See also:
Feature Article Writing Intensive

Feature Article Writing

GUIDE TO NONFICTION COURSES
Nonfiction Pathways
Foundation
If you’re not sure what kind of nonfiction to write...
If you know what kind of nonfiction to write...
Or...
If you want a rather short course...
Next Steps
After completing a Level I ten-week course...
After completing Memoir II, if you want to write a book...
Selling Your Work
If you hope to get published somewhere...
Feature Article Writing

Feature Article Writing is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

Feature articles are the story side of journalism—factual always, but formed into a compelling narrative about current events. Such articles can examine virtually any topic, from the latest news to the newest trends to profiles of interesting people. And they can even grow into narrative nonfiction books.

To succeed at features, you need a reporter’s eye for detail, a writer’s knack for hooking the reader, an insider’s understanding of news media—and the curiosity of a cat. Here you’ll learn about the various types of features and their special requirements, as well as how to market your work.

Whether you seek to write stories drawn from serious news or the lighter side of life, we’ll show you how to create articles that grab the attention of editors and writers.

About Feature Article Writing
Feature Article Writing

By the end of it, you’ll know how to write an article.

Duncan Anderson

journalism student

Notes

Feature articles are fact-based journalistic pieces. Reporting—research and interviewing—is essential. If you wish to write nonfiction that is more literary or opinion-based, look at Memoir Writing, Essay & Opinion Writing, or Personal Essay Writing.

Upcoming Classes

To ensure everyone's good health, students in NYC classes must provide proof of full Covid vaccinations (the initial series of Covid vaccines plus at least one booster). We will accept your Covid vaccine card (or a digital scan), a NY State Excelsior digital card, or another form of government-approved proof. We will contact you before class begins about showing us proof. Also, we will require masks in the classrooms and Gotham premises.

More Covid details

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

See Payment Options

To register for a 10-Week course, you need to pay in full to guarantee your place in class. Or you can pay a $95 deposit plus a $25 registration fee (total $120) to temporarily hold your place, but tuition must be paid in full 10 business days before your class starts or you risk losing your spot.

10-Week

Syllabus

 

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of writing feature articles, and gets you writing a feature article (or two). Course components:
     Lectures
     Writing exercises
     Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes 
Week 1 
Introduction to Feature Article Writing: Feature articles defined. You are not the story. Facts and fairness. Journalism today. Types of features. Ideas. Angles.

Week 2 
Anatomy of a Feature Article: Structure—lead, nut graph, body, kicker, outlines. Narrative thread and theme. Moving parts—facts, quotes, people, scene. Point of view. Hed/dek.

Week 3 
Reporting: Good reporting. Sources. Interviewing. Using quotes. Accuracy.

Week 4 
The Process: Rundown on the process of writing a feature—idea, pitch, reporting, making sense of research, lead/nut graph, outline, quotes, writing.

Week 5 
Profiles: Choosing a subject. Anatomy of a profile. Profile interviews. Capture a person.

Week 6 
Description/Voice: Description techniques—sensory, specificity, creativity, the best words. An eye for details. What is voice? Publication voice. Voice of the lead. Finding your voice.

Week 7 
Branching Out: Hard news. Roundups. Service articles.

Week 8 
Tricks of the Trade: A collection of insider advice: The Human Factor. Suspense. Writing tight. Transitions. Attribution with quotes. Something special.

Week 9 
Pitching: Selling articles. The publication landscape. Homing in. Query letters. Sending out/hearing back.

Week 10
The Working Journalist: Working with an editor. Building a career—money, relationships, self-promotion, blogs. Finding your specialty and specialized talents.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.

Teachers

Lara Ewen
Lara Ewen

Lara Ewen is senior editor of Fashion Dive. She's the author of The Girlshop Guide to NYC Shopping (Shecky’s Media), and her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Insider, the Kansas City Star, Newsday, NYC&G, NPR, PBS, Retail Dive, Slate, and Zagat, and she's a regular contributor to American Libraries Magazine. She has served as the U.S. market report columnist for Rapaport Magazine, editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Sportswear International magazine, a freelance digital editorial consultant for Rolling Stone, and a consulting editor at Women’s Wear Daily.  She is also the talent booker for the Free Music Fridays series at the American Folk Art Museum. She has taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a BA from Boston University.

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