference. What a good book-group or narrative nonfiction discussion topic. Mac Donald is still in prison and someone somewhere clearly screwed up. The Lifespan of a Fact, book by John D'Agata, author, and Jim Fingal, fact checker. Stories should not only be true, they should ring true. And The Line Between Fact and Fiction revisited (Poynter, 1-8-16) Lawrence Wechsler on the Fiction of Nonfiction (transcript, On the Media, 12-24-12). A meditation on the relationship between truth and accuracy and a penetrating conversation about whether it is appropriate for a writer to substitute one for the other. On composites, not using tape recorders, and other details of media life. Mary Karr on truth: the least of my problems as a memoirist, as a writer, is getting my facts right (Mary Karr at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, 2010, as posted on Nieman Storyboard) The Line Between Fact and Fiction (Roy Peter Clark, Nieman Storyboard, 9-7-04). As Sedaris walks line between real and realish, NPR is left in the middle (Paul Farhi, Washington Post 5-13-12) 460: Retracted. Daisey and the Apple Factory (Mike Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn, which makes i Pads and other products for Apple in China), after Marketplace's China correspondent Rob Schmitz discovers fabrications. 4 important truths about Mike Daiseys lies & the way This American Life told them (Craig Silverman, Poynter, 3-19-12). Google Daisey, Glass, and This American Life and you can find dozens of analyses of this story and issue) In the Details: 'The Lifespan of a Fact'by John DAgata and Jim Fingal ( Jennifer B. Mac Donald, NYTBR, 2-21-12) The Fact-Checker Versus the Fabulist (Gideon Lewis-Kraus, NY Times Magazine 2-21-12). Codes of ethics of various journalism organizations This group of links merely skims the surface on this topic, but the principles should be clear. "An accurate statement is factually correct; a true statement, besides being accurate, should mean what it seems to mean." ~ Barbara Walraff (Copy Editor, Feb-March 2005) The Art of Listening (Henning Mankell, NY Times Sunday Book Review, 12-10-11, on what we can learn from the African storytelling tradition. One story ends: "Thats not a good way to die before youve told the end of your story. 1 (interviewed by Hilton Als) Gay Talese, The Art of Nonfiction No. 2 (interviewed by Katie Roiphe) John Mc Phee, The Art of Nonfiction No. 3 (interviewed by Peter Hessler) Janet Malcolm, The Art of Nonfiction No. 4 (interviewed by Katie Roiphe) Emmanuel Carrre, The Art of Nonfiction No. 5 (interviewed by Susannah Hunnewell) Paris Review "Writers at Work" Interviews (selections from 1953 on, a gift to the world, and with a single click you can view a manuscript page with the writer's edits) Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (one volume of many, in an excellent series) The "Basic" Plots in Literature (IPL) Breaking into Creative Nonfiction, Part 1: The Basics (Chip Scanlan, Poynter Online 4-17-03); Part 2, Getting that First Acceptance, Assignment Bruce Dobler's Creative Nonfiction Compendium (with reading list and notes, thanks to the Wayback Machine! ) Byliner, stories about and reactions to: Byliner: The Pandora of Nonfiction Reading Adam Clark Estes (The Atlantic, 6-21-11). In this "pro" article, Estes calls Byliner "a discovery engine for the best long form nonfiction writing... Imagine an aggregator like Arts & Letters Daily meets Google News and has a beautifully designed baby." Byliner Sure Is Slick, But Is It Also Stealing? Adam Clark Estes (The Atlantic, 6-22-11) Byliner CEO excited about opportunity to discover some great writers (Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter Online, 6-21-11) "When deciding whether to start another book or write magazine stories, [CEO and founder John Tayman] began exploring the space between magazines and books." From Wife-Swapping to Spelunking to Princess Di: Byliner Is What It Promised To Be--"the most viable marriage yet between widespread deep-reading and the Internet browser." (Michael Humphrey, Forbes 7-1-11). Byliner Rolls The Dice On Long-Form (Bill Barol, 6-23-11). "It isnt limiting itself to curation and aggregation...there are Byliner Originals in ebook form..." "Read-later capability is limited at the moment to the Read It Later service..." Byliner aims for the space between books and magazines (Steve Meyers, Poynter 4-20-11) Can We Humanize the Web? (Wall Street Journal, Marvels, 12-31-11) CBC Dispatches, Part 1: Sounding out your story. Nieman Storyboard features best tips from the audio storytelling handbook of the Canadian Broadcasting Company's Dispatches weekly radio show of documentaries, essays, interviews and reports from around the world. Followed by (Part 2: Composing with sound and Part 3: Writing for radio. Building Character: A Checklist by Jack Hart (Nieman Storyboard, 10-15-04) Building Character: What the Fiction Writers Say (Jack Hart, Nieman Storyboard, 1998) Building Character in Three Dimensions (Jack Hart, Nieman Storyboard, 1998) Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style (Susan Orleans excellent online workshop, Skillshare, free so far as I can tell) Literary License: Defending Joseph Mitchell's composite characters. Part 3 of Adam Hochschild's four-part series on writing historical narratives, Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Nieman Storyboard, based on a lecture Feb. "Like a novel, narrative nonfiction imposes structure, theme and subtext to events, place and character. Unlike novelists, authors of narrative nonfiction must live with the fact that real people and real facts seldom conform very tidily to these conventions. Reality is messy, and sometimes you have to put up with unsatisfying turns to the story." ~ Edward Humes ( Exploring Characters in Narrative Nonfiction (You Tube video) Isabel Wilkerson 'auditioned' over 1,200 people in order to find the three characters that ultimately shaped her award-winning book, "The Warmth of Other Suns" (2010). Jack Hart on Storycraft and narrative nonfiction as an American literary form (Nieman Storyboard). Hart responds to the question "A lot of the best narratives have sympathetic but often deeply flawed protagonists. Do you have suggestions on how to keep it real while maintaining the readers sympathy for the protagonist? " Three Rs of Narrative Nonfiction (Lee Gutkind, Opinionator, NY Times, 12-17-12) "In the end, thorough research and real world exploration followed by fact-checking review shapes and sharpens the story, ensures writer credibility and allows for fair and equitable treatment of the characters involved. And by carefully following the three R process, writers of nonfiction will be prepared to answer the inevitable question: 'How do you know? '" ■ Chinua Achebe on the value of storytelling: "The sounding of the battle-drum is important; the fierce waging of war itself is important; and the telling of the story afterwards. Of these three though, who takes the eagle's feather, one would ask. Only the story can continue beyond the war and the warrior. It is the story that outlives the sound of the war-drums and the exploits of brave fighters. It is the story, not the others, that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it we are blind." ~ from The Anthills of the Savannah Chris Jones on structuring a mystery, about two stories he wrote for Esquire: The End of Mystery (what happens when a helicopter goes down and the men on the ground try to unscramble the mystery of why) and The Things That Carried Him (the true story behind one soldier's last trip home) Creating Nonfiction by Rachel Toor (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12-3-07) on what to call this "new" genre Creating Scenes: The Yellow Test (Lee Gutkind, The Opinionator, NY Times 8-22-12). "Readers remember information longer and are more likely to be persuaded by ideas and opinions when its presented to them in scenes. This is why so many TV commercials are narrative." Creative Nonfiction (the magazine, true stories well told--"simply great essays by talented writers," wrote Library Journal). Moore provides an interesting history of the terms probable origins in Issue #56: A Genre by Any Other Name? The Story Behind "Creative Nonfiction" Creative Nonfiction: resources for teachers and students. ) Creative nonfiction (Wikipedia entry and reading list) Creative Nonfiction Collective Esquire's 70 Greatest Sentences. Seventy lines that sparkle, invoke, provoke, or are just damn enjoyable to read. Both fiction and nonfiction, including: "Twenty-four years later, on Wednesday, August 28, at nine-thirty o'clock, in full view of ten million people, the little door in William F. Buckley Jr.'s forehead suddenly opened and out sprang that wild cuckoo which I had always known was there but had wanted so much for others, preferably millions of others, to get a good look at." --Gore Vidal, "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley Jr.," 1969 Essays on Craft (Nieman Storyboard, into which the former Nieman Narrative Digest merged -- both narrative sites of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard)First Person Singular: Its not just about you (Adam Hochschild, Nieman Storyboard, 6-28-06) From Plot to Narrative by Elizabeth Ellis, a step-by-step process for creating and enhancing stories How comics can bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction (Erin Polgreen, Nieman Reports, 6-17-14) "Mirk instinctively understood what comic book formats can do for journalism. Issues that are far away become more personal to the reader. In a world of information overload, beautifully crafted, hand-illustrated comics provide clarity and emotional resonance." See the story The Secret Life of Gitmos Women by Sarah Mirk & Lucy Bellwood (Narratively, 2-12-14) Two female Navy veterans pull back the curtain on Guantanamo Bay, where the war on terror meets a military culture rife with harassment and sexual assault. (Jeanne Erdmann, Ask TON, The OPENNotebook, 7-16-13) How Stories Deceive (Maria Konikova, New Yorker, 12-29-15). A young woman fooled the governments of three countries. What does her con reveal about how we see the world? Wisdom and How the Novel and the News Killed Storytelling (Walter Benjamin on) (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings) Walter Benjamin: "Every morning brings us the news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. "In his book Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, Jerome Bruner, a central figure in the cognitive revolution in psychology, proposes that we can frame experience in two ways: propositional and narrative. This is because no event any longer comes to us without already being shot through with explanation. Propositional thought hinges on logic and formality. Its concrete, imagistic, personally convincing, and emotional. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information. And its strong." I am not a story (Galen Strawson, Aeon, 9-3-15) Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the events is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.... The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time." Katherine Boos 15 rules for narrative nonfiction (Katia Savchuk reporting from Mayborn Conference for Storytellers, 7-25-17) This is a woman who spent three years in Mumbai, learning about the people she writes so beautifully about in Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. Here's Rule 9: I try never to forget that my subjects are really my co-investigators. They are experiencing more viscerally than we ever will the barriers in their lives, Boo said. When she was reporting in Annawadi, she let children there use her camera to record whatever they wanted. Many of them decided to film a lake of sewage that bordered the slum, which helped Boo realize that the lake itself could be a character that revealed the areas public health dangers. Krugman, Krauthammer and Their Implied Authors (Cass R. "Implied authors may or may not be like their real-world counterparts. A novelist may be cruel and vicious to his family and friends, but in his novels, his implied author may be kind and gentle. A poet who is a loving wife and mother may produce poetry whose implied author is venomous and full of rage." A fascinating explanation of how things work in fiction and narrative nonfiction. But he also applies it to political discussions: "..characteristics of implied authors tend to be contagious. In particular, contempt and suspicion, and a fundamental lack of generosity, spread like wildfire. " Ira Glass of This American Life, the popular show on WBEZ public radio, gives an interview on Storytelling, 8-18-09, in four parts. Click here for Part 1 (the anecdote and the moment of reflection as the two building blocks of a radio story); Part 2 (the amount of time it takes to find a good story and the importance of being tough and killing the boring parts; Part 3 (how much time you have to put in to get to the point where your skills match your good taste), and Part 4 (being yourself and being a good listener, because what's interesting is the way you interact with people, not your take on things). Listen to stories from the archive or on the