Friday November 27, 2020
7:30pm (CET) via Zoom
Lessons and applications of journalism to other forms
with Tom Miles
Nearly everyone knows how authors like Rebecca West moved fluidly between the realms of journalism and fiction writing, but did you know that the likes of Bram Stoker (Dublin Evening Mail, Daily Telegraph), H.G. Wells (Pall Mall Gazette), and Graham Greene (Nottingham Journal, The Times) all also had journalistic credentials before embarking on their careers as novelists?
Whether you are writing about current events or timeless themes, journalistic skills can help you craft better prose regardless of your chosen medium. The poet, the novelist, and the memoirist can all learn tips to apply to their stories.
Having covered the basics of the journalistic craft (concepts like the lede, nut graf, inverted pyramid, etc.), we are going to work on applying these lessons to your own writing!
Please "bring" (virtually) a copy from your own work to revise, preferably prose, although poetry is also welcome if you prefer.
Your selection should be between 1-2 pages in length and not be too dialogue-heavy (though some dialogue is perfectly fine).
This session will focus primarily on writing exercises to apply the journalistic concepts to your own work, including:
- crafting a headline for your work
- approaching your scenes/characters in your selected writing as though you were reporting on the situation. What would you write?
- how to consolidate your writing to get at the "nut graf" of your selection
We will also cover examples of good and bad headlines and stories to help spark your creativity.
In addition to being a member of the GWG Steering Committee, Tom Miles is a freelance non-fiction writer and editor. He spent 18 years as a correspondent and sub-editor at Reuters, the world’s largest news agency.
Tom has written and edited news about international politics and economics in Geneva, Beijing, Moscow, Brussels, Hong Kong, and London, and has been frequently republished and cited in international press and broadcast media.
He has edited several non-fiction books and plays, lectured on journalism and related topics, and has long been an (anonymous) critic writing reviews of books and films.
Since leaving Reuters, Tom has branched out into non-fiction essays and blogs and is also considering writing fiction and cartoons.
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