Everyone likes a good read.
It could be a short, zippy few hundred words like this piece, or a long, riveting piece of narrative journalism that grips you from word one, all the way through to word 10,000.
A couple days ago a good friend and I were discussing narrative journalism – and she had asked if I had seen this piece.
Nope, I didn’t.
So I took a gander, and my, my, my – I was blown away.
Then we started compiling a small list on Google Docs of some ‘must-read’ pieces of long form, narrative journalism.
It got me thinking about the structure and form of narrative and long form, and how it could be applied to the short, daily dispatches a good bit of us, definitely me, have to do day in and day out.
What’s more, it got me thinking visually – and about how we could try and use principles of narrative storytelling in multimedia pieces and how we structure our stories.
Anyway, a while back we had a really great guest post about narrative journalism and how to break into the field, as well as an outline of some good places to find a few pieces.
Well, on the back of that, albeit a few months later, here are some pieces that any budding (and experienced) journalist should take a gander at – as they’re all masterful pieces of storytelling and reporting.
Just a small disclaimer, some of these are extremely graphic and definitely a tad disturbing.
The descriptions are actually not done by me.
*The Bravest Woman in Seattle
by Eli Sanders, The Stranger, June 15, 2011 — Won the 2012 Feature Writing Pulitzer
For herself, for the woman she loved, and for justice, the survivor of the South Park attacks tells a courtroom what happened that night.
Tiny little laws: A plague of sexual violence in Indian country
by Kathy Dobie, Harper’s, February 2011
The psychological and social effects of justice deferred can be seen and felt everywhere on Standing Rock, in a mother’s insistence that no one babysit her kids because there’s no one she trusts; in the acts of violent retribution against accused rapists and molesters carried out by victims’ families because that will be the only justice they receive …
Frank Sinatra Has a Cold
by Gay Talese, Esquire, April 1966
Sinatra was ill. He was the victim of an ailment so common that most people would consider it trivial. But when it gets to Sinatra it can plunge him into a state of anguish, deep depression, panic, even rage. Frank Sinatra had a cold.
And these last two, as my friend gracefully put it, are “Holy Shit!” stories. They are definitely my favorites.
A Murder Foretold
by David Grann, The New Yorker, April 2011
There’s really no apt description for this one. If you haven’t read it. DO IT.
The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob
by Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly, November 2005
He wore a Western hat, never spoke a word, and robbed bank after bank. When the feds finally arrest him, they discovered their suspect was actually a soft-spoken woman. They thought they’d never hear from her again–but she had other plans.
So curl up with some tea and get reading. Also, share some of your favorites as well!
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