The narrative for discussion in the second installment of our Editors’ Roundtable is “Welcome to Haiti’s Reconstruction Hell” by Mac McClelland. Appearing in Mother Jones earlier this year, the story was written after a visit in 2010 to survey the island’s post-quake recovery efforts. Clara Jeffery, one of two editors-in-chief at Mother Jones, edited the piece. The narrative [...]
Tag Archives: Tom Shroder
The narrative selected for discussion by our first-ever Editors’ Roundtable is “The Real Lesson of the Tucson Tragedy” by David Von Drehle. Appearing in Time magazine five days after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and so many others, the piece draws on reporting from six reporters who fed Von Drehle material from Tucson, New York and [...]
Earlier this week, we announced a new offering on Storyboard – an Editors’ Roundtable, in which a stellar group of editors will collectively analyze a piece of narrative journalism. We invited Storyboard readers to submit links to the best true story they had read recently. Submissions are open indefinitely, so please continue to forward material at [...]
Congratulations to this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, whose names were announced on Monday. In honor of the new recipients and finalists, we’d like to highlight a few of our past interviews and overviews with connections to nominated stories. Gene Weingarten won the prize in feature writing for a Washington Post piece about the guilt and grief of parents who inadvertently [...]
Blog posts and articles on narrative journalism pinged around the Halloween weekend like eyeballs at a zombie food fight—and according to Washingtonian.com, an actual fight broke out at The Washington Post. While the Post’s Henry Allen (a Pulitzer winner for criticism) was reportedly knocking down and punching a younger feature writer over a disagreement related [...]
[The second in an occasional series aimed at helping readers find online resources that focus on narrative journalism.]
For more than four years, Gangrey.com has rounded up the best print narratives on a daily basis. Founder Ben Montgomery, who is also a reporter with Florida’s St. Petersburg Times, talks here about his personal motivation for starting his site and what he thinks narrative journalism can do.
On what makes a good Gangrey story:
Does it have something that’s surprising? Is it entertaining? Will it keep my attention? Is there some device being used that I’ve never seen before?
And on the multimedia components for his latest print narrative:
I couldn’t have pulled that off if it had required more effort from me. We wouldn’t have achieved the same level of—I don’t want to say excellence—the same level of story for either of those things, if both [the print story and the video] had required my attention. If journalists are required to write the story and compose the multimedia elements going into it, both parts tend to suffer.
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.
In 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.