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Tag Archives: Gary Smith

Upon Gary Smith’s retirement: The venerated Sports Illustrated writer on longform immersion and intimacy

It isn’t often that a narrative journalist’s retirement makes the news, but when Sports Illustrated announced this spring that longtime writer Gary Smith would be leaving the business, the public eulogies — and the “Best of Gary” lists — began immediately. Smith, who spent 32 years at SI, wrote celebrated stories “that weren’t so much about sports as [...]

“The Power of Storytelling,” Part 4: Chris Jones on why stories matter, Pat Walters on endings, Walt Harrington on integrity

In Part 3 of our recap of Romania’s “Power of Storytelling” conference on narrative journalism, radio producer Starlee Kine talked about story forms and themes; Esquire‘s Mike Sager talked about listening, and about suspending disbelief; and Pulitzer winner Alex Tizon talked about writing one’s own story. In Part 2, Pulitzer winner Jacqui Banaszynski wrote a short essay about why she and eight other North American [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 51: Gary Smith and Coach O’Leary’s lies

We may as well begin the way Gary Smith begins – with a question, and near the end. Why is it that when you finish reading “Lying in Wait,” Smith’s 2002 profile of coach George O’Leary, you feel the impact so strongly? And by feel I mean physically feel. It will be different for everyone, [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 47: Calvin Trillin and classic Edna Buchanan

Where is Edna Buchanan when we need her? Admittedly, the lede on this recent Associated Press story wasn’t half bad: MIAMI — A witness says a naked man chewing on the face of another naked man on a downtown highway ramp kept eating and growled at a police officer, who fatally shot him to make him stop. [...]

Wright Thompson on identity, clarity, editing, voodoo and the deadline virtues of Lionel Ritchie

We chose Wright Thompson’s ESPN.com piece “The Kid Who Wasn’t There” as our latest Notable Narrative because the story added a chilling layer to the odd life story of Guerdwich Montimere, the grown man who passed himself off as a Texas high schooler and became a basketball star. So much of Thompson’s work, though, merits [...]

L.A. Times reporter Christopher Goffard on structure, sympathy and how to make a story go: “The same thing that’s going to make people sit through a movie will make them sit through a 10,000-word series”

For “Project 50: Four walls and a bed,” our latest Notable Narrative, reporter Christopher Goffard spent two years following a Los Angeles-area program aimed at finding the most at-risk homeless and giving them a place to live. Goffard, who has had several stories selected as Notable Narratives across the years, is also a novelist, and [...]

Gary Smith on intimacy and connecting with subjects: “Any uneasiness you bring is going to cost you dearly”

On the last day of the Mayborn Conference, Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith read from and discussed “Shadow of a Nation,” his 1991 story about a Crow basketball player named Jonathan Takes Enemy. Smith has been at Sports Illustrated for nearly two decades, winning more National Magazine Awards than any other writer. He’s known for his [...]

Michael Kruse on monkey business and narrative writing: “if a story’s not moving, a reader is probably stopping”

We talked by phone this week with St. Petersburg Times reporter Michael Kruse, the author of our latest Notable Narrative. An unusual profile of a monkey on the loose in the Tampa Bay area, Kruse’s account comes at the story from the inside out, capturing both the celebrity of the monkey (who counts Jimmy Kimmel [...]

Narrative nonfiction events and conferences–is there something here for you?

While tracking digital narrative experiments, we at Storyboard also aim to keep readers informed about the world of traditional print narratives. Today we’ve compiled a list of upcoming events for fans who want to hear from classic storytellers or learn elements of craft. Here are just a few of the opportunities available, in chronological order: The Society [...]

Gary Smith interview on “The Power of One” from Sports Illustrated

Excerpts from a November interview with Gary Smith about his story “The Power of One,” which appeared in Sports Illustrated in September: Q: When did you first hear about Bonnie Richardson? How long did you work on the story? A: I guess it was within a week of when she won her second state title. [...]