radio (find your local stations). Edward Humes on narrative nonfiction How to organize research on a heavily researched subject (Jean Strouse, in an interview for Bookreporter.com--scroll down for that Q&A) The human heart of the matter. Novelist Geoff Dyer argues that recent reportage about military conflict trumps fiction in its characterisation, observation and narrative drive (The Guardian 6-12-10). He compares two new books, David Finkel's The Good Soldiers and Sebastian Junger's War to a shelf of other first-rate books on the subject: Steve Coll's Ghost Wars; Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower; George Packer's The Assassins' Gate; Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City; and Dexter Filkins's The Forever War. Internet Classics Archive Interview with Jack Hitt (Part 1) and Part 2, by Conor Firedersdorf (and if your writing has been a struggle, Part 2, on the writing process, will make you feel better, or smile). See also Jack Hart on Storycraft and narrative nonfiction as an American literary form (Nieman Storyboard 10-20-11) Kindle Single e-books extend potential for long-form journalists . New Kindle Single e-books from The New York Times and Pro Publica "highlight the potential for journalists to find new audiences, and possibly new revenue, for long-form reporting."Amazon officially unveils new Kindle Singles. Lee Gutkind, The Voice of Creative Nonfiction, blog The Line Between Fact and Fiction (Roy Peter Clark, Nieman Storyboard, 9-7-04) Lines in the Mud: Exploring Creative Non-Fiction (Aaron Pope) Lost and found: How great nonfiction writers discover great ideas (Brendan Borrell, The OPENNotebook, 12-13-11) Mary Karr on truth. Andrea Pitzer's Nieman Storyboard report from Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference: the least of my problems as a memoirist, as a writer, is getting my facts right. The Meandering River: An Overview of the Subgenres of Creative Nonfiction, Sue William Silverman's essay on the subgenres of (biography, autobiography, immersion essay, memoir, personal essay, meditative essay, lyric essay, and various mixtures of same) and her excellent and interestingly organized reading list of, contemporary creative nonfiction Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Part 1) Adam Hochschild's four-part series on storytelling and historical narratives, based on a talk given at Vanderbilt University in February 2011 (Nieman Storyboard 3-24-11). Part 1 is a call to bridge the divide between academic writing and narratives intended for the general public. Part 2: Setting addresses the importance of setting and scene in storytelling. And Part 3: Character examines the role of characters in historical writing. How do you unfold a story, and how do you unfold it in a way that is going to hold the readers attention? Excellent New Yorker essay, The Historical Romance: Edmund Wilson's Adventures with Communism ( 3-24-03), in which Menand writes: "Intuitive knowledgethe sense of what life was like when we were not there to experience itis precisely the knowledge we seek. It is the true positive of historical work." The Miami Herald: a case study in the rise of literary journalism at newspapers (Andrea Pitzer, Nieman Storyboard 5-27-10) Mining the Literary Middle Ground (Hernn Iglesias Illa, Publishing Perspectives, 8-5-11). Nieman Foundation Notable narratives (the full archive of this excellent series, each piece linking to and commenting on a strong piece of narrative journalism) Top 10 Storyboard posts of 2012 Nieman Storyboard essays on craft Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism Nieman Seminar for Narrative Editors (these appear to have been suspended, starting 2009) Fellows' Seminar in Narrative Journalism (These appear also to have been suspended.) An intimate new narrative conference, Cali style (Paige Williams, 6-29-14) "For the better part of the last decade, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism ran the most popular narrative journalism conference in the country. Online start-ups Byliner and The Atavist have established a market for stories too long for magazines and too short for books (between 5,000 word magazine articles and 100,000 words books. The Moth (live storytelling events in New York City) Narrative (Richard Gilbert's blog, now Draft No. For three days each spring, hundreds of journalists gathered in Cambridge or Boston to hear notable storytellers talk craft.... 4) Narrative and Healing (The Physician as Patient, Lit Site, Alaska) The Narrative in the Neurons (Wray Herbert, We're Only Human blog, 7-14-09) National Book Award winner T. Stiles on telling good stories and asking big questions (Nieman Storyboard) News Feature v. From 2007 to 2009, journalist and editor Constance Hale ran the Nieman narrative program, and she oversaw the final conference. (The Nieman Foundation ended the conference as a cost-cutting measure, but the public part of our narrative initiative remained online, as the Narrative Digest, the precursor to Nieman Storyboard.)"... 8 shell relaunch a national narrative conference at her alma mater, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The Latest in Longform will be a daylong exploration of nonfiction storytelling. Nonfiction Page Turners (transcript of Authors Guild Foundation symposium, with panelists Melissa Fay Greene, Nick Taylor, Sebastian Junger, Dava Sobel, Hampton Sides) Nonfiction scene-building secrets from the pros (Ryan G. Van Cleave, The Writer, 1-19-17) Nonny de la Pea on Gone Gitmo, Stroome and the future of interactive storytelling Ernesto Pirego (Nieman Storyboard 1-30-11) interviews one of the co-founders of Stroome.com, a community that allows online collaborative remixing of visual journalism Notable writers talk about their craft (Literary Nonfiction, University of Oregon). Ruth Franklin (The New Republic, 4-6-11) reviews Janet Malcolm's new book, Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial . Interviews with authors of literary nonfiction, including Adrian Nicole Le Blanc, Mary Roach, Ted Conover, Naka Nathaniel, Melissa Fay Greene, Mark Bowden, Susan Faludi, Anne Fadiman, Tracy Kidder, Gretel Ehrlich, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Terry Tempest Williams, Edward Humes, Charles R. "Malcolm eschews the pretense of certainty that most journalists adopt; instead, her process of probing the ambiguities, of investigating exactly how much she knows and does not know, becomes crucial to her narratives. 'The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties,' she wrote in Two Lives, her recent book about Gertrude Steins life and work. 'Almost everything we know we know incompletely at best.'"Out of Eden Walk (a journey through time, journalist Paul Salopek's planned seven-year "slow journalism" trek, "a solo 21,000-mile walk that will trace the path of human migration from Africa, through the Middle East and Asia, across the Bering Sea to North America, and down the western coast of the Americas to the tip of South America." See Editor & Publisher account, Journalist Embarks on 7-Year Walk (Nu Yang, 2-4-13). He "will carry as little as possible in his backpack, including notebooks, writing utensils, a camera, and a laptop to file online written, video, and audio dispatches to his editors back home."The Power and Glory of Sportwriting (Nicholas Dawidoff, NY Times 7-28-12). Funded by the National Geographic Society and the John S. "An editor at Sports Illustrated once advised me that the art of the work rested in telling people who already know what happened a story so compelling that they forget everything and, at the end, wish theyd been there...regard sports as a parallel world full of little climaxes and telling details, just waiting for you to make the most of them." The Power of Story ( Elizabeth Svoboda, Aeon, 1-12-15). "Once upon a time"..stories change hearts and brains. history performed near miracles on the battlefield. Radio shows featuring storytelling Scanlan, Chip, "The First Peril: Fabrication" (The Legend on the License Revisited, Poynter)A sampler of narrative winners from 2011 Pulitzer Prizes (Andrea Pitzer, Nieman Storyboard 4-19-11) The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains (Leo Widrich, Lifehacker, 12-5-12)Searching for Gary Smith (Sarah Perry's profile in Mayborn Magazine of the great sportswriter -- who knows how to live in and then write the story) Slow Journalism. "New research is lending texture and credence to what generations of storytellers have known in their bones that books, poems, movies, and real-life stories can affect the way we think and even, by extension, the way we act...stories we absorb seem to shape our thought processes in much the same way lived experience does." Program in Narrative Medicine (fortifies clinical practice with the narrative competence to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness), College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Pulitzer Prize winners from 2011 -- a sampler of narrative winners (Andrea Pitzer, Nieman Storyboard 4-19-11) A Q&A with Michael Mooney on elaborate outlining, The Legend of Chris Kyle, and the importance of access (Meagan Flynn, Beyond the New Yorker, 8-14-13). Out of Eden Walk (a journey through time, journalist Paul Salopek's planned seven-year "slow journalism" trek, "a solo 21,000-mile walk that will trace the path of human migration from Africa, through the Middle East and Asia, across the Bering Sea to North America, and down the western coast of the Americas to the tip of South America." See Editor & Publisher account, Journalist Embarks on 7-Year Walk (Nu Yang, 2-4-13). He "will carry as little as possible in his backpack, including notebooks, writing utensils, a camera, and a laptop to file online written, video, and audio dispatches to his editors back home."The State of Narrative Nonfiction Writing (the entire Fall 2000 issue of Nieman Reports, with many important articles -- click on topics along left side) A story asks a question (Bill Harley, Song, Story and Culture blog, 12-11-12) Story-Based Inquiry: A manual for investigative journalists (free PDF, in English, French, Arabic, or Chinese, from UNESCO) Storyful, a startup that started filtering videoclips about the turmoil in Egypt, is partnering with You Tube's Citizen Tube, You Tubes news and politics channel, in an experiment in teamwork to "curate" the news knowledgeably. About this piece: The Legend of Chris Kyle (Michael J. Funded by the National Geographic Society and the John S. Read Storyful Now: Egypt in Revolt (Nieman Journalism Lab, 2-4-11) Story, interrupted: why we need new approaches to digital narrative (Pedro Monteiro, Nieman Storyboard 9-8-11). Well-illustrated guide to how narrative may need to adapt on new platforms. Story Lab (reporters and readers come together to shape stories at the Washington Post) "The likes of Jean Auel and Tom Clancy sell books by the millions because they understand story structure, a point thats lost on the critics who savage their syntax. ―Jon Franklin We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. ― Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human Empathy, Neurochemistry, and the Dramatic Arc: Paul Zak at the Future of Story Telling (Paul Zak, History News Network) "[E]ven the simplest narrative, if it is highly engaging and follows the classic dramatic arc..., can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with" the neurochemicals cortisol and oxytocin, responses that "in turn, can translate readily into concrete action," such as "generous donations to charity." Stories that "fail to follow the dramatic arc of rising action/​climax/​denouementno matter how outwardly happy or pleasant those stories may beelicit little if any emotional or chemical response" and no action. (That's why Al Gore's movie about climate change has so little effect.) Reporter Tom French and the three most beautiful words in the English language: What happens next? (Kari Howard, Nieman Storyboard, 11-16-17) In a remarkable speech at the recent Power of Storytelling gathering in Romania, the Pulitzer-winning writer is true to the conference's name. I love fiction if theres fiction writers in the room, I salute you. But theres no need for those of us who write nonfiction to invent anything. Life defies categorization, it obliterates ideology; day after day, life exceeds invention. At the heart of every issue, theres a human level that leads to the three most beautiful words in the English language: What happens next? Ricks, The Atlantic, 8-22-17) "...after I emailed to him that manuscript, a dual appreciation of Winston Churchill and George Orwell.... What I had sent him was exactly the book he had told me not to write. He had warned me, he reminded me, against writing an extended book review that leaned on the weak reed of themes rather than stood on a strong foundation of narrative. I had put the works before the two men, he told me, and that would not do..... I saw that if I followed his suggestions and revamped the book, with a new structure that emphasized biography and told the stories of the two men chronologically, the book would be much better.... I dug a new foundation, lining it with solid chronology. Making the