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Posts Tagged ‘Isabel Wilkerson’

NYT Veteran Gives Tips for Journos Who Want to Write a Book

It’s a pretty big accomplishment for a first-time author to land on the New York Times bestsellers list, but Isabel Wilkerson definitely deserves it. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist spent 15 years researching and conducted over 1,200 interviews for The Warmth of Other Suns, an account of the men and women who lived through the Great Migration, when 6 million African-Americans moved to the North.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, she talks about her writing process and gives tips to fellow journos who want to write a book. Below, an excerpt:

You interviewed more than 1,200 individuals. What skills do you possess that made people feel comfortable sharing their stories and information?

I always go into interviews with a great sense of gratitude for the courage it takes to share one’s story, particularly one so painful and heartbreaking, things that they had deep within themselves and had just gotten to the point of being able to share. So I think being an empathic listener, someone who was truly wanting to understand what they had endured — those are things I think they could pick up and sense in me. I also think they felt I had a sense of connection with them.

For more, read Hey, How’d You Write a New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller, Isabel Wilkerson? [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

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QUOTES of the DAY

HuffPost’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington at Copacabana beach “with Sugarloaf Mountain covered in mist.”

Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and now a BU Prof, discusses her critically acclaimed “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” Saturday night at a holiday party of the journalists “roundtable” at the Washington home of Paul and Anita Delaney. Delaney is a former NYT senior editor and winner of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Assoc. of Black Journalists. More on the “roundtable” later…Photo credit: Craig Herndon.

Fete Fete Fete

“If I hear of one more incestuous DC party, where journalists, politicians and lobbyists gather referred to as a “fete”, I may vomit #fb” — Veteran NBC Cameraman Jim Long in a weekend tweet.

Words of wisdom

“I need to stop living my life like it’s the 4th hour of the “Today” show.” — WaPo‘s Dan Zak in a weekend tweet.

Kardashian and Tschida: Soulmates

“Wow its snowing in Paris and our flight is snowed in now….should I cry now? We’ve been traveling for over 24 hrs w delays.” — Reality TV star Kim Kardashian in a weekend tweet. She’s sounding dangerously like local D.C.’s ABC7′s Stephen Tschida (the wild train ride tweeting dude). > Update: NJ‘s Susan Davis may have suffered a dash of Tschida over the weekend. She writes, “My train to Philly is running 30 minutes late. My train from Philly leaves in 30 minutes. Time for a Davis Family Not-Christmas Un-Miracle.”

You’ve been warned

“From an old friend inviting me to a birthday dinner with her coworkers: ‘Please behave.’” — Politico Ben Smith Assistant Byron Tau in a weekend tweet.

Reporters willing, liberated

“This says something about repeal of #DADT: Haven’t seen reporters as willing/liberated to admit their position on an issue in recent memory.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a weekend tweet referring to DADT legislation.

The Perpetual Editor

“Harry Reid needs a tweet editor — should be “DADT on its way to becoming history,” not it’s….” — Reuters White House Correspondent Patricia Zengerle in a weekend tweet.

Holiday chit chat torture

“Finding holiday party small talk excruciating without 140 character limit and block button.” — @pourmecoffee in a weekend tweet.

The bromance heats up

“Let the jealousy begin 4 @alivelshi — i’m about to board flight to Honolulu.” — CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry in a weekend tweet.

What is intelligence?

“Intelligence is the ability to take information from the world and to find patterns in that information that allow you to organize your perceptions and understand the external world.” — Columbia University Physicist Brian Greene in a NYT interview Sunday with Deborah Solomon.