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Artful Journalism: Essays in the Craft and Magic of True Storytelling

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“If you aspire to do artful journalism, everything you need to know is in this book.”—Jon Franklin, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalism professor emeritus, University of Maryland, author of Writing for Story Artful Journalism is a must-read for journalism professors and students, working professionals who want to enhance their storytelling skills, readers, and litera “If you aspire to do artful journalism, everything you need to know is in this book.”—Jon Franklin, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalism professor emeritus, University of Maryland, author of Writing for Story Artful Journalism is a must-read for journalism professors and students, working professionals who want to enhance their storytelling skills, readers, and literary journalism scholars who understand the immutable place of “truth” in even the most artful examples of journalism. For four decades, Walt Harrington has done memorable stories and books that are still studied and admired by those who pursue the kind of journalism that aims to engage the heart as well as the mind. A longtime Washington Post Magazine writer who became a journalism professor at the University of Illinois, Harrington has been a leading voice in the field of long-form storytelling. Artful Journalism collects for the first time his insightful and evocative essays that have inspired and informed several generations of writers who aspire to do journalism-- that captures the feeling of literature while adhering to traditional journalistic standards of fairness, balance, and accuracy. Artful Journalism also includes essays by two of America’s prominent young journalists, Wright Thompson and Justin Heckert, whose work has been inspired and shaped by Harrington’s principles. “For years, I've been marveling at Walt Harrington's work and wondering how he did it. After reading Artful Journalism, I have my answer. Not only is Walt a brilliant writer, he's a true master of the craft.”—David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Award winner, author of The Good Soldiers “Harrington’s essays are as practical as they are artful. He reminds us why we write, and why it matters.”—Joe Mackall, director, Ashland University creative writing program, author of Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish


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“If you aspire to do artful journalism, everything you need to know is in this book.”—Jon Franklin, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalism professor emeritus, University of Maryland, author of Writing for Story Artful Journalism is a must-read for journalism professors and students, working professionals who want to enhance their storytelling skills, readers, and litera “If you aspire to do artful journalism, everything you need to know is in this book.”—Jon Franklin, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalism professor emeritus, University of Maryland, author of Writing for Story Artful Journalism is a must-read for journalism professors and students, working professionals who want to enhance their storytelling skills, readers, and literary journalism scholars who understand the immutable place of “truth” in even the most artful examples of journalism. For four decades, Walt Harrington has done memorable stories and books that are still studied and admired by those who pursue the kind of journalism that aims to engage the heart as well as the mind. A longtime Washington Post Magazine writer who became a journalism professor at the University of Illinois, Harrington has been a leading voice in the field of long-form storytelling. Artful Journalism collects for the first time his insightful and evocative essays that have inspired and informed several generations of writers who aspire to do journalism-- that captures the feeling of literature while adhering to traditional journalistic standards of fairness, balance, and accuracy. Artful Journalism also includes essays by two of America’s prominent young journalists, Wright Thompson and Justin Heckert, whose work has been inspired and shaped by Harrington’s principles. “For years, I've been marveling at Walt Harrington's work and wondering how he did it. After reading Artful Journalism, I have my answer. Not only is Walt a brilliant writer, he's a true master of the craft.”—David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Award winner, author of The Good Soldiers “Harrington’s essays are as practical as they are artful. He reminds us why we write, and why it matters.”—Joe Mackall, director, Ashland University creative writing program, author of Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish

36 review for Artful Journalism: Essays in the Craft and Magic of True Storytelling

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Shipe

    What used to be called "New Journalism" has been around so long that it doesn't really deserve that name anymore. But the type of writing described phrase codified by Tom Wolfe's 1973 book with that name lives on, still vibrant, still necessary, whether it's called literary journalism, creative nonfiction, gonzo journalism, feature writing, or, in Walt Harrington's phrase, intimate journalism. No, that's not the title of this book. Harrington's often assigned, and therefore much more expensive, t What used to be called "New Journalism" has been around so long that it doesn't really deserve that name anymore. But the type of writing described phrase codified by Tom Wolfe's 1973 book with that name lives on, still vibrant, still necessary, whether it's called literary journalism, creative nonfiction, gonzo journalism, feature writing, or, in Walt Harrington's phrase, intimate journalism. No, that's not the title of this book. Harrington's often assigned, and therefore much more expensive, textbook Intimate Journalism gave us that phrase. But this book, although differently titled, presents the basics in technique and attitude without the price. At times Harrington's advice and stories repeat themselves, but this book is a collection of his essays, which weren't written with the idea of being collected into one. If anything, the repetition helps his points. The book doesn't offer a step-by-step technique to transform oneself suddenly into this type of journalist; rather, it promises that the craft of writing such a story can only be mastered with repeated practice of fundamental attitudes and techniques. As a high school journalism teacher, I do not expect my students to master intimate journalism by the time they graduate. But I do plan to incorporate many of Harrington's ideas in my teaching about determining the story, interviewing sources and writing with attention to sensory detail.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tim Lapetino

    It's been 20 years since I sat in the classrooms of Walt Harrington, one of my journalism professors at the University of Illinois. He was and is still one of the best literary journalists out there, and continues to be an inspiration and a challenger to me in my own writing. Though my career path has often diverged from the rough road of journalism, that kind of writing has remained in my blood, and continues to rear its head in my future projects. Artful Journalism is well worth a read for wri It's been 20 years since I sat in the classrooms of Walt Harrington, one of my journalism professors at the University of Illinois. He was and is still one of the best literary journalists out there, and continues to be an inspiration and a challenger to me in my own writing. Though my career path has often diverged from the rough road of journalism, that kind of writing has remained in my blood, and continues to rear its head in my future projects. Artful Journalism is well worth a read for writers of all stripes, for its focus on beauty and meaning, as well as the practical application of solid reporting and writing techniques germane to anyone who seriously writes to touch others. The book felt simultaneously fresh and also served as an echo of all the lessons I learned in Walt's classes, whether I was writing about a man who bowled a 300 game or a craftsman of ancient pipe organs. I still carry it all with me today, and this book is a great reminder of that. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Hekman

  4. 4 out of 5

    McKenzie

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claire McNeill

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mina Ivanova

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dania

  10. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Macchi

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista

  12. 5 out of 5

    Derek Turner

  13. 4 out of 5

    Guy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ted Kemp

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alan Jacobson

  16. 4 out of 5

    sunny

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kory

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Bota

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madeleine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura Massa

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allison

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim Weed

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adam Wren

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ta'Leah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Lortie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael Scott

  31. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Jacobs

  32. 4 out of 5

    Caren Burmeister

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jay Busbee

  34. 5 out of 5

    Tim Farnsworth

  35. 5 out of 5

    Christine Seybolt

  36. 5 out of 5

    Katia Savchuk

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