text follow the order of events was easier than I had expectedand it made more sense. I wrote a second note to myself at the top of the manuscript: 'If it is not chronological, why not? Anecdotes that I had thought could only go in one place, in a discussion of a theme, actually would fit easily into other places, where they fit in time. In fact, they tended to work better when they appeared in the order in which they had occurred in reality. The Origins of Storytelling aka The Desirability of Storytellers) (Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 12-5-17) Among Filipino hunter-gatherers, storytelling is valued more than any other skill, and the best storytellers have the most children. X because Y, but Z by Will Rogers (Stanford Storytelling Project), which led me to How Sound: The Back Story to Great Radio Storytelling (and Transom.org). The Art of Storytelling Show (archive of podcasts of guest speakers--listen online) Videos of TED talks about storytelling (from masters of the form) Story structure Naming the dog: The art of narrative structure (Christie Aschwanden, The Open Notebook, 9-14-11) "Most stories, French says, fall into one of five basic narrative structures: boy meets girl, there and back (a journey), us versus them, making it (transcending an obstacle), rescuing the princess from the underworld, and the most popular story of all the Cinderella tale." The Shape of Story (Christina Wodtke, Elegant Hack, 6-6-15). Wonderful graphic depiction of story structure Your Brain on Story (Kendall Haven, posted on You Tube 3-3-15; From the media X Seminar, Science Storytelling & the Power of Participation; 28 minutes) The mechanism of story: engagement (has an emotional component--emotionally-laden attention--the gateway to influence); participation, transportation (a precursor of empathy and trust--if audience immerse themselves in the story they treat it as if it were their own), relevance (what does this story mean to me? ), and meaning or influence (changing attitudes, beliefs, values, knowledge, behavior). Effective storytelling matches the neural demands of the wiring in our heads (neural story net). You either make sense of incoming information, or you ignore it. Haven explains 8 essential elements of a story that control engagement and feed information to neural story net -- and determine you you influence audience. "From repositioning a big corporate brand, to crafting a persuasive narrative that explains groundbreaking science research, Haven contends that if a story does not engage the audience quickly, it is unlikely to exert influence in the long run." The clues to a great story (Andrew Stanton, TED talk, 2-2012). Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling starting at the end and working back to the beginning. ""Your job as a storyteller is to hide the fact that you're making them work for their meal. We're compelled to deduce and to deduct, because that's what we do in real life. The elements you provide and the order you place them in is crucial to whether you succeed or fail at engaging the audience." From the transcript. It's this well-organized absence of information that draws us in.... The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings) Both a good story and a well-formed argument ... Yet what they convince of is fundamentally different: arguments convince one of their truth, stories of their lifelikeness. The one verifies by eventual appeal to procedures for establishing formal and empirical proof. The other establishes not truth but verisimilitude." (Among other interesting points made.) Hardwired for Story (You Tube, Sarah-Jane "SJ" Murray, video from TEDx Talks, on "neuro-coupling") Stories are everywhere. We watch them at the movies, we read them, we share them. They provide us with opportunities to be vulnerable and share with one another. Yet, some stories have a different quality about them, something that empowers them to transcend time and space so that they live on, throughout our lives and beyond. When you look at Power Point only the language part of your brain is firing. When you listen to a person telling a good story, your brain mirrors the brain of the storyteller. When a story is well told, two different chemicals are released, associated with stress and with empathy (that make us care). We are far more likely to remember a story than fact alone, but the stories have to be well-told. 5 Day Storytelling (provocative tips in Power Point, for a Stanford workshop? ) All Stories Are the Same (John Yorke, 1-1-16) From Avatar to The Wizard of Oz, Aristotle to Shakespeare, theres one clear form that dramatic storytelling has followed since its inception.... " In the Inverted Pyramid approach to journalism, the first couple of sentences (the lede) provide the next most important information, and so on, with the least important stuff at the end. In stories throughout the ages there is one motif that continually recursthe journey into the woods to find the dark but life-giving secret within. In many ways, it is the opposite of a narrative the punch-line goes first, the build-up after. The beauty of the Inverted Pyramid for the writers and editors is that any article can be chopped up and made shorter.... You cant do that with a narrative, where clues can be hidden all along the way, and the grand solution comes close to the end. " Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories (video of a witty short lecture) and the same lecture, visually (on visual.ly) Narrative Structures (Rebecca Ray, Storyboard That, ), writes about narrative (or literary) structures (with diagrams): Five Act structure, types of Shakespearean plays, the plot diagram, and the Heros Journey, with links to tons more material. How to Structure A Story: The Eight-Point Arc (Ali Hale, Daily Writing Tips) Transform Your Story: Expert advice from script consultant Dara Marks (part 1, Kelly Calabrese, NY Castings). See also part 2 (explaining the benefit of making conscious choices and having the character's old consciousness giving way to new consciousness -- a standard part of the character arc, "that a story is more powerful when there is an internal movement of character,") and part 3. How Rebecca Skloot built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (David Dobbs interview with Skloot, The Open Notebook, 11-22-11) Well worth reading. Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, on "narrating history: 'looking for that one family, that one person, that one moment that will help hold everything together'"(Nieman Storyboard, 7-16-10) Story structure, really reporting Christmas and the problem with the sacred space approach to narrative (Nieman Storyboard, by Hank Steuver,author of Tinsel: A Search for America's Christmas Present Structure (John Mc Phee, New Yorker, 1-14-13). Only subscribers can read the whole piece (but you might be able to find it in the library). A Simple Way to Create Suspense (Lee Child, Opinionator, NY Times, 12-8-12). This principle applies whether you are writing fiction or narrative nonfiction. Weaving a seamless tale from threads of narrative and exposition (Anil Ananthaswamy, The Open Notebook, 4-22-14) The essence of story, in a 358-word song (Tommy Tomlinson, Nieman Storyboard, 2-14-12). "Ode to Billie Joe" contains concrete detail, dialogue, suspense, imagery, meaning Storyboard 75: The big book of narrative . A wonderful online treasury of some of the most popular posts on Nieman Storyboard. Stranger than Fiction: The Art of Literary Journalism. William Mc Keen, Lecture 1, Ancestors--storytelling, gossip, language, ways of preserving sounds as writing,newspapers, journalism, mass literacy, and so on. (Modern Scholar, available as audio downloads from Learn Out Loud.com). Free download of first 35 minutes, for the whole tamale.35 Powerful Photos That Tell A Story (Aquil Akhter, Noupe, 12-5-09) The 3 Core Elements of Good Storytelling (And Why Your Business Needs Them) (Sean d'Souza, Copyblogger). The sequence, the suspense, and the roller coaster. Three Rs of Narrative Nonfiction (Lee Gutkind, Opinionator, NY Times, 12-17-12) Tracing the arc of the narrative (Bill Kirtz, Media Nation, 3-27-12). An excerpt: "Mark Kramer, author of several non-fiction books and editor of Telling True Stories, said that as narrative journalism has developed into a genre, standards have gotten tighter. His often-repeated rules: make nothing up, no 'tweaking' time sequences and be straight with sources." Transom (an excellent showcase & workshop for New Public Radio). Read How a midcareer print writer mastered the magic stick in a 9-week radio Hogwarts (Lee Romney, Nieman Storyboard, 8-8-17) A former Los Angeles Times reporter says the Transom immersive training program changed her (and also made her a stronger narrative writer) Tricks of the Trade: Narrative Writing (T. De Lene Beeland, reporting on the narration panel at Science Online2013, which she cochaired with David Dobbs). 25 Best True Crime Books as selected by Todd Jensen, whose forensic blog provides advice to those considering becoming forensic scientists. See also his 20 Must Read Forensics Books The Vestigial Tale (Joel Achenbach on Gary Smith and the endangerment of detailed, long-form narrative in the age of Twitter, Washington Post 10-28-09). "In our modern click-and-skim world, there's dwindling time and space for the expertly crafted narrative." What is narrative, anyway? (Chip Scanlan, part of a series on Poynter Online, 9-29-03) What its really like writing true crime (Part 1, Kevin Sullivan on Digesting Case Files). (Richard Gilbert, 2-10-12) Quotes Tom Wolfe on the four techniques narrative journalism requires: 1) Scenes: Present the narrative in a series of scenes and use ordinary historical narration as little as possible. 2) Dialogue: Quote copious verbal interplay among characters. 4) POV: Point of view that puts the reader inside the mind of someone other than the writer. Dialogue is the easiest prose to read and the quickest to reveal character. speech, how one talks to the strong, to the weak, to the sophisticated, to the nave . ***When journalists become authors: a few cautionary tips (Peter Ginna, Nieman Storyboard 12-15-11). Links to Nieman Storyboard contributors analyzing what makes some of the best narrative nonfiction read so well. 3) Details: The careful use of details that reveal ones rank or aspirations, everything from dress and furniture to . Writer L (a paid-subscription-only listserv for discussing the craft of narrative nonfiction, run by Jon and Lynn Franklin in the 1990s, a conversation that had a good long run but finally ran out of steam). Writers on Writing (archive of the New York Times column, in which writers explore literary themes) Writing Creative Nonfiction That Editors Cant Refuse (Deborah A. Lott, Los Angeles Editors & Writers Group, 2012) Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel on creating digital narratives (youve got to fight for every reader Your Brain on Story: Why Narratives Win Our Hearts and Minds (Michele Wheldon, Pacific-Standard, 4-22-14) "Our craving and connection to story is so much more than a haphazard preference." Linking on a title/​link will take you to the page for the title, where you'll find information about the book. Any purchase you make after following such a link will bring a small commission to this site (which helps support the cost of providing it). James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men Christopher Benfey. Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. Spent 4 years on NY Times bestseller list, but was widely criticized for changing the sequence of some events (as admitted in author's note at end of book) and other fairly major liberties, which may have kept him from winning the Pulitzer Prize). See, for example, Midnight in the Garden of Fact and Fiction (Daniel Wattenberg, Weekly Standard, 12-29-96) H. "Buzz" Bissinger, Friday Night Lights (and do watch the wonderful five-season TV series on Netflix streaming). Also by Bissinger: A Prayer for the City Katherine Boo. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity She brings a whole world to life, and keeps you reading. Ball Four Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down Daniel James Brown. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Chandler Burr, The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. Do read George Plimpton's interview with Capote, The Story Behind a Nonfiction Novel (New York Times 1-16-66). This "nonfiction novel" -- a fascinating true crime story -- helped start the narrative nonfiction trend, but has also been criticized as dishonest. See especially Capote Classic 'In Cold Blood' Tainted by Long-Lost Files (Kevin Helliker, Wall Street Journal, 2-8-13). Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York; The Years of LBJ: The Path to Power, Means of Ascent, and Master of the Senate Jung Chang. Wild Swans Rachel Carson, Silent Spring Ted Conover, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing. Read (In the Belly of the Beast (Norman Oder's interview with Conover) Richard Ben Cramer, What It Takes Dave Cullen. Columbine (a chilling account of what really happened at Columbine) Joan Didion, Where I Was From; Salvador (Edward Humes: "A thin book that captures the essence of the beauty and futility of a nation at war with itself"); The White Album Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (You can download the book free at the Gutenberg Project: Dave Eggers, Zeitoun (the experiences of an American Muslim family during Hurricane Katrina, when anti-Muslim fears overtook the city) Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures Finkel, David. Read this Nieman Storyboard interview with Finkel and Wikileaks video showing an incident he describes in the book. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action Walt Harrington, At the Heart of It, The Everlasting Stream Deborah Heiligman, Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon Paul Hendrickson, Looking for the Light Michael Herr, Dispatches (a revealing look at and from the Vietnam War -- still relevant today) John Hersey, Hiroshima (the 1946 classic about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima) Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and Seabiscuit Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australias Founding Pico Iyer, Sun After Dark: Flights into the Foreign Steven Johnson. The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm Jack Kerouac, On the Road Tracy Kidder, Among School Children (exemplary immersion journalism), The Soul Of A New Machine, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, Strength in What Remains, others Suki Kim. Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite (a haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign) Jamaica Kincaid, Talk Stories Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Townothers Mark Kramer, Three Farms: Making Milk, Meat, and Money from the American Soil Erik Larson, Isaacs Storm; The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America; and In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Adrian Le Blanc, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx Nicholas Lemann, Promised Land; The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Steve Lopez, The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music Norman Mailer, The Executioners Song (1979, the Gary Gilmore story-plus, "an absolutely astonishing book," in Joan Didion's view), The Armies of the Night Adam Makos with Larry Alexander. A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II. Ruben Martinez, Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail Frank Mc Court, Angelas Ashes John Mc Phee, Basin and Range; Coming into the Country; The Pine Barrens; The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed; Encounters with the Archdruid; The John Mc Phee Reader, many others Andrew Meier. The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service Joseph Mitchell, Up in the Old Hotel (short pieces from the New Yorker) N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory Haruki Murakami. Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche Sonia Nazario, Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother Tim O'Brien. The Things They Carried (labeled "fiction," this is part short story, part memoir -- what one reader calls "biomythography," using Audre Lord's term -- but often mentioned in discussions of narrative nonfiction) Susan Orlean, The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex George Plimpton. Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback (early example of immersion reporting) Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. The Monster of Florence Richard Preston, The Hot Zone Marc Reisner. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water David Remnick. King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb; Looking for America Andrew Rice. The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda Richard Rodriguez, Brown: The Last Discovery of America Lillian Ross, Reporting (short pieces from the New Yorker); Portrait of Hemingway P. ORourke, Holidays in Hell Mike Royko, One More Time (short pieces) Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic Hampton Sides. Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West Barry Siegel, Actual Innocence Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (a young adult book adults may also enjoy) Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks David Simon. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets Gary Smith, Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith (short pieces) Dava Sobel. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago Gay Talese, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold (included in The Gay Talese Reader: Portraits and Encounters), The Kingdom and the Power James B. A penultimate work of literary journalism." Zuckoff, Mitchell. Stewart, Den of Thieves Hunter Thompson, Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hells Angels Tanya Thompson, Assuming Names: A Con Artist's Masquerade Jeffrey Toobin, A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President Calvin Trillin, Remembering Denny Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil's Highway: A True Story Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (Edward Humes writes that "this definitive, biting, dramatic and revealing story of the birth of the U. Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, ed. by Judith Kitchen (excellent examples for creative nonfiction workshops) Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present, ed. From memoir to journalism, personal essays to cultural criticism, this anthology brings together works from all genres of creative nonfiction, with pieces by 50 contemporary writers, including Cheryl Strayed, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver. by Mary Paumier Jones and Judith Kitchen In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction ed. by Mary Paumier Jones and Judith Kitchen The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers, ed Dinty W. Moore Atlantic Monthly (publishes great narrative nonfiction pieces) Brick, a literary journal Brevity, a journal of concise literary nonfiction--well-known and emerging writers working in the extremely brief (750 words or less) essay form, "flash nonfiction." ("Brief nonfiction requires an alertness to detail, a quickening of the senses, a focusing of the literary lens ... until one has magnified some small aspect of what it means to be human. ~ Bernard Cooper) Byliner (long-form narrative nonficton, old and new). See A discovery engine for narrative nonfiction: launches with high hopes and a sleek site (Lois Beckett, Nieman Journalism Lab Creative Nonfiction Esquire Magazine (and this link takes you to what the magazine billed its seven greatest stories) Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction (MSU Press). A literary journal that explores the boundaries of contemporary and creative nonfiction. Personal essays welcomeincluding nature, environmental, and travel essaysas well as memoirs, personal critical essays, and literary journalism. Petersburg Times, prolonging the life of print journalism, described by Word on the Street as Gangrey.com: Keeping Good Writing Alive Granta (UK literary magazine "the magazine of new writing" Grantland (sports stories even non-sports-lovers may enjoy The Guardian's 'The Long Good Read' (articles hand picked twice daily from the Guardian) Kindle Singles: A lifeline for the long short read (Kate Carraway, Globe and Mail, 2-18-12). "Jon Krakauer, of Into Thin Air fame, contributed a Single (via Byliner, a publishing company that only deals with work meant for Singles and others like it, such as Quick Reads and NOOK Snaps), called Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way, which serves as a 75-page extended rant for Krakauer; a fresh, big-bite-sized piece for his gigantic readership, and an A-list journo to validate Amazons project, just a few months in. Lapham's Quarterly (a magazine of history and ideas) (sponsored by Pitt Writers, new and classic nonfiction articles, curated from across the Web) Matter. Matters Vision for Long-Form Journalism (Felix Salmon, Epicenter, 2-24-12). Matter made its ,000 goal in 38 hours, on Kickstarter. Mayborn, the magazine, cousin of the Mayborn Conference Mountain Home Magazine, Michael Capuzzo's free newsprint Pennsylvania magazine, which is gaining readers through good storytelling combined with good illustrations Narrative Magazine Narratively (local stories courageously told--a different theme is chosen each week and each day one in-depth local story on that theme is published, about noncelebrities, taking advantage of the multimedia advantages of Internet storytelling. Narrative Matters (Health Affairs), publishes "policy narratives," which take a story (or anecdote) and grow it beyond one person to include a big-picture view of the subject, the idea being to put a human face on policy discussions elsewhere in Health Affairs. New York Times Magazine The New Yorker Ploughshares, award-winning poetry, fiction, essays and memoirs Outside (active-lifestyle and adventure-travel magazine) Pro Publica (journalism in the public interest) Pulse: Voices from the heart of medicine (catch up on these engrossing stories by reading the anthology: Pulse - The First Year, or check Back Pages for Stories, Poems, Haiku, or Visuals. River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative (Where Good Writing Counts and Facts Matter) and the River Teeth blog. "Somebody tells you a story, let's say, and afterward, you ask,'Is it true? Ad-free.) Texas Review seeks 1) excellent familiar essays about writers, writing, and literary culture in general; 2) compelling personal narratives, especially memoir and travel writing; 3) innovative creative nonfiction that pushes the boundaries of the genre. ' And if the answer matters, you've got your answer." -- Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried Soundprint (radio) (the aural equivalent of photojournalism -- the evocative experiential documentary) Sports Illustrated The Sun (Personal. Tiny Lights (a journey of personal narrative -- holds an annual essay contest, offering 00 in prizes) Vanity Fair Wired a Word? With Byliner and Atavist, Hungry Freelance Writers Seek Out Alternatives To Magazine Work (Emily Witt, New York Observer, 9-13-11). With nonfiction novellas in electronic ink, magazines mimic boutique models of Byliner, Atavist An Authors Guide to the E-Singles Scene (Mark Obbie, ASJA's The Word blog, 2-27-13) Archive of informative stories about e-singles (paid Content), especially Why 2012 was the year of the e-single (Laura Hazard Owen--follow her on Twitter). See also Laura's How Much Do Kindle Singles Authors Make? With thanks to Mark Obbie's page of resources on E-singles . Atavist Co-Founder Evan Ratliff On Digital Content Models (Bill Mickey, Folio, 3-21-13) Evan Ratliff of The Atavist on the shift to device-agnostic reading (Justin Ellis, Monday Q&A, Nieman Journalism Lab, 9-10-12). The ebook platform is moving into direct sales and exploring a subscription model. 5 best longform journalism sites (Yuting Jiang, Vox, 5-5-14) Amazon Kindle Singles ("Compelling ideas expressed at their natural length.") See Amazon Broadens Its Terrain (Leslie Kaufman, NY Times Books, 4-22-13). Editing Kindle Singles, David Blum jump-starts his career, with a Web service that is helping to promote a renaissance of novella-length journalism and fiction, known as e-shorts. Examples include God's Nobodies by Mark Obbie and Guns (Stephen King on gun control) and Second Son (by thriller writer Lee Child, a Kindle Single bestseller). See Kindle Singles submissions policy The Atavist ("Where stories begin" -- a storytelling platform for the digital age, enabling original multimedia-enhanced nonfiction stories somewhere between an extended magazine article and a book --publishing original nonfiction and narrative journalism for digital devices like the i Pad, i Phone, Kindle, and Nook). Buy their stories for a Kindle/​Nook version with less media content or buy the i Pad/​i Phone version with audio recordings and other multimedia. Read Long-Form Journalism Finds a Home (David Carr, NY Times, 3-27-2011) and The Atavist: How Multimedia Should Be Done in Digital Magazines (Richard Mc Manus, Read Write Web 6-10-11) and Maturing as Publisher and Platform (David Carr, NY Times 5-20-12) and Journalism: Done The Atavist Way (David Wolman, Nieman Reports, Winter 2011). " I liked the idea of being part of something new and something that attempts to reinvigorate the field of long-form journalism by re-engineering the business model that pays for it' writes Wolman. See Atavist catalog and FAQs about Atavist and Creativist. Creativist is Atavist's Web-based storytelling platform, on which you can tell your own story, using text, video, audio, and more--you can offer your stories on the Creativist app. The Big Roundtable ("Home for writers with true stories") Accepts and publishes longform narrative nonfiction. "All our content is original." See interview: Hows it going with The Big Round Table and other narrative ventures, Michael Shapiro? (Paige Williams, Nieman Storyboard, 5-10-13) The Browser (Writing Worth Reading -- a daily selection of the best features, comment and analysis articles from