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Contributor Archives: Paige Williams

Lunchtime viewing: 5 useful vids on storytelling

  Novelist Chimamanda Adichie on how to tell a story, TEDtalks. Discussed: how to find your voice; the danger of a single cultural narrative; ginger beer. (13 minutes, 58 seconds) Best-selling narrative nonfiction author and filmmaker Alex Kotlowitz and Mary Marshall Clark, director of Columbia’s Center for Oral History, “Finding Narrative,” Columbia University. Discussed: definition [...]

The Music of Narrative: Songs from great literary journalism

A story without sound lies too dead on the page. Imagine “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” by Jon Franklin, without the pop … pop … pop of the operating-room sensors. Or Tom Wolfe’s “The Girl of the Year” — the 1964 New York magazine classic on “it” girl Jane Holzer — without the manic rhythms: She is gorgeous [...]

Notable Narrative: David Abel and the Richard family, survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing

Our latest Notable Narrative, “For Richard family, loss and love,” is a two-part series by David Abel* of the Boston Globe. Abel spent six months with the Richards, a family of Boston Marathon bombing survivors, and wrote with reportorial depth about their struggle to cope with a range of loss, including that of their son and [...]

The 2014 Pulitzers: A gap year for features

The Pulitzer judges’ decision* not to award a prize in Features Writing on Monday was disappointing but not unprecedented.** The last (and only other) gap occurred 10 years ago, when stories by Robert Lee Hotz (Los Angeles Times), Anne Hull and Tamara Jones (the Washington Post) and Patricia Wen (the Boston Globe) stalled out as [...]

Narrative flashback: Kelly, Kirn, Guillermoprieto, Woo, Kaminer, Krulwich and Hart talk storytelling’s future and form

Storyboard isn’t the only Nieman Foundation publication with a rich craft archive. Our venerable sister magazine Nieman Reports maintains a trove of material on narrative and storytelling, and we’ll be highlighting some of that work in the coming weeks. Today’s outtake is from the Fall 2000 issue, which featured writers and editors from The New Yorker, [...]

‘It’s not about the cameras, it’s about how you see the world’ — and 49 other tips and inspirations from the BU narrative conference

Fifty takeouts from some of the speakers at last weekend’s Boston University conference on narrative, culled from the Twitter feeds of Lauren Alexander, Alletta Cooper, Cat Cowan, Jessica DuLong, John R. Gagain Jr., Sascha Garrey, Nate Goldman, Kate Hoagland, Robin Lubbock, Cristian Lupsa, Sophia Diogo Mateus, Simina Mistreanu, Lisa Mullins, Amy O’Leary, Greg Rienzi, Beth [...]

Remembering Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus, the veteran AP photographer and 2007 Nieman Fellow who was shot and killed today in eastern Afghanistan while covering the run-up to the presidential election, had covered the region for more than 20 years. “For me, covering conflict and war is the essence of journalism,” she wrote in Nieman Reports, in 2012. “My [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 90: George Plimpton and Sidd Finch

Twenty-nine years ago today, Sports Illustrated ran George Plimpton’s “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” about a mysterious, unknown major league pitching recruit who threw a fastball at jet speed. Published on April Fools’ Day 1985, the piece carried the following deck: He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent lifestyle, [...]

Storytelling for the win: This year’s ASME finalists

This year’s National Magazine Award nominations in the features, multimedia, reporting and essay/criticism categories cover conflict, immigration, violence, grief, the abortion wars and more, from a host of talented journalists representing a range of publications. The American Society of Magazine Editors will announce the winners on May 1, in New York. Read the full list [...]

Pinned: A boxer, a triple murder, an art mystery, a writing conference and how to get organized

Pinned this week for your storytelling pleasure: pieces on a jailhouse boxer, an old triple homicide in Texas, a billion dollars’ worth of recovered European art, a one-day writing conference and organizational tips. From Recommended Reading: The Paris Review’s Clifford Chase with a study in cadence. From “A Downward Glissando:” The name of the medication printed [...]