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Tag Archives: Tom French

Full life, tight space? Consider narrative shorthand.

An interesting writing move recently caught my eye in Rosalind Bentley’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution profile of poet laureate Natasha Trethewey. For lack of a better name, I’ll call it the “narrative overview,” and I now see it everywhere. In Bentley’s profile, this overview is expressed as a litany of verbless sentences, each revealing — with brevity [...]

Kelley Benham and Tom French on “Never Let Go,” book collaboration, first-person writing, memory and love

Tampa Bay Times reporter Kelley Benham went into labor four months early and delivered her daughter, Juniper, at 23 weeks: a baby who weighed 20 ounces and was no taller than a Barbie doll. Doctors told Benham and her husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer and University of Indiana and Goucher College instructor Tom French, that [...]

It’s Mayborn Week at Storyboard!

Tomorrow through Friday we’ll feature exclusive outtakes from this month’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference at the University of North Texas. This year’s correspondents: veteran journalists Lee Hancock and Charlie Lewis, whose bios you’ll find below. (In case you missed it, last year’s conference included talks by Jeanne Marie Laskas and Thomas Lake on sportswriting and [...]

Reporting and writing “Never Let Go” — inside Kelley Benham French’s remarkable series

Kelley Benham French’s “Never Let Go,” about the extremely premature birth of her daughter, Juniper, was included in Storyboard’s Best of Narrative list for 2012, and our final Notable Narrative of the year. The five-part series ran last month in the Tampa Bay Times. French’s colleague and close friend Ben Montgomery spoke with her recently about the story. [...]

Turning a newspaper project into a book: Christopher Goffard on “You Will See Fire”

We recently noticed that Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard had expanded a series he had done for the paper into the book “You Will See Fire.” We’ve talked with other narrative journalists who have done a similar thing (David Finkel, Tom French), but in this case, we thought it would be interesting to focus [...]

All the narrative edification you need: our 2012 conference roundup

It’s time for our annual almost-spring listing of 2012 writing events and conferences. From California to Texas and Boston, there are options to work on your writing or storytelling skills coast to coast. Whether you want to sharpen up your scene-setting, peek into the world of multimedia, or just network with others who are devoted [...]

Amy Harmon on getting readers “to think about the limits of their own tolerance”

Our latest Editors’ Roundtable looks at “Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World.” Amy Harmon’s story follows Justin Canha, an autistic man in his early 20s, and the many people trying to help him learn to live independently. A reporter for the New York Times, Harmon has won two Pulitzer Prizes: one in [...]

David Barstow on being fair, bearing witness and “doing something bigger with the story”

We spoke this week with The New York Times’ David Barstow, who wrote and helped report our latest Notable Narrative, “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours.” The project, a fine-grained look at the crew’s last moments aboard the doomed oil rig, ran at the end of December, and we learned through Barstow that Summit Entertainment has recently [...]

Robert Caro, Stacy Schiff, Diane Ackerman and more: narrative conferences and workshops in 2011

Was one of your resolutions in 2011 to become a better storyteller? If so, here are a few conferences and workshops slated for the coming months that can probably teach you a thing or two. These sessions range from one-day conferences to week-long writing intensives, and none of them are free (they range from less [...]

Roy Peter Clark on “the power of the parts” for storytelling

Roy Peter Clark holds the post of senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, and as such is one of narrative journalism’s hardest-working midwives. You may have already encountered him here on Storyboard or through his books on writing, including “Coaching Writers” and more recently, “The Glamour of Grammar.” We had hoped to bring you highlights from [...]