around the web, plus their own Five Books interviews, videos, quotes and more) Byliner ( "Think of us as dim sum for hungry minds") Byliner's "Read It Later" system saves an article for future reading and catalogs your wants). Adam Clarke Estes calls it "a socially enabled, editor-curated depository of nearly 30,000 long reads" in an Atlantic story (Byliner: The Pandora of Nonfiction Reading, 6-21-11). Byliner published Jon Krakauer's "Three Cups of Deceit" (an expos of Greg Mortensen's Three Cups of Tea). A site for discovering and sharing old and new worlds of nonfiction. Our idea was to create a new way for writers to be able to tell stories at what had always been considered a financially awkward length. See also A discovery engine for narrative nonfiction: launches with high hopes and a sleek site (Lois Beckett, Nieman Journalism Lab, 6-21-11): "Its a nonfiction nerds fantasy: a database of nearly 30,000 feature stories, meticulously organized, sleekly presented, and fully searchable by author, by publication, by topic." "has the follow me down the rabbit hole appeal of Wikipedia (one page leads to another, and suddenly youve spent an hour on the site), paired with the ambience of a gentlemans club: elegant design, good service, a certain tone like the rustle of electronic pages as Serious People Read." It was conceived as a subsidiary to a publishing platform for long-form journalism, Byliner Originals. Epic ("As fun as fiction but full of facts") Extraordinary true stories. See catalog of Byliner originals and writer inquiries and FAQs and reader FAQs . Gangrey (both writing and podcasts, a site run by young Ben Montgomery of the Tampa News) Huffington (Arianna's new tablet magazine for i Pad, "looking to court a higher-end audience willing to pay for weekly, longform journalism"--according to Justin Ellis, The aggregator builds a magazine: The Huffington Post slows itself down with Huffington (Nieman Journalism Lab, 6-14-12). See also The Newsonomics of the shiny, new wrapper (Ken Doctor, Nieman Journalism Lab, 6-21-12). "Publishers are getting more aggressive about repackaging their work into ebooks, i Pad magazines, and other new forms, in the hopes of creating something readers will pay for." interviewland (Nieman Stories on Pinterest . Great stories clipped there but you have to belong to Pinterest to read them, it seems. Longreads: A Digital Renaissance for the Long-form? (David Carr, NY Times, 1-3-11) ("Help people find and share the best storytelling." See Longreads: A Digital Renaissance for the Long-form? Read, for example, A Fish Story by Alison Fairbrother (Washington Monthly, May/​June 2012). How an angler and two government bureaucrats may have saved the Atlantic Ocean. The political battle over the disappearance of the menhaden, a silvery, six-inch fish that's food for larger fish and farmed for omega-3 oils and fertilizer. Matter (not quite a magazine, a website, or a publisher -- a venue for selling/​buying pieces of long-form journalism about technology, medicine, the environment and science and the social and cultural worlds surrounding them, for consumption on any device). See Evan Williams Medium acquires long-form journalism site Matter and Kickstarter-backed journalism startup Matter publishes its first story (both by Laura Hazard Owen, paid Content). Medium "Medium connects you with voices and perspectives that matter." Three-hit wonder (The Economist, 9-17-16) Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and later Blogger, in 2012 launched Medium, "a clean, elegant-looking destination for essays, open letters and big think pieces. It is trying to become the central hub for writing by the public at large, as You Tube is for amateur videos. ---Medium, praised for its UI and UX (user experience and user interface). (Also about objectivity in reporting.) --- From Medium to Book Deal in 12 Months (Sarah Cooper, The Cooper Review, 9-19-16) (subscribe for The Weekender, get a story a day--great reading) Notable Narratives (Nieman Storyboard, with commentary on the stories) Read It Later apps for, and online aggregators of, long-form stories: A Code of Conduct for Content Aggregators (David Carr, NY Times, 3-11-12) Instapaper ("a simple tool to save web pages for reading later" -- gives you a Read Later bookmark) Longform . UI /​ UX Design Interviews Talking with User Interface & User Experience Designers, collection edited by Frank Rapacciuolo, for medium.com) Readability Readit Later (one reading list, wherever you are) Other storytelling venues include live storytelling such as The Moth (scroll down) and digital and radio storytelling, such as This American Life and Radiolab (see more links below). Reading these stories is like taking a free workshop in audio narration. Thanks to Nieman Storyboard ("breaking down story in every medium") for its excellent articles, links, and analyses of great stories. Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel. 5(ish) Questions: Texas journalist Krys Boyd and the art of the radio interview (Krys Boyd, Nieman Storyboard, ) The longtime host of "Think" talks about preparing for her daily show, and how radio is a form of oral storytelling -- "People have been talking for a long time about how the medium of radio is destined to go away, and I think that the huge interest among young people in the podcast format proves thats not true. I think its stronger than ever." Publishers experiment with audiobook-only productions (Jenni Laidman, Chicago Tribune, 11-8-17) Hachette is among a growing number of publishers that want to take advantage of the flourishing market for audiobooks by fostering a straight-to-audio revolution that skips books entirely or publishes the print book and e-book after the audio version. Hachette is among a growing number of publishers that want to take advantage of the flourishing market for audiobooks by fostering a straight-to-audio revolution that skips books entirely or publishes the print book and e-book after the audio version. The 6 traits of great storytellingin one adorable video (Brad Phillips, Ragan's PR Daily, 4-19-12). SUCCES (sticky traits): Simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, stories. (Read online Listen (Jay Alison, Afterword to the book). State of the Human (story podcasts, Stanford Storytelling Project) How Sound (The backstory to great radio storytelling). A bi-weekly podcast on radio storytelling produced by Rob Rosenthal for the Public Radio Exchange. See also: Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production by Jonathan Kern. From fieldwork and recording techniques to narrative and ethics, How Sound explores the ins-and-outs of radio storytelling. The Man Who Saved LBJ (Paul Burka, Texas Monthly, Aug 2000) Harry Middleton made the decision to release Lyndon Johnson's secret White House recordings. "In 1990, at about the time when biographer Robert Caro was coming out with his second unflattering volume about Johnson, Middleton opted to open to the public an extensive collection of secret recordings of Johnsons telephone conversations in the White Houseeven though Johnson himself had decreed that the recordings be embargoed until fifty years after his death. As soon as the first tapes were released in 1993, they were an immediate sensation: a remarkably candid portrait of a master politician at work. As degrading as the Nixon tapes had been, the Johnson tapes were just as uplifting. Network newscasts featured them; historical works analyzed them; C-SPAN radio continues to broadcast them for two hours every Saturday afternoon. The tapes have helped to reestablish Johnsons hold on the historical imagination, says Robert Dallek, the author of a well-respected two-volume biography of Johnson." X because Y, but Z by Will Rogers (Stanford Storytelling Project), which led me to How Sound: The Back Story to Great Radio Storytelling (and Transom.org). Audio danger: stories from the edge of listening (Julia Barton in the first of several posts in 2012 focused on developments in and examples from the world of audio narratives, Nieman Storyboard 1-4-12). "Writers and video producers live in dread of the wandering eye. Audio producers live for it." (They want to keep us stuck in our cars, listening for the end of the story. I am often sitting like a dope listening to my radio in the parking lot.) Your Brain on Story: Why Narratives Win Our Hearts and Minds (Michele Wheldon, Pacific-Standard, 4-22-14) The power of anecdote is so great that it has a momentum in and of itself. Ira Glass contends, no matter how boring the facts are, with a well-told story, you feel inherently as if you are on a train that has a destination. Digital storytelling, Hurricane Katrina, and using technology with a "narrative purpose", a Nieman Storyboard interview with USA Today interactives director Joshua Hatch on Stories from the Second Line and the making of Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years Later, a series that combines maps, interactive visuals, video and bare-bones text. Audio danger: NPRs Kelly Mc Evers on trauma and the calculus of risk . Stories like the one described here "are one way to slice through the obstacle of listener confusion (and, lets face it, indifference) when it comes to reports from abroad. "I try to make those personal stories have a larger point, but just to reach that point through personal narratives. People in Dubuque are going to remember that more than a talking head,' Mc Evers says." Reporters like Mc Evers are rewarded for doing the wrong thing. The Audio Drama Directory (helping you find the best in free dramatized audio) My Top 10 Audio Dramas (The Podcast Host) The top radio talk shows and podcasts (both good and intelligent, with a smidgeon of TV) NPRs Daniel Zwerdling on golden radio, Yoda parallels and the Robert Krulwich moment (Julia Barton, Nieman Storyboard, 2-3-12, presents Danny Z's excellent tips on interviewing and editing, with links to excellent examples). How to submit story ideas to "This American Life," and here are four pitches for stories that made it to the show. Audio danger: transgressive voices(Julia Barton, Nieman Storyboard, 3-15-12, on shows that don't quite fit the mold--weird radio) Story, interrupted: why we need new approaches to digital narrative (Pedro Monteiro, Nieman Narrative 9-8-11). How we need to explore ways to use new digital platforms to enrich narrative with supplementary text, pictures, maps, videos, interactive activities involving the reader/​listener, etc. Public Radio Internationals Lisa Mullins on interviewing for story. Some craft tips for pulling narrative from daily news Q-and-As. "A lot of the fear in interviews happens when the interviewee doesnt know if he or she is giving you want you want," She tells them before the interview what she might want, then she teases them along and directs them--they get involved in building the story. Interview as story: on radio, online and in print More on interviewing as story. "Whether they use full-on storytelling or just crib a few literary devices, interviews have their own narrative arcs and angles. From political drama (think the Frost-Nixon standoff or The Fog of War) to Studs Terkels cultural layering, interviews create a kind of permanent present-tense experience for viewers." Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) Risk (podcasts of Kevin Allison's live shows). It may be helpful to hear Allison's online workshop, Intro to Storytelling, a practical, step-by-step guide to brainstorming on, workshopping and presenting oral stories (lifetime access to 2.5 hours of video). Serial (the podcast series that started it all, or got it heated up to the point of mass participation) Art Of Storytelling Alive And Well In Audio Books (Lynn Neary, Morning Edition, NPR 11-16-10). Audio books as part of a long tradition of oral storytelling, except instead of sitting in a cave listening the tribe may be driving SUVs Can We Humanize the Web? New sites, such as Cowbird, aim for story-telling that connects us. (Wall Street Journal, Marvels, 12-31-11) Center for Digital Storytelling, a California-based community arts organization rooted in the craft of personal storytelling, with an emphasis on first-person narrative, meaningful workshop processes, and participatory production methods. Newsletter focuses on five core area: Stories of Health, Silence Speaks (stories to fight gender-based violence), Witness Tree (stories of place and environmental change), Immigrant Voices, and Women, Girls, and Leadership. Cowbird (a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events and universal themes--see, for example, The Occupy Saga ("On Sept. 17, 2011, a handful of people set up camp in Zuccoti Park and called for others to join them. This is their story.") "Cowbird is a public library of human experience, offering a simple set of storytelling tools for free, and without ads." This, for instance: My Father's Coat by Cathy de Moll (very brief). Digital storytelling revives the art of gossip (Katherine May, Aeon) Messy plots, audience participation and uncertain endings: how digital storytelling revives the ancient art of gossip. "The internet didnt create this kind of story (Serial): in fact, its probably the oldest narrative form of all. This is narrative as a rolling multitude of voices; a story that has no controllable ending, fading instead into a network of other tales told by a network of other people. It is the narrative of everyday life, of friends we know well and not-so-well, and the ways we use their narratives to prop up our own. We know this kind of story as deeply as we know language. It reveals that were not as keen on neat narrative arcs and emotional closure as we thought we were." The Transformation of NPR (Jennifer Dorroh, American Journalism Review Oct/​Nov 2008). Long defined by its radio programming, National Public Radio is reinventing itself as a multiplatform force Fresh Air (Terry Gross's in-depth interviews, WHYY) Powerful Alzheimers narrative nets radio documentary award (Liz Seegert, Covering Health, 12-2-14). See How * Did It Q&A and the 23-minute radio documentary itself: Living Well with Dementia a personal journey A Prairie Home Companion (a live radio variety show hosted by Garrison Keillor, Minnesota Public Radio, stories and more) Radio Lab, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries Snap Judgment,a themed, weekly NPR storytelling show that presents compelling personal stories Storify. Here's Storify story of the year 2011: Tracking Journalist Arrests at Occupy Protests Around the Country (Josh Stearns) The Story (North Carolina Public Radio, American Public Media) Story Salon (and The Story) Tell Me More This American Life (from WBEZ, hosted by Ira Glass). This site (combining journalism and social media) lets you create stories using social media, dragging and dropping in narrative order tweets, photos, videos, comments, snippets, etc. Start listening to one of these as you drive to buy groceries and you'll find yourself sitting in the parking lot, listening to hear the end of the story. Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites and Tinsel Tales 2: NPR Christmas Stories (2012; host, Lynn Neary). See also Tinsel Tales 3: NPR Christmas Stories and Tinsel Tales (Carlos E. The Transaction (listeners' stories about purchases that led to great stories--listen to a few) Web of Stories . Watch videos of famous scientists, authors, movie makers and artists telling their stories and be inspired to record and share your own. More great radio listening (mostly NPR) Narratively (Human stories, courageously told). See Atavist A Roadmap to Multimedia Storytelling (free ebook from industry expert Martin Waxman and Cision, in exchange for contact info). How people discover content, does video pass the "Mom test"? , what four things every podcast needs to succeed, tips for taking better photos. Interactive Narratives (multimedia storytelling, sponsored by Online News Association) Media Storm (exemplary online multimedia narrative) Kidnapped in Syria, Jonathan Alpeyrie's story in comic format about how he survived capture in hostile territory. The first collaboration between Narratively and Symbolia magazine. Symbolia merges comic books, journalism, and interactive to tell amazing stories from around the world--making the news into art. Slomo (a NY Times op-doc), an op-documentary about a neuroscience doctor, John Kitchin, 69 who realized life was a forced trudge making him miserable. He decided to completely reinvent himself and now is known as Slomo and lives out his life skating at the beach. Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (video), part of a multimedia piece (John Branch, NY Times, 12-21-12 ), a harrowing story of skiers caught in an avalanche. The Core of Story (Erin Polgreen, Nieman Reports, Spring 2014) How comics can enhance reader engagement and bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt (by Kainaz Ameria and a team from National Public Radio) Would You Stay? Life After Chernobyl and Fukushima by Michael Forster Rothbart and ZUMA Press The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace. By John Jeremiah Sullivan; photos and video by Leslye Davis; production by Tom Giratikanon. The Jockey (article and narration by Barry Bearak, images by Chang W. Russell Baze is the winningest jockey in American history. Yet his name is familiar to only the most avid followers of horse racing. New York Times Wins NPPA's Best Use Of Multimedia (Donald R. Winslow, National Press Photographers Association, the voice of visual journalists, 3-24-14). Links to prize-winning examples of multimedia journalism). The 'Snowfall' Effect and Dissecting the Multimedia Longform Narrative (Jeremy Rue, Multimedia Shooter, 4-21-13). Apropos Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (John Branch, part of a multimedia piece, NY Times, 12-21-12) The importance of words in multimedia storytelling (Jacquie Marino, Nieman storyboard) Beyond the "Like" Button: Digitally Addictive Storytelling and the Brain (Amy OLeary, a news editor and multimedia producer for The New York Times) Where to hear, tell, and read good stories and a few links to or about applied, organizational, and professional storytelling Online venues for narrative nonfiction Excellent online examples of narrative nonfiction The Moth Other venues for live storytelling Helpful books and tips on storytelling Spot. Us, Byliner, Atavist Are Showing Freelance Writers the Money (David Cohn, Idea Lab, 6-8-11). "I think gigs or "gigging" will be the way freelancers turn their practice into a career in the future. Aggregates (links to) the best long-form stories on the web. Instead of pitching story to story, you'll be working project to project or gig to gig. "Byliner, the Atavist and Virginia Quarterly Review take the form into the future." Byliner. See its Community Picks section, plus Best of 2014 (best picks in No. And that means reporters who work on projects will need representation." Among places to be spotted: (community-funded reporting) The Atavist. 1 story picks, most popular exclusives, and reporting in four beats: sports, crime, science, and essays). e Buyline Story Market ("Freelancers: Discover Entrepreneurial Journalism. Sell your original work to publishers a la carte." ("welcome to the future of content syndication") What is Medium? Madrigal, The Atlantic, 8-23-13) The site from Twitter's co-founders was one year old in 2013, and still mysterious. See How to Use Medium: The Complete Guide to Medium for Marketers (Kevan Lee, Buffer, 4-2-15), which suggests it is for content marketing.--with articles from short- to long-form, light to deep. Read also Literary journalism finds new platforms by David L. See also An Infallible Guide: How You Can Be a Top Medium Writer Key Learnings From My Experience (Dakota Shane, Medium,1-16-17) Cowbird ("a witness to life" -- gathers and preserves exceptional stories of human life). Each day Cowbird takes a photo and writes a short story to go with it. You can look these up by category: Curated stories, Most loved, With audio,, Most viewed, etc.. For example, see and hear I Had Never Heard the Word by Merredith Branscombe. We explore the patchwork of the human condition through experimental personal writing.) On All Together Now, a national Story Lab Project sponsored by the Center for Digital Storytelling (now called Story Center, engages communities and individuals by using first-person stories to increase awareness of civil and human rights. Other projects include Silence Speaks (surfacing first-person narratives of struggle, courage, and transformation and working to ensure that these stories play an instrumental role in promoting gender equality, health, and human rights) and Real Family (sharing surfacing adoption narratives to promote healing and connection--sharing an inclusive perspective of family through story) Pulse (voices from the heart of medicine). (Read Los Angeles Times story: When overwhelmed by health policy, take the Pulse of the profession) Storytelling, Part 1 (Pat Mc Nees, Writers and Editors blog, 10-10-16) Likeability is important, said this panel of storytellers. So are conflict, voice, gesture, and facial expression. Periodicals and sites that feature narrative nonfiction (a/​k/​a creative nonfiction) Corporate and organizational storytelling (links to excellent material on the subject) Acts of Witness (Ochberg Society, inviting short, personal essays by reporters and photographers about hurt they experience reporting on trauma, conflict, and human rights violations) Folklore and Mythology (electronic texts) Aesop's Fables (Harvard Classics, Bartleby.cm) ' The Moth was born in small-town Georgia, garnered a cult following in New York City, and then rose to national acclaim with the wildly popular podcast and Peabody Awardwinning weekly public radio show The Moth Radio Hour. The Moth Radio Hour (PRX, listen here) The Moth (events at different venues) Molly Ringwald: 'For the first time in my life, I found myself consumed by stage fright' (The Guardian, 8-8-14) Despite acting since she was three, bratpacker Molly Ringwald was daunted when asked to tell a deeply personal story live on stage. She explains how hip New York storytelling group The Moth persuaded her, and why you should see them in London Neil Gaiman: why I'm scared of telling stories and why I love The Moth (Guardian, 8-8-14) "The strange thing about these stories is that none of the tricks we use to gain love and respect work. The tales of how clever we were, how wise, how we won, mostly fail. Having a place where the story starts and a place it's going is also important." THE MOTH STORYTELLING SPECIAL (Read online in THE GUARDIAN) Sir Paul Nurse: 'I looked at my birth certificate. The practised jokes and witty one-liners crash and burn. That was not my mother's name' (The Guardian, 8-8-14). The Nobel prize-winning geneticist revealed his biggest family secret How I told my brother I was now a woman at my father's funeral (Kimberly Reed, The Guardian, 8-8-14) Reed recalled how her father's death forced her to reveal her gender reorientation to her brother, her home town and her high school football team How I accidentally shot and killed my best friend (Kemp Powers, The Guardian, 8-8-14) A Mormon's guide to dating (Elna Baker, The Guardian, 8-8-14) Malcolm Gladwell: how I ruined my best friend's wedding (Malcolm Gladwell, The Guardian 8-8-14) Read the whole collection in The Moth, ed. by Catherine Burns Back Fence PDX (Portland, Oregon-- seven performers tell true, original, unmemorized, ten-minute stories suited to the evening's theme) Better Said Than Done (a community of professional storytellers based in Fairfax, VA) Porchlight (San Francisco's Storytelling Series, akin to The Moth) The power of Pop-Up Magazines live journalism (Lene Bech Sillesen, CJR, March/​April 2015) "As a so-called live magazine, Pop-Up presents nonfiction stories narrated onstage." National Storytelling Network ("We Grow Storytellers"), which hosts a National Storytelling Conference and has other resources, including a Directory of Storytellers and articles such as How to Become a Storyteller (for telling stories to an audience) 100 Storied Careers (Q&As with 100 professional storytellers, Kathy Hansen, A Storied Career) Network of Biblical Storytellers (NBS International) League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling (LANES) The Stoop (Baltimore) Storytelling Guilds and Organizations, by State. Tips on oral storytelling, from a couple of masters. For example, "Professional oral storytellers don't memorize their stories, says Ellouise Schoettler. She quoted Donald Davis as telling people to think of stories as crossing a creek -- you need to get six stones across the creek. You need to know what's supposed to happen -- what series of actions occur. You don't need to remember all the words." From Plot to Narrative by Elizabeth Ellis (step-by-step process for creating and enhancing stories) Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories by Loren Niemi and Elizabeth Ellis. A difficult story can powerfully alter not only he who tells it but also they who hear it. Telling Your Own Stories by Donald Davis (memory prompts and more) Writing as a Second Language by Donald Davis. When we talk about language arts in our school, we focus on reading and writing instead of nourishing the whole oral and kinesthetic package that is our spoken language. Davis argues that we must step back into our familiar first language―the spoken word―as our creative medium and learn to translate into that new foreign language called writing. He argues that talking and writing need not be mutually exclusive in language development. Nieman Storyboard has also provided links to all the Notable Narratives from the Nieman Narrative Digest for the years 2006 to 2013. The Atavist Magazine presents a story of an elusive criminal kingpin, told in weekly installments. The story of Rick Rescorla: immigrant, war hero, husband, and head of security at Morgan Stanley/​Dean Witter, occupant of 22 floors in the South Tower. The Mastermind: An Arrogant Way of Killing by Evan Ratliff (Atavist) He was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss who became a prized U. Click on "Start with episode 1." The Real Heroes Are Dead (James B. Alt-White: How the Breitbart Machine Laundered Racist Hate (Joseph Bernstein, Buzz Feed News, 10-5-17) A cache of documents reveals the