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 any time – stories you wrote, stories from someone you know, or just pieces you’d like to see discussed. They have to have already been published, be available in their entirety online, and be strong enough to make their dissection useful for Storyboard readers. Once a month, the group will explore how a given story works, addressing what makes the writing stand out while sometimes pointing out what could have been done differently.
Today, we’re pleased to announce the members of the roundtable. You’ll see them in action at the beginning of February. In the meantime, you can read a little more about what kind of experience they’ll bring to bear on some of today’s most intriguing and impressive stories.
Jacqui Banaszynski worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 30 years, most recently as associate managing editor of The Seattle Times. While at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, her series “AIDS in the Heartland” won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for coverage of the Ethiopian famine and won the nation’s top deadline reporting award for coverage of the 1988 Olympics. She has edited several award-winning projects, including projects that won ASNE Best Writing, Ernie Pyle Human Interest Writing and national business and investigative prizes. In 2008, she was named to the AASFE Features Hall of Fame. She is now Knight Chair professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, an editing fellow at the Poynter Institute, and teaches students and professional journalists around the world.
Kelley Benham is enterprise editor at the St. Petersburg Times, where she supervises daily enterprise and projects and edits the Sunday Floridian feature section. She edited “Winter’s Tale,” a 2009 Pulitzer finalist in feature writing; and “For Their Own Good,” a 2010 Pulitzer finalist in local reporting. As a beat reporter and feature writer, she won a number of national awards, including the Ernie Pyle award for human interest writing and the National Headliner award for feature writing. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute and teaches regularly at universities and workshops across the country. A former high school journalism teacher, she earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she flunked the class on narrative writing.
Maria Carrillo is managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she remains committed to craft, even in a Twitter world. Her exceptional writers have been nationally recognized as Pulitzer and ASNE finalists. Carrillo has worked at The Pilot for nearly 13 years, directing many of the paper’s projects and overseeing its narrative team for much of that time. That work has spawned five books so far. Carrillo has been a visiting faculty member for the Poynter Institute and the Nieman program, a lecturer for the National Writers Workshops and the American Press Institute, and twice a Pulitzer juror. Carrillo previously worked at The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch and at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul. She is a native of Washington, D.C., where she was born two years after her parents fled Cuba. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two children.
Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books and special projects at the Star Tribune, where she has worked for nearly 15 years. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Minnesota Monthly magazine and the Duluth News-Tribune. Her journalism has appeared in newspapers around the country, including the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has written for many magazines and journals, and is the author of three books — “News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist,” “They Took My Father: Finnish-Americans in Stalin’s Russia” (co-author, Mayme Sevander), and “Boomtown Landmarks.” Hertzel has been writer-in-residence at the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio; a fellow at Duke University; and has spoken many times at Nieman narrative conferences. She has won national awards for her magazine writing, her newspaper journalism and her short fiction.
Tom Huang is Sunday and enterprise editor at The Dallas Morning News and adjunct faculty at the Poynter Institute. In 2008, he taught sessions in ethics, diversity, writing and leadership as a fellow at Poynter. He was co-editor of Poynter’s “Best Newspaper Writing” book for 2008-2009. He has worked at The Dallas Morning News since 1993, first as a feature writer, then as features editor, and now as the Sunday Page One editor. His reporting has taken him from Bosnia, Vietnam and the Athens Olympics to the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks in New York. He is past president of the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors and serves on the national advisory board of the Asian American Journalists Association. He is a 1988 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and engineering.
Chris Hunt is an assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated, where he’s worked the past 21 years. From 2006 through 2008 he was also the editor of SI’s Spanish-language magazine, SI Latino. At SI, his primary responsibility is the “bonus” piece, which appears near the end of each edition and is written by the magazine’s best long-form writers. Hunt also edits SI’s book excerpts; writes the captions for the Leading Off section; top-edits stories throughout the magazine; and serves as SI’s tennis and cycling editor. Before moving to SI he was executive editor of Travel & Leisure magazine, where he worked for 10 years. Hunt has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Columbia University. He grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife and daughter.
Tom Shroder has been an award-winning journalist, writer and editor for more than 30 years, and is founder of the editing website www.storysurgeons.com. As editor of The Washington Post Magazine, he conceived and edited “Fatal Distraction,” which won the 2010 Pulitzer for feature writing. He also edited and contributed to “Pearls Before Breakfast,” which won the 2008 Pulitzer for feature writing. One of the foremost editors of humor in the country, Shroder has edited columns by Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten and Tony Kornheiser, and conceived and launched the internationally syndicated comic strip, “Cul de Sac,” by Richard Thompson. He has written three books, including “Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Previous Lives.” His latest book, written with former oil rig captain John Konrad, is “Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster.” It will be published in March.
Paige Williams won the National Magazine Award for feature writing in 2008 and teaches narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation. Her magazine stories have been anthologized in “The Best American Magazine Writing” and, twice, “The Best American Crime Writing,” among others. She spent 10 years as a reporter at The Charlotte Observer, where her feature writing and investigative series won numerous state and national honors; before that, she worked as a reporting intern for newspapers including The Washington Post and The Clarion-Ledger. She has deputy edited and edited magazines in Atlanta, Portland and Boston, has taught journalism at New York University, Emory University and the University of Mississippi, and was the Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Nevada Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism. A 1996-97 Nieman Fellow, she holds an MFA from Columbia University.
Check back in early February for the first installment of the Editors’ Roundtable. And in the meantime, if there are stories you’d like to see the group tackle, send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org.