Justin Heckert has taken to his adopted home of Indianapolis, where his wife, Amanda, is the editor of Indianapolis Monthly. Heckert, who started making a name for himself as a magazine writer to be reckoned with at Atlanta Magazine, is now working as a freelancer out of the Midwest.

Justin Heckert

Justin Heckert

Heckert has written for The New York Times Magazine, ESPN: The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Atlanta Magazine and Indianapolis Monthly, among other publications, and most recently profiled comedian Kyle Kinane for Grantland. He’s twice been named the City and Regional Magazine Association’s writer of the year.

We met at the Red Key Tavern near downtown Indy, a bar with a jukebox that plays Benny Goodman and Bing Crosby, and has been written about in Esquire. It was a fitting place, given that Esquire was where he first pitched the idea for “Lost in the Waves.” The story, which ultimately ran in Men’s Journal, has been anthologized in “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.”

My comments are in red; Heckert’s responses are in blue.  If you’d like to read the story without annotations first, click the … 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

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

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

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

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

Recommended Reading

Bringing creativity to complex issues: The Washington Post, New Republic and CIR

October 3, 2014

3 (Stories) for 2 (Days): Storyboard's weekend picks

Here's a highly curated list for you. Robert Atwan, the editor of the "Best American Essays" series, has selected for the Publishers Weekly website his top 10 essays since 1950. Atwan is careful to point out… 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