truth about Steve Bannons alt-right killing machine. How Breitbart and Milo smuggled Nazi and white nationalist ideas into the mainstream. See also The beat reporter behind Buzz Feeds blockbuster alt-right investigation (Matthew Kassel, CJR, 10-17-17) ISIS and the Lonely Young American (Rukmini Callimachi, Americas, NY Times, 6-27-15) The Lost Man (Graeme Wood, The California Sunday Magazine, 6-7-15) In 1948, a man was found on a beach in South Australia. The mysterious circumstances of his death have captivated generations of true-crime fanatics. Today, one amateur sleuth has come close to solving the case and upended his life in the process. The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogot (Susan Dominus, NY Times Magazine, 7-9-15) After a hospital error, two pairs of Colombian identical twins were raised as two pairs of fraternal twins. This is the story of how they found one another and of what happened next. Five long reads that stand the test of time (Alyssa Rosenberg's picks, as described in the Washington Post, 8-12-15): Children of Circumstance by Blake Nelson (the New Yorker, 2-14-94); Unspeakable Conversations by Harriet Mc Bryde Johnson (New York Times Magazine 2-16-03); The Misfit by Judith Thurman (the New Yorker, 7-4-05); Rachel Uchitel Is Not a Madam by Lisa Taddeo (New York Magazine, 4-4-10); and Among the Settlers by Jeffrey Goldberg (the New Yorker, 5-31-04). Khater (Francesca Mari, Texas MOnthly, July 2015) When 23-year-old Callie Quinn moved from Texas to Chile, she counted on finding a beautiful country, meaningful work, and interesting friends. She had no idea shed set off a manhunt for an international con artist. The 7 Greatest Stories in the History of Esquire Magazine... The life and times of Strider Wolf (Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe, Nov. in Full (as chosen by the magazine, 11-14-08, and with the magazine's descriptions): "The School" by C. Chivers (June 2006) On the first day of school in 2004, a Chechen terrorist group struck the Russian town of Beslan. 2015 ) He has traveled so far, from near-fatal abuse to here, invisible among Maines poorest, in the care of grandparents who have little left to give but love and just enough of that. Targeting children, they took more than eleven hundred hostages. The attack represented a horrifying innovation in human brutality. In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. Here, an extraordinary accounting of the experience of terror in the age of terrorism. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day. " by Richard Ben Cramer (June 1986) Regarded as perhaps the finest piece of sportswriting on record, the furious saga of Teddy Ballgame from boy to man and near death is an unmatchable remembrance for an American icon. " by Tom Wolfe (March 1965) Now one of America's most legendary authors, Tom Wolfe broke out onto the national literary scene at age thirty-four with this breathless piece an early step in the so-called New Journalism, a first reference for the term "good ol' boy," a deep breath into the future of the New South. "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" by Gay Talese (April 1966) "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. Memorable for its famous cover line ("Oh my God--we hit a little girl."), this legendary account of one company of American soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey, who trained for war and who found it in South Vietnam fifty days later. "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" by Norman Mailer (November 1960) In November 1960, Norman Mailer first tried his hand at a genre that would come to define his career. Critical Care: The Making of an ICU Nurse (a four-part series in the Boston Globe, October 2005) Dan Barry, Donna's Diner. This is Mailer's debut into the world of political journalism, a sprawling classic examining John F. This Land: Elyria, Ohio--At the Corner of Hope and Worry (that first link is to video, with Donna and regulars talking in the diner) (NY Times, 10-13-12). Donna's Diner , 2: Elyrian Landscape: New Mayor, Big To-Do List , 3. Elyria Then, Elyria Now: After a Childhood Pouring Refills, Reaching Beyond the Past, 4. "Clark worked for two years to piece together this intensely personal family history. Never-Ending Conversation: In the Hard Fall of a Favorite Son, a Reminder of a Citys Scars , and With a New Menu and a Makeover, a Promise to Keep Going Moni Basu. Never Let Go (three-part series, by Kelley Benham, Tampa Bay Times, 12-9-12). Set in the time of AIDS, "Three Little Words" is a tale of trust, betrayal and redemption. Chaplain Turner's War (8-part series, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6-22-08). Barry Bearake, The Day the Sea Came, Part 1 of a long feature about the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, which David Hayes cites as an example, like John Hersey's Hiroshima, of parallel structure: a number of characters and a single event. Micro preemie parents decide: Fight or let go of their extremely premature baby? When a baby is born at the edge of viability, which is the greater act of love: to save her, or to say goodbye? Amazing Grace in the Men's Room (Sunday Journal, St. The story, which unfolded here and on the pages of the St. Compelled to serve where the suffering was greatest, he headed to Iraq. Part 2, The Zero Zone In a neverland of sick babies, the NICU is a place where there is no future or past. Scientology: The Truth Rundown, Part 1 of a special three-part report on the Church of Scientology (St. Petersburg Times over 29 days, challenges us to reconsider our thoughts about marriage, privacy, public health and sexual identity." Dudley Clendenin. Every moment is a fight for existence.; and Part 3, Calculating the Value of a Life. In three essays written over 20 years, a liberal, pacifist mother struggles to understand her conservative son, a proud soldier and member of the NRA. The Good Short Life (Opinion piece, Sunday Review, The New York Times 7-9-11). Read about the story: Notable Narrative: What Nieman Storyboard loved about this series. Married to the Military (American Radio Works, listen to hour-long radio program or read the transcript) John Branch. Living with Lou Gehrig's disease is about life, when you know there's not much left, writes Clendenin, who plans to end his life before ALS prevents him from doing so. Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (video), part of a multimedia piece (NY Times, 12-21-12 ), a harrowing story of skiers caught in an avalanche. His mother Janet Burroway reflects on the life of a fiercely honourable boy. Nieman Storyboard has an interesting Editors' Roundtable: The New York Times on facing death as well as an interview with the author: Dudley Clendinen on building stories from life and choosing grace in death: I dont quibble with fate Pamela Coloff. During the 25 years that Michael Morton spent wrongfully imprisoned for murdering his wife, he kept three things in mind: Someday he would prove his innocence to their son. And someday he would understand how this had happened to him. Beyond Rape: A Survivor's Story (The Cleveland Plain Dealer 5-4-08). (Nieman Storyboard, 1-24-12): "a textbook example of how to pace a story for maximum reader engagement that is sure to keep you glued to the page until the very last word." Thomas Curwen. The 'Plant City police found a girl lying in her roach-infested room, naked except for an overflowing diaper. Ian Brown, The Boy in the Moon (Globe & Mail series available online). Connors investigates her own 1984 rape and reports on it in a story that is part personal essay, part long-form journalism. We tell our own stories -- sometimes just to ourselves -- to make sense of the world and our experience in it," she writes in part 3. Ana's Story: Isolated by her appearance, she yearned for a place in the world(two-part series in the Los Angeles Times about how facial reconstruction may change the life of Ana Rodarte, whose life has been defined by facial disfigurement caused by neurofibromatosis, 4-4-09) Lane De Gregory and Melissa Lyttle. The child, pale and skeletal, communicated only through grunts. Brown's memoir about his relationship with his son, Walker, born with a rare genetic disorder that leaves him profoundly developmentally disabled. "As a reader and a writer, I believe in the power of stories to bring us together and heal. He was born at three and a half pounds, the length of a squirrel, with no eyelashes or toenails, and pencil-thin legs poking out of a diaper that covered almost his entire torso. She was almost 7 years old." The story of Danielle, a feral child, deprived of her humanity by a lack of nurturing. In book form, The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son is available at a reasonable price through Amazon Canada. I have asked so many other people to open themselves up and let me tell their stories, all the while withholding my own. With a follow-up story by Lane De Gregory: Three years later, 'The Girl in the Window' learns to connect (8-21-11) Sheri Fink's story (in two venues, with different titles): The Deadly Choices at Memorial (Pro Publica, journalism in the public interest, 8-24-09); Strained by Katrina, a Hospital Faced Deadly Choices (New York Times Magazine, 8-25-09); and the story about the story: An extremely expensive cover story with a new way of footing the bill by Zachary M. Seward, Nieman Journalism Lab (a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age). Also of interest: The Deadly Choices at Memorial (letters in response to the Times story). Five Thirty Eight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus (New York Times blog), the first blog Nieman Narrative selected as a Notable Narrative. (a special, outstanding nine-part series in the St. David Finkel's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, for "explanatory journalism," Exporting Democracy (about U. Brent Foster and Poul Madsen, Nobody deserves this Hell Hole: Jharia's fiery mines (The Globe and Mail, 5-8-09, with a story that multimedia greatly improves) Jon Franklin. Kelly's Monster (Baltimore Sun, 1979) won the first Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Petersburg Times, 12-2-07) Stephen Fried, Cradle to Grave (Part 1) and Part 2 (Philadelphia Magazine, 1-17-08). On Nieman Storyboard's Line by Line, Franklin takes us line by line through his narrative classic, a model of pacing and detail and character. Petersburg Times won 1998 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, for his detailed and compassionate narrative portrait of a mother and two daughters slain on a Florida vacation, and the three-year investigation into their murders) Thomas French, Zoo Story. In the 1960s, a local couple became the most famous bereaved parents in America, as their infants died one after another. This Philadelphia Magazine investigation revealed the deaths were indeed tragic, but perhaps not unexplainable. Bret, Unbroken (Runner's World, June 2013--a moving story and a fine example of telling a story in second person). The Score: How Childbirth Went Industrial (Annals of Medicine, The New Yorker, 10-9-06) James Glanz. In Shite Slums Victory Must Be Won in the Alleys -- an example of hard news told as first-person explanatory essay Christopher Goffard. His brain and body shattered in a horrible accident as a young boy, Bret Dunlap thought just being able to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and survive on his own added up to a good enough life. On the run from everything but each other (Los Angeles Times 5-13-09), young love in flight, which Mark Johnson writes about in Whys this so good? Chicken-Soup Nation (Annals of Publishing, New Yorker, 10-6-03). The Squid Hunter (A Reporter at Large, The New Yorker, 5-24-04). Hallman takes readers inside the ward where premature babies are tended. The Peekaboo Paradox (Wash Post 1-22-06), about the preschool entertainer, The Great Zucchini. Can Steve OShea capture the seas most elusive creature? The Chameleon (Annals of Crime, The New Yorker, 8-11-08). Received 2001 Pulitzer "for his poignant profile of a disfigured 14-year old boy who elects to have life-threatening surgery in an effort to improve his appearance") Tom Hallman Jr. To cover this story, he had to first win over the hospital bureaucracy; he then spent nine months "immersion reporting." Wrote judges for a Missouri School of Journalism award for the series: "The reporting is outstanding; the writing is extraordinary. Opinions vary on whether this is great or needs editing. And Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature Writer Michael Weinreb on the Joe Paterno scandal. The end of idealizing sports heroes at State College. Little Bill Clinton: A School Year in the Life of a New American (award winning series in Christian Science Monitor, 2008-2009). The many lives of Frdric Bourdin, a thirty-year-old Frenchman who serially impersonated children. This is journalism at its highest level." Meredith Hindley. Listen to Bob Edwards' radio interview with Weingarten about this story and Weingarten's collection The Fiddler in the Subway: The Story of the World-Class Violinist Who Played for Handouts. In Atlanta's northeastern