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Against All Odds

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

Suskind won a 1995 Pulitzer for feature writing for this story and its sequel. He later published a book: “A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League.” His story’s protagonist, Cedric, is … Read more

Growing Up, Growing Apart

By Notable Narratives November 12, 2004

The eighth installment in The New York Times race series may be the least narrative, in the sense that it is more an organized, persuasive collection of reporting—quotes, background, information—than a story that moves through time. But like good narrative, … Read more

Building Character: A Checklist

By Story Craft October 15, 2004

Newspaper folks talk a lot about getting people into stories. But all too often that means trotting out direct quotes from a variety of sources. True characterization taps an array of techniques that novelists and literary journalists use … Read more

The Line Between Fact and Fiction

By Story Craft September 7, 2004

Journalists should report the truth. Who would deny it? But such a statement does not get us far enough, for it fails to distinguish nonfiction from other forms of expression. Novelists can reveal great truths about the human condition, and … Read more

A Quiet Crusade

By Notable Narratives July 28, 2004

Shane links infant mortality in Nepal to the U.S.’s own history. He takes a muscular approach to the topic by pointing out the paradox inherent in public health: treating people as statistics in order to save lives. We welcome this … Read more

Tips for Reporters

By Story Craft March 1, 2002

Note: The following is an edited transcript of a talk by Jim Collins at the 2001 Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. It was published in the Spring 2002 issue of Nieman Reports. These are things I have learned from my … Read more

Narrative Journalism Comes of Age

By Story Craft October 1, 2001

Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Nieman Reports, the Nieman Foundation’s quarterly magazine. Narrative writing is returning to newspapers. No one has added up the reallocated column-inches to quantify this change, but there are … Read more

The Comedy of Life

By Story Craft January 1, 1999

The doctor at the Army base had a young corporal as his assistant to keep track of the paperwork. The young man was curious about the doctor’s affairs. He was always asking questions and one morning said, “In … Read more

Building Character in Three Dimensions

By Story Craft January 1, 1998

We’ve heard it to the point of numbness: “Get people into your stories. Tell it in human terms.” Who’s to argue? Yup, human beings are more interesting than paper creeping through a bureaucracy. Yup, real human experiences bring abstractions to … Read more