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narrative nonfiction

4 Observations From The Atlantic‘s “100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism”

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 12.27.23 PMDon’t worry — longform storytelling isn’t going anywhere, thankfully, and The Atlantic writer and journalist Conor Friedersdorf has released his take on the best nonfiction journalism of 2013.

If you don’t follow Friedersdorf or receive his The Best of Journalism newsletter, you’re missing out, because he takes the time to scour the web for terrific journalism and serves it to you right on a silver platter (AKA your email inbox).

Anyway, the final list has a few more than 100 pieces of reported works. Here’s what I noted from taking a closer look at it:

1. Digitally native pubs have a nice showing. 

Sites like The Awl, Aeon, Pacific Standard and Gawker that find their homes on the web are producing some really nice journalism. Even BuzzFeed made Friedersdorf’s list twice. Grantland, The Verge, Medium and Slate had a presence on the list, too — an encouraging fact for those of us committed to doing quality writing and reporting online. Friedersdorf also took a moment to applaud Glenn Greenwald and his team for their reporting on the NSA’s mass surveillance.

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2014 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to Highlight Science, Tech Writing

maybornI’m a big believer in journalism conferences. Attending one forces you to focus on your craft for a few days and is an incredible opportunity to talk to people who are smarter than you and can help you in your career (I guess that’s what they call networking, but I just hate that word).

That said, the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is one of the best, in my opinion. I love technology and gadgets and doodads just as much as the next millennial, but it’s nice sometimes to forget about apps, tablets and wearables for a second and hone in on the extremely basic yet oh-so-difficult craft of writing. Not to mention, it’s much less stressful than SXSW, which will matter to you if you’re not a crowds person.

Anyway, the Mayborn, sponsored by the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The conference’s theme this year is “Narratives on the cutting edge:  writing about science, technology, medicine and innovation,” and the program boasts an impressive list of accomplished writers.

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The New New South Publishes Longform From Below Mason-Dixon Line

Longform journalism has become surprisingly trendy and profitable in a rather short amount of time.

The age in which we find ourselves — with virtually unlimited access to the digital space, an abundance of devices on which to consume our stories, the sheer prevalence of lengthy nonfiction narratives and the platforms that host them — could be described as a renaissance. The phrase “a golden age” has been tossed around quite a bit in association with today’s journalism/reporting, but whether those two terms belong together has yet to be determined.

While we’re navigating the murky waters of longform reporting and how to monetize it sustainably, you might check out what The New New South (NNS) is doing. A brand new venture focusing on longform multimedia journalism, the NNS thinks the Southern states so rich with stories to tell that they’re going to release long pieces of nonfiction to readers looking specifically for stories about the South and from the South. Read more

Nonfiction Storytelling and the Movies: A Winning Combo?

What if you got to see all the elements of your carefully reported story – the topsy-turvy plot lines, the larger-than-life settings and the riveting characters – materialize on the silver screen?

A project created by accomplished magazine writers Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis called Epic is an online destination for the most dynamic of nonfiction narrative journalism.

On his Media Equation blog for the New York Times, David Carr reported over the weekend that Epic hopes to create a model allowing the platform to commission stories that would translate into screenplays.

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