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Tag Archives: The Washington Post Magazine

Editors’ Roundtable: Two boys, a basketball and a ‘magical’ shot

The Oregonian’s Anna Griffin wrote a story last Sunday about a small but rare and memorable moment in high school sports. Deadspin set it up this way: A young man named Davan Overton in unincorporated Oregon plays on his high school basketball team despite a tumor on his spine that has, since he was a toddler, hampered [...]

What we’re reading: Stories on teenage gumption, secret clinical trials, wrongful imprisonment and the convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald

We love December for its inevitable bouquet of great year-end stories. Lots of good stuff out there right now, including these, four of our recent favorites: Anne Hull’s poverty piece, “In Rust Belt, a teenager’s climb from poverty,” which documents Pennsylvania teenager Tabi Rouzzo’s struggle to better herself. Hull, who with Dana Priest won the [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 38: Walt Harrington deconstructs Rita Dove

Writing about the writing process isn’t easy, for good reason. Turning words into sentences and sentences into scenes is at heart a craft, yet there’s still a certain amount of magic involved. Synapses fire. Muses play. That magic, which manifests itself in unique ways for each of us, is what makes Walt Harrington’s Washington Post [...]

Gene Weingarten on journalistic ethics: two case studies from his career

The final session of last month’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference offered The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten in conversation with Brian Sweany, deputy editor of Texas Monthly. Weingarten, who does a weekly humor column for the Post, has won two Pulitzer Prizes: one in 2008 for his experiment putting a world-class violinist outside a subway stop [...]

Jeanne Marie Laskas on voice, point of view and accountability to her subjects: “this is the human story of a guy suffering”

In our latest Notable Narrative, “The People V. Football,” GQ correspondent Jeanne Marie Laskas looks at a former football player who has already lost much of his life and is in the process of losing his mind. Laskas has won a slot in the “Best American Sportswriting” anthologies four times, written five books and been [...]

Tom Shroder, former Washington Post Magazine editor, on dinner plates and well-done narrative

This week, I had a chance to talk by phone with Tom Shroder, who took a buyout from The Washington Post earlier this year. Shroder specializes in long-form narrative stories and recently launched his own editing site, and so I was curious what he would have to say about the current state of narrative journalism.

shroder-tIn our conversation, he dishes on a common mistake made by narrative freelancers, talks about the genesis of one of the best newspaper narratives ever written, and a offers up a considered defense of poop jokes. Here’s a taste:

Where a lot of narrative journalism went wrong was that it became all about the writing, and not about the details for the story and the facts behind it. People felt they could throw some words at people and dazzle. But even good writers need to start with an exceptional set of facts.

Read the full interview »