I’ve been thinking about Mike Sager’s story, “The Devil and John Holmes,” for a long time. I first read his chronicle of the famous porn star and the Wonderland murders when it came out in 1989; I was 10 years old. It is a testament to the story’s vividness that, when I picked it up years later, so much of it–entire scenes and lines of dialogue–had stuck with me. (It’s not surprising that parts of the story ended up in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. “There was this great Rolling Stone article,” Anderson said on his DVD commentary, “and I remember the description of this guy Eddie Nash in Speedos and the sheen of sweat on his body.”)

Some of the remarkable detail in the Rolling Stone piece comes from extensive interviews Sager did with two women in Holmes’s life: his first wife, Sharon, and Dawn Schiller, a teenager he had a relationship with and prostituted to support his drug habit. Schiller, who is now 53 and a graduate student at Eastern Oregon University, says the piece still holds up.

“The story is in alignment with what I lived,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “I think [Sager] did a really … Read More

Editor’s Note: Every other fall, hundreds of radio producers, journalists, documentarians and other audio artists gather in Chicago for the Third Coast conference to examine, explore and celebrate the world of audio storytelling. In the first of… Read more

Annotation Tuesday ventures into a new medium today with our first annotation of a radio story. It’s a natural fit. The human voice is, of course, the original storytelling instrument. Plus, some of the … Read more

In selecting David Finkel for one of its "genius" grants in 2012, the MacArthur Foundation described him as "a journalist whose finely honed methods of immersion reporting and empathy for often-overlooked lives yield stories that transform… Read more

In previous books, best-selling author Jonathan Eig profiled baseball legend Lou Gehrig and Chicago gangster Al Capone. But as he set about researching his most recent project, he faced an interesting dilemma: what do you do when… Read more

If we were in Bucharest today, we could listen to newly named New York Times deputy international editor Amy O'Leary talk about digital storytelling or delve into the less glamorous aspects of the writer's life with Esquire's Chris Jones or… Read more

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah and I met recently in her Brooklyn apartment to talk about “If He Hollers Let Him Go." Her story, which is and isn't about comedian Dave Chappelle, ran in the October 2013 issue of… Read more

No wonder Jill Lepore describes herself as a "code-switcher." She's both a prize-winning professor of history at Harvard University and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. Her most recent book, "Book of Ages:… Read more

For this weekend's selections, Storyboard recommends reading about writing; we're highlighting some recent articles that feature advice from authors whose worlds range from horror to science to journalism. Read more

Editor's Note: Welcome to the newest installment of "Writing the Book," an occasional Storyboard feature in which journalists turned authors discuss the challenges of creating their work. In this essay, freelancer and 2013 Nieman affiliate… Read more

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