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 watch Indiana University professor Kelley Benham deconstruct her remarkable story about the premature birth of her daughter.
But those of us stuck at home during the fourth annual “Power of Storytelling” narrative journalism conference need not despair. Thanks to conference founder Cristian Lupsa, editor of the non-fiction journal Decât o Revistă and a 2014 Nieman fellow, and his colleagues, Storyboard will bring you excerpts from the two-day conference as soon as they’re available.
In the interim, you can follow the happenings on Twitter, with the hashtag #story14, and whet your appetite here with some highlights from previous conferences.
In this session at the 2012 conference, Jones spoke about the purpose of writing and what makes a good writer:
I get asked all the time about what makes a great writer. What makes a good writer. And it’s such a hard question to answer. There’s things like curiosity, determination and honesty, and all these things are important, but the thing that for me – it’s my test – if I was to hire one person out of this room, who would I take? It would be the person who cared the most.
The same year, Atavist editor and founder Evan Ratliff talked about the challenges of creating his venture and how it required him to do all the work he had “become a writer not to do:”
“I think the lesson here is one that I’m still grappling with. I think that sometimes you just have to get over yourself, and sometimes you just have to survive. And this is what we had to do to survive. We had to do things that we were not ready to do and I think that is true for a lot of journalists who want to strike out as freelancers, who want to write things that are different from what your editors want you to write, and you want to go out in the world and find new magazines and find new homes.”
You can also read radio producer Starlee Kine’s take on developing ideas or see what Jacqui Banaszynski thinks about the future of storytelling. And stay tuned for dispatches from this year’s sessions.