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Instructive and essential, reading Storycraft is like finding the secret set of blueprints to the writer’s craft. Better still, it is engaging, funny, and wise—wonderful to read and wonderful to learn from.”
- Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
“When I think back on what I have learned about storytelling over the last 30 years, the trail of memory leads back time and again to Jack Hart. No one has done more to inspire better narrative writing in America.”
- Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar
"Jack Hart was hands-down the best narrative editor ever to work in newspapers.”
- Jon Franklin, author of Writing for Story and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
Across the entire media landscape from newspapers and magazines, books and documentary film, to radio, television, and new digital forms narrative nonfiction has always been a part of literature. But what creates a compelling true story? Author Jack Hart once said It captures reality with the sophisticated storytelling techniques of fiction while adding the power that comes when, as Tom Wolfe once put it, readers know “..all this actually happened.”
From the work of the New Journalists in the 1960s, to the New Yorker essays of John McPhee, Susan Orlean, Atul Gawande, and a host of others, to blockbuster book-length narratives such as Mary Roach’s Stiff or Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City, narrative nonfiction has come into its own. Yet writers looking for guidance on reporting and writing true stories have had few places to turn for advice.
Now, in Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction, Jack Hart, a former managing editor of the Oregonian who guided several Pulitzer Prize–winning narratives to publication, delivers what will certainly become the definitive guide to the methods and mechanics of crafting narrative nonfiction.
From there, he expands the discussion to other well-known writers to show the broad range of texts, styles, genres, and media to which his advice applies. With examples that draw from magazine essays, book-length nonfiction narratives, documentaries, and radio programs, Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction will be an indispensable resource for years to come and give you what you need to access the inner-narrative non-fiction writer in you!
Jack Hart is a former managing editor and writing coach at the Oregonian. He received the first National Teaching Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a University of Wisconsin Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to journalism, has taught on the faculties of six universities, and was named the Ruhl Distinguished Professor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. He is the author of A Writer’s Coach