Nieman Storyboard is a publication of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and a sister publication of Nieman Reports and Nieman Journalism Lab. For more than a decade, the Nieman Foundation has recognized the importance of narrative journalism and explored the craft through a Narrative Writing seminar for fellows, special events at Harvard, and websites, the earliest of which was Nieman Narrative Digest. Storyboard expanded the narrative mission by offering journalists who are not Fellows a parallel opportunity to explore the future of storytelling in every medium. Some of the writers, teachers, and editors who furthered the cause before moving on to other endeavors: Constance Casey, Mark Kramer, Nell Lake, Andrea Pitzer, and Robert Vare, the 1996-97 Fellow and Atlantic editor who, as the inaugural lecturer in narrative, founded the Nieman storytelling initiative.
Our attempt to give narrative journalists access to the best teachers and practitioners has extended to the publication of books and transcripts, and a popular annual conference, which ended in 2009. Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers Guide, edited by Kramer and Wendy Call, features more than 90 essays and short pieces adapted from those conferences. The essays share the insights of 52 of the country’s top writers and editors; they take the reader from story idea through publication, and on to writing books and building a career as a narrative writer. You can find some of this work in our Essays on Craft section.
Along with our featured Notable Narratives, Storyboard points visitors to impressive work being produced today via weekly lists of stories worth reading (or watching, or hearing). Other resources include interviews with writers and photojournalists, a growing archive of links to featured stories, coverage of literary conferences and events, and posts on narrative techniques from veteran storytellers.
We rely on many regular contributors and trusted advisers, but here are the people responsible for bringing Nieman Storyboard to digital life:
Paige Williams edits Storyboard and teaches the Nieman seminar in narrative writing. Winner of the National Magazine Award for feature writing in 2008, and a finalist in 2011 and 2009 (shared) , she has been anthologized in five volumes of the Best American anthology series, including twice in The Best American Magazine Writing. She spent a decade in newspapers before moving into academia, magazines, and online. A 1996-97 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, she holds an MFA from Columbia University. You can reach her most quickly on gmail, at paige02138.
Alix Felsing, a longtime copyeditor at the Charlotte Observer, copyedits Storyboard.
Barbara McCarthy, the web communications specialist for the Nieman Foundation, handles all information technology aspects of Storyboard.
Want to pitch Nieman Storyboard? Email your idea to paige02138 [at] gmail.com. If you’d like to write an installment of “Why’s this so good?” in particular, you may find these guidelines helpful:
*You choose a piece of nonfiction that you love and would like to dissect.
*Please see our “Why’s this so good?” archives, to make sure you’re pitching something we haven’t already covered, or to choose a different angle of a previously covered piece.
*The work you’re covering must be available online so that we can link to it.
*Most posts run anywhere from 800 to 1,500 words.
*Please pitch an aspect of your chosen piece: specific analysis (voice, structure, etc.).
*Don’t forget to include a bio with your pitch! We like knowing who you are.