Curtains on a window

Below are Nieman Storyboard’s top 10 stories, in terms of pageviews and in reverse drumroll order, for 2020. Later this week we’ll include a few of our personal favorites.

10- Navigating ethics, culture and safety to immerse in immigration and Covid
Published: July 8, 2020 | Pulitzer Prize winner Hannah Dreier writes an “unusually quiet story” that presented challenges of access, health risks and structure.
By Trevor Pyle

9- Where writers write when they can’t write where they like to write
Published: April 29, 2020 | The pandemic-related shutdown of habitual writing refuges and routines have left writers cobbling new options.
By Matt Tullis

8- A Writer’s Survival Guide: Tips for defying distraction
Published: April 23, 2020 | One moderately productive, relatively-sane freelancer’s approach to writing through a crisis.
By Kim Cross

7- A religion reporter profiles a charismatic community drawn to a “miracle Bible”
Published: April 14, 2020 | Slate’s Ruth Graham leans on local newspaper reports, expertise in religion coverage and a history in the evangelical church to write oil, faith and politics.
By Trevor Pyle 

6- 7 Fatal Flaws of Story Pitches
Published: September 3, 2020 | How to identify common mistakes that get in the way of landing that big idea.
By Jacqui Banaszynski

5- The shift of “branches” in a sentence creates shifts in mood and meaning
Published: February 21, 2020 | A writing guru shows how a single, long sentence reveals the power of an overlooked writing tool: the placement of the main clause.
By Roy Peter Clark

4- What we can learn about writing and life in a graduation speech sent from a distance
Published: March 26, 2020 | A letter from Roy Peter Clark to the class of 2020 says coronavirus can remind us of “one of the greatest gifts of all: A great story.”
By Jacqui Banaszynski 

3- “They were tired, so tired and still they returned.”
Published: June 11, 2020 | In this One Great Moment post, we highlight a line by staff at The Washington Post. It’s the kind of line in a fast-moving round-up story that pulls out of the cascade of vignettes for a moment, and provides a welcome pause.
By Jacqui Banaszynski

2- Four hundred years of harsh history delivered in 8,000 unflinching words
Published: January 17, 2020 | Nikole Hannah-Jones anchors “The 1619 Project” in the New York Times with a “reported essay” that weaves historical events and personal experience.
By Lisa Grace Lednicer

1- A poet’s distanced farewell to his students is an anthem for the times
Published: May 12, 2020 | This professor moved his poetry class online because of coronavirus. As the semester ended, he wanted to leave his students with “something more substantial than goodbye.”
By Gerald P. Costanzo

Further Reading

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