In preparation for Mr. Kramer's visit on Thursday, January 10th, you'll need to do a few things. First, the list; then, the links below:
a) Read your classmates' profile drafts/leads for which he'll have specific feedback.
b) Read a little background on Mr. Kramer, just so you know with whom you're dealing;
c) Read "Chris Lydon's 'Letterman List' of Interviewing Tips;"
d) Read "The Emotional Core of the Story" by Tom Wolfe;
e) Read "Consider the Lobster" by David Foster Wallace;
f) Look over Mr. Kramer's diagram for storytelling; and
g) prepare a list of questions you have for a professional writer and editor.
- Your classmates' leads and drafts. They're all in one document.
- The diagram for storytelling will be a one-page handout on Wednesday.
- Background on Mark Kramer and how he approaches writing and editing
Telling True Stories (also the name of a book he co-edited)
Nieman Storyboard page (I particularly like "Breakable Rules for Literary Journalists")
- "The Emotional Core of the Story" by Tom Wolfe (This is a pdf download.)
Mr. Kramer scanned this copy of the piece as it appeared in Telling True Stories. It's not a sample profile, but it is background that gives a short comprehensive overview of the genre. (You can get your bearings on why Tom Wolfe's opinion matters by looking him and New Journalism up on Wikipedia.)
- "Consider the Lobster" by David Foster Wallace
This piece originally ran in Gourmet magazine, and that's the version Mr. Kramer recommends. (A different version ran in The Best American Essays 2004 as well as in a book by Wallace with the same name as the essay.) In order to best read the essay, choose the "Print" option and read it as a document. Mr. Kramer recommends this essay because it "starts out as a general interest lobster-facts piece, and drifts into a lucid essay on animal cruelty, as the voice gets personal and even amiably requires the reader to ponder his/her own position." It is a much-talked-about essay, most recently making this list compiled by Robert Atwan, the series editor of The Best American Essays.
- "Chris Lydon's 'Letterman List' of Interviewing Tips" from Transom.org
An interesting read for conducting interviews
These aren't required, but there's also Longform.org's Best of 2012
- Top Ten
- Best Essays as featured on Slate.com
Watch this space for some highlights from Mr. Kramer's emails back-and-forth with last year's class.