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Tag Archives: Michael Paterniti

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 [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Eli Saslow and one Newtown family

Our Annotation Tuesday! series takes readers line by line through a notable piece of writing — with the author. Occasionally, we bring in a guest annotator. Elon Green, of The Awl and Longform.org, most recently looked at Leslie Jamison’s “Fog Count,” a reported essay from The Oxford American. And today we have Andy Kroll, a staff writer for Mother Jones magazine, [...]

Pinned: Dan Zak, 40 Towns, Chimamanda Adichie, TED Radio Hour, writing advice, Walter Lippmann

Pinned this week week for your storytelling pleasure: Highly recommended: In schools, the complexity in assigned reading is dropping, NPR reports: “A century ago, students were being assigned books with the complexity of around the ninth- or 10th-grade level. But in 2012, the average was around the sixth-grade level.” Pair with yesterday’s engaging Dan Zak piece in the Washington Post, on [...]

Well hello there.

Welcome, new readers! Our audience has grown considerably lately, so we thought this might be a good time to recap Storyboard’s goods and services, and to invite you to follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. We’re a Nieman Foundation for Journalism publication, with two sister sites: Nieman Journalism Lab, edited by Joshua Benton, covers the future of news with daily online posts and [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 67: Dan P. Lee and Travis the killer chimp

It was a sideshow story whose horror was so extravagant that it bordered on vulgarity: On Feb. 16, 2009, a 14-year-old male chimpanzee named Travis, who had been raised from infancy by Nancy Herold, attacked a friend who was visiting her home in Stamford, Conn. Over the next 12 minutes, he ripped or chewed off [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 63: Michael Paterniti and the earthquake

After a 7.0 earthquake destroyed Haiti on Jan. 23, 2010, I spent weeks reading news reports about a tragedy so massive and devastating the numbers alone overwhelmed me: more than 316,000 dead, 300,000 injured, a million homeless. But I didn’t cry until almost a year later, when I read “City of Dust,” Michael Paterniti’s New York [...]

The best magazine features of 2011: an ASME sampler

National Magazine Award judges have a tough job this year as they choose a winner in the features category. There’s the sobering story about a corporate attorney’s mysterious death in Guatemala; the bizarre tale of a pair of young international arms dealers; the moving account of two dozen strangers braving a massive tornado; a fable-like piece [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 33: Michael Paterniti’s painted ghosts

It was summer; it was winter. The village disappeared behind skeins of fog. Fishermen came and went in boats named Reverence, Granite Prince, Souwester. Whenever I find my writing drifting into the simple staccato of basic exposition, whenever I question the role of rhetoric in storytelling or despair over rumors of distracted readers and diminished [...]

Chris Jones on reporting for detail, the case against outlining and the power of donuts

Esquire writer at large Chris Jones came to the Nieman Foundation two weeks ago as part of the Narrative Writing speakers series I started at the foundation last year, and spent a couple of hours talking about craft. Jones began his career as a sportswriter for the National Post in Toronto, where he covered boxing, which became [...]

Michael Paterniti on the legacy of Gitmo: “I didn’t want to turn it into some neat parable”

We recently posted our latest Editors’ Roundtable, which dissected “The Boy from Gitmo” by Mike Paterniti. A National Magazine Award winner (and a seven-time finalist), Paterniti writes for GQ and lives in Maine, where he and his wife, Sara Corbett, co-founded The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing program for kids. He is also the author [...]