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Andy’s Last Secret

By Notable Narratives June 3, 2005

This series got a lot of attention: The Plain Dealer’s Web traffic increased dramatically during the week of its publication, says Stuart Warner, an editor and writing coach at the paper. Warner believes that thousands of young people were drawn … Read more

14 Tips for Building Character

By Story Craft June 1, 2005

This essay is adapted from Rick Meyer’s notes for a talk at the 2005 Nieman Narrative Editors’ Seminar. Rick’s presentation was paired with Laurie Hertzel’s talk on scenes. We probably ought to declare something right away, so no one … Read more

Mower Power to Him

By Notable Narratives May 26, 2005

Benham strikes the right tone in this piece—friendly and a touch ironic. The piece is punctuated by creative passages and playful quips. But there’s substance here, too: The playfulness is supported by the concrete details of her reporting. We like, … Read more

Up From the Holler

By Notable Narratives May 26, 2005

This is a wonderfully consistent profile, with thorough and effective characterization. Lewin provides telling details that stick to a theme, and yet the portrayal is not simplistic. Her material is particular and intimate. We liked, for example, the protagonist Della … Read more

The New Plague

By Notable Narratives May 24, 2005

Like another series by Nutt on this site, “The Seekers,” this piece is not truly narrative. But it shows how a companionable voice and a sense of destination, applied to a huge, abstract topic, can make us readers feel we’re … Read more

For Dear Life

By Notable Narratives May 24, 2005

We particularly like the first several sections of this piece. Earls provides an effective sequential experience for her readers: first a cliffhanger beginning, then an efficient summary of the topic, then an authoritative composite of her main character, Katherine. We … Read more

Tough Boots to Fill

By Notable Narratives April 26, 2005

By spending a day with Army recruiters, Moehringer shows us much about the hurdles the Army faces in keeping up with the war in Iraq. At the same time, Moehringer’s engaging, effective portrayals of character make for an entertaining read. Read more

Mint Magnate

By Notable Narratives April 26, 2005

We like to see a profile of an inspiring character that’s also fun and engaging rather than sentimental. We like the casual, affectionate tone of this piece, with its lively scenes, telling detail and pertinent theme. Read “Mint … Read more