Associated Press

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Bursting into song and leaping out the window

By Short Takes November 4, 2009

We often highlight stories from reporters who are well-known in the world of narrative journalism, but a lot of unsung writers slip narratives into print and online daily. Here are some moving stories with sharp scenes or imagery from three people we bet you’ve never heard of. “Sacia's Promise,” from Kaitlin Manry of The (Everett) Herald: "She remembers waking up in the middle of the night, just 2 or 3 years old. Her nightgown is wet. So is her bed. She walks into the living room, calling for her mom. She's not there. Sacia instead finds a stranger, a man, dividing piles of little white rocks spread across the coffee table. The pearly white stones are like baby teeth and crumble when he touches them. She runs back to her bed and stays up all night, kneeling on wet sheets, waiting for a mother who never comes." Read more » Read more

The Deepest Wound

By Notable Narratives March 15, 2007

This elegiac piece is at once memoir and a tribute to both DeSilva’s own father and his generation. It poses a mystery, draws readers in with it and resolves it, with grace and elegance. We admired the structural clarity of … Read more

Katrina’s Nameless Dead

By Notable Narratives January 3, 2007

Bruce DeSilva wrote us this about the piece: “Rukmini Callimachi is an AP bureau writer with less than 5 years in the business. She set out to do a situationer on the 30 Katrina victims still unidentified and unburied. The … Read more

Slow Death

By Notable Narratives September 25, 2006

This is a effective example of how narrative can flesh out, give dignity to, people who feel they are, as a central character says in this story, “just a number in someone’s book.” The story also uses narrative to make … Read more

A Sermon of Hatred and Doom…

By Notable Narratives July 13, 2006

We include this piece in part because of its strong authorial presence. Sedensky guides readers through his portrait of Fred Phelps with a firm hand. Here’s an example: “They’re not doing this to save you. They’re doing it to save … Read more

Destruction Teams Tackling Bird Flu

By Notable Narratives January 16, 2006

This journal about traveling with bird-destruction teams in Turkey is honest, informative and full of voice. This is an intimate sharing of a difficult journey. The author uses first person not to grandstand, but to communicate knowingly, American to American, … Read more

In Wildfire’s Way

By Notable Narratives December 27, 2005

This piece is plot-driven, yet builds character, as it illuminates conflicts created by human encroachment into fire-prone areas. The piece offers both adventure and context. With skillful asides, Foster alludes well to some of the “backstories” of the American West: … Read more

Small Town Justice

By Notable Narratives December 27, 2005

This story provides facts, reveals wrongs, while weaving a good tale and involving the reader in the lives of its characters. In the words of the piece’s editor, Bruce DeSilva: “In telling the story, we disdained the usual term-paper-indictment approach … Read more