suburbs, a refugee community is growing where almost every family is a story of Americans-in-the-making. When Bram Met Walt (Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Nov/​Dec 2012). Volunteer health care workers on a remote medical mission spend three days serving uninsured patients who flock to Appalachia for free medical care) Sonia Nazario. The kitchen became chef Curtis Duffy's escape from a turbulent childhood. ("Cooking provided something lacking in Curtis, hed later realize: a sense of ownership and control, an illustration of cause and effect. Decades of decay, corruption, and failed get-rich-quick schemes have made the city one of the most intractable disasters in the U. Read an interview with Rice about the story on Nieman Storyboard. Slow Death: What happens to mill towns when industry moves on? De Kalb County's seven-year-old International Community School - a charter school - was founded to bring their children together with native-born kids in a community model that welcomes and celebrates student diversity. When Bram Stoker (who went on to write Dracula) met Walt Whitman. A fascinating exchange between Errol Morris and Tom Van Vleck about the role Van Vleck and Noel Morris played in starting the Internet (part 1 of 5). Enrique's Journey (six-part Los Angeles Times series that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, for "her touching, exhaustively reported story of a Honduran boy's perilous search for his mother who had migrated to the United States"). Get your hands in the dough, give a damn about something, and watch results bubbling from the oven 12 minutes later.") Richard Read. Following one globe-hopping load of Northwest potatoes reveals a lot about the world economic crisis (winner of 1999 Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting). Eli Saslow, Life of a salesman: Selling success, when the American dream is downsized (Washington Post, 10-7-12). Eight years after Larry Riverss death, Rivers is being accused of child pornography, for filming his adolescent daughters topless. (Associated Press, 9-25-06, posted on Nieman Story Board) John Jeremiah Sullivan. This school year, the Monitor is exploring this model through the eyes and experiences of Congolese third-grader Bill Clinton Hadam and the ICS community. 56: Nora Ephron and the thing about breasts (Wesley Morris on masterful hyperbole, 9-4-12) No. (Thanks, Barry Yeoman, for pointing this story out.) Jack Hitt. This story about a Manassas, Va., swimming pool salesman experiencing the unraveling of his decades-long success story during a summer of disappointments received the first place award in the first Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest sponsored by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. Scnayerson asks whether the artist was shattering taboos or destroying innocence. The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace. "[O]ne of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction." And an example of immersion reporting, particularly helpful when the subject refuses to be interviewed. A University of Alabama scientist gunned down six of her colleagues in 2010. And here is Hazel Becker's fine account (Talking Shop) of a session at the Excellence in Journalism in which Amy Wallace and Mark Robinson, Wired's feature editor, talked about the behind-the-scenes work done to bring the piece to print: "Their presentation was interesting because it exposed the human sides of the two panelists an accomplished freelancer who was scared to take on the project and an editor who put a lot on the line with his publication to get the story done." Allison Washington. A "collaboration on the magic of long-form stories" (Nieman Storyboard pieces that explore what makes classic narrative nonfiction stories worth reading). 58: Scott Anderson and the hunger warriors (Brendan I. "[O]ne more example of Andersons talent for pivoting from hope to despair. Radovan Karadzics New-Age Adventure (NYTimes Magazine, 7-22-09) Ann Hull and Sue Carlton. Photos and video by Leslye Davis, production by Tom Giratikanon. This American Life (excellent radio narratives in Ira Glass's weekly one-hour show on WBEZ, Chicago, aired nationally through Public Radio International). After Devastating Car Wreck Right Before His Eyes, An Officer Reacts (Oregonian, 10-13-04 -- discussed by Jack Hart in Storycraft as an example of a standard news story presented as narrative nonfiction Charles Van Doren. The quiz-show scandalsand the aftermath (New Yorker 7-28-08) Amy Wallace. The storys kicker could not be any more plainspoken, or any more devastating." Whys this so good? 1: Truman Capote keeps time with Marlon Brando by Alexis Madrigal 6-27-11). Another wild day in the battle over lap dancing (St. Hull and Carlton bring the courtroom to life by showing the parties involved, on both sides of a controversial local issue. history performed near miracles on the battlefield. Truman Capotes profile of the depressive, incoherent, brilliant Marlon Brando is one of the greatest of all time. Dan Koeppel, How to Fall 35,000 Feet And Survive (Popular Mechanics, February 2010), with Nieman Storyboard's commentary on technique. Published in 1957 in The New Yorker, it nominally takes place one evening in the Miyako Hotel in Kyoto. Heinz watched a beautiful young horse break its leg and then get shot in the head. Michael Kruse, A Brevard woman disappeared, but never left home. One could point out many things about craft in the piece. On a late spring morning almost two years ago, it begins, while walking on Broadway, I suddenly noticed that something terrible had happened to Straus Park. And then he sat down and wrote about it for the readers of the New York Sun, ordinary men and women, commuters and shoeshine kids. How could a woman die a block from the beach, surrounded by her neighbors, and not be found for almost 16 months? The descriptions of characters are finely observed and [...] Mc Phee takes on the Mississippi by Carl Zimmer No. When the Mississippi River recently surged down through the middle of the country, a lot of people I follow on Twitter took the opportunity to point to John Mc Phees marvelous 1987 article Atchafalaya. After 24 years, the story is still valuable simply as a guide to the risks faced by [...] Andr Aciman on the geography of longing by Radhika Jones (No. Heinz on Air Lift, son of Bold Venture by Chris Jones (No. Raymond Chandler sticks it to Hollywood by Maud Newton (No. We tend now to think of Hollywoods hackneyed, would-be blockbusters as a new phenomenon, one borne of desperation, unprecedented cynicism and the rise of narrative television. Nieman Storyboard commentary: Exhuming a life (the lost history of Kathryn Norris) Thomas Lake. But Raymond Chandlers wonderful 1945 essay-screed Writers in Hollywood reminds us that the motion picture industry was, by and large, as uninspired and ridiculous 65 years ago as it is today. And for some reason or other, I latched onto it." ~ Don Hewitt, creator of television's 60 Minutes, in a documentary on his career "There is one sacred rule of journalism. The legend on the license must read: NONE OF THIS WAS MADE UP." ~ John Hersey, "The Legend on the License," in the Yale Review 70 (1980)"Like a novel, narrative nonfiction imposes structure, theme and subtext to events, place and character. The Way It Should Be (Sports Illustrated, 6-29-09, the story of an athlete's singular gesture continues to inspire) Mark Larabee. Frozen in Indifference: Life goes on around body found in vacant warehouse ( Detroit News, 1-28-09) The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global (Jacques Leslie, Mother Jones, 12-10-07) Can the world survive China's headlong rush to emulate the American way of life? Petersburg Times), a story of abuse at The Florida School for Boys, Florida's home for juvenile delinquents. Alma Guillermoprietos view on Bogota by Jay Caspian Kang (No. Unlike novelists, authors of narrative nonfiction must live with the fact that real people and real facts seldom conform very tidily to these conventions. Clinging to Lifeand Whatever Floats (Oregonian, 12-12-07). Leslie combines first-person narrative with straight essay-style writing in this piece. 6, 8-3-11) Barry Siegel and the weight of consequences by Deborah Blum (No. archives Stories Are About Change (Shawn Coyne, Steven Pressfield Online, 8-9-13) In his wonderful book The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz tells the story of Marissa Panigrosso, who worked on the 98th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Even the people who wrote the Bible were smart enough to know, tell them a story. Grosz suggests that the reason every single person in the South Tower didnt immediately leave the building is that they did not have a familiar story in their minds to guide them."It's four little words. Mar 15, 2017. Writer-director Jordan Peele says that making Get Out represents his "truest passion. Every great horror movie comes from a true fear, and ideally it's a universal fear. The tricky nature of this. Movie Reviews · 'Get Out' A.

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Stein On Writing A Master Editor of Some of the Most. In cinematic misfire 'The Greatest Showman,' first-time director Michael Gracey fails to master "the crucial knack of building snippets of musical comedy and drama into a satisfying whole," writes Peter Travers. Ask first-time director Michael Gracey, who cut his teeth on commercials and music videos without ever mastering the crucial knack of building snippets of musical comedy and drama into a satisfying whole. Barnum, spare no expense in production values, add a score by Oscar (La La Land) and Tony (Dear Evan Hansen) winners Ben Pasek and Justin Paul and still end up with the shrill blast of nothing that is The Greatest Showman? As scripted by TV writer Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City, The Big C) and Oscar winner Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), the film pivots around what should be a foolproof central character: Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891). This master showman is credited with the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute." He never said it, but he sure acted like he did. Barnum built a career – he later founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus – out of his museum of freaks – General Tom Thumb, Siamese twins, a giant, a bearded lady – whose afflictions he exaggerated or outright faked for fun and profit. Even in his poverty years, stuck in an office job, Barnum promised a dazzling life for his wife, Charity (a stranded Michelle Williams), and their two daughters. Cue the song, "A Million Dreams." Jackman sells the character hard, since Gracey never slows the pace long enough to let Barnum develop as more than a few personality traits, mostly aggressive and all an excuse for another musical number, each choreographed by Ashley Wallen with all the subtlety of a forced military march. My hunch is that Pasek & Paul have crafted a terrific score, but the film buries it in pounding, processed, overdubbed orchestrations that make the voices sound disembodied and auto-tuned out any traces of human nuance. The Greatest Showman is a period film, but the songs are and meant to suggest TODAY! The standout is "This Is Me," an anthem to diversity led by bearded lady Lettie Lutz (Keala Settle). The updating is a harmless enough conceit until Barnum decides to class up his act and introduce the Swedish nightingale Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) to America. Famous for her operatic soprano, Lind is saddled here with "Never Enough," an emo power ballad that never suggests opera or anything more than the reject pile left by contestants on The Voice. It's true that Miss Lind does come on to Barnum, but the film flees from any hint of illicit sex that might endanger the PG rating required for family viewing. The banality continues with the secondary love interest between Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron), Barnum's upper-class producer, and Anne Wheeler (Zendaya), an African-American trapeze artist. The relationship is meant as a cross-racial provocation. But when the duo sings "Rewrite the Stars" you know all will be well. Kudos to Zendaya for resisting the need to overact that afflicts the rest of the cast. Barnum's cruel side is largely ignored, though he does try to keep his family of freaks out of the snob party he throws for Jenny Lind. And for anyone who dares to resist the cotton candy The Greatest Showman is selling, the film throws stones at theater critic James Bennett (Paul Sparks) who writes venomously about the Barnum brand of hardsell entertainment. In the context of this story, bad reviews are fake news. Still, I'm convinced there is a good movie trying to punch itself out of The Greatest Showman. What a shame that Gracey buried Jackman and company in a pile of marshmallow. Stein On Writing A Master Editor of Some of the Most. How to Grow a Novel The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome. I think the internet changed things by providing customer reviews. Find Movie

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