Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 249 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0452287556
ISBN-10: 0452287553
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Frequently bought together

  • Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Tantalizing essays… Ultimately this is a book about why stories matter and how journalists can and should master the craft of storytelling, whether they work in newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, or film… [B]rims with wisdom on how to get to the emotional core of nonfiction stories. It contains useful advice on everything from how to get people to open up… to how to distill all the material you have gathered into a polished story that glues readers to the page… This is the kind of book that any aspiring storyteller can dip into and learn from, no matter what the stage of his or her career.”—Alison Bass, Harvard Review
 
“Tips spill from every chapter of the book… Every page—and I mean every page—contains important wisdom for every journalist. Telling True Stories is the relatively rare guide that offers value to veteran journalists, to novices, to investigative journalists and to beat reporters.—Steve Weinberg, The IRE Journal
 
“A virtuoso collection of essays by writers on writing non-fiction; these remarkable insights into the craft were collected at Harvard University and includes selections from such notable veteran scribes as Tom Wolfe, Tracy Kidder, Susan Orlean, David Halberstam, Nora Ephron and Malcolm Gladwell.”—The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 
 
“Practical advice for writers on how to get published, write a memoir, and more.”—Boston Magazine
 
“Provides advice from 51 nonfiction writers, including notables Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Nora Ephron… Writers coming to this book should not expect one clear-cut path for producing strong nonfiction; instead, the book provides pointed but wide-ranging advice on writing-a good illustration of the creativity behind nonfiction and the individuality of the writing process. There is enough variety for almost any nonfiction writer to find inspiration and guidance. Topics include interviewing techniques, storytelling, using tape recorders and notebooks, developing characters and scenes, and editing. The section titled ‘Building a Career in Magazines and Books’ will especially help new writers.”—Library Journal

About the Author

Mark Kramer was writer-in-residence in the American Studies Program at Smith College (1980-1990), writer-in-residence and a professor of journalism at Boston University (1990-2001), and writer-in-residence and founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University (2001-2007). He's written for the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The Atlantic Monthly, and many other periodicals. He's co-author of two leading textbook/readers on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories and Literary Journalism. He's written four additional books: Mother Walter and the Pig Tragedy, Three Farms, Invasive Procedures, and Travels with a Hungry Bear. He's currently at work on a book about writing narrative nonfiction. His website is www.tellingtruestories.com.

Wendy Call is author of No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy, winner of the 2011 Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction. She co-edited Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide. Wendy has served as Writer in Residence at 20 institutions, five national parks, four universities, a public hospital, and a historical archive. She writes and edits nonfiction, translates Mexican poetry and short fiction, and works as a teacher at Richard Hugo House and Goddard College. Before turning to full-time word-working in 2000, she devoted a decade to work for social change organizations in Boston and Seattle. The daughter of a middle-school math teacher and a career Navy officer from Michigan, Wendy grew up on and around military bases in Florida, Pennsylvania, southern California, and southern Maryland. She lives and works in Seattle.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Plume; 1st edition (January 30, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 317 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0452287553
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0452287556
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 249 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
249 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2019
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8 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER FAST NEXT DAY DELIVERY!!!
By JGal22 on August 30, 2021
Excellent book! Highly recommend buying, Amazon rocks. I needed the book for a class and needed it fast. I ordered on Sat and book arrived NEXT DAY, on Sunday. I am super grateful and happy! It is a small, very light weight, paperback, easy to carry inside purse, backpack, or book bag...pages turn easy, not too thin, interior paper...yet strong enough to last...easy to follow and easy to read, all info presented in a clear to understand format. Absolutely great writer's manual, A MUST HAVE for those who want to write well. Specifically, nonfiction stories.
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Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2018
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

David H
5.0 out of 5 stars Super helpful! Deserves a place on every writer's bookshelf
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super helpful! Deserves a place on every writer's bookshelf
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2019
This book distils nuggets of wisdom from 51 leading authors into 91 chapters of advice and tips. If you are not content to take the experience of said authors as authority enough, there is bibliography at the back to delve further into specific areas. The book is thorough and covers every possible topic (and more besides) and question a writer of non fiction today might want addressed. This ranges from the practical, more business-like aspects of writing, such as time management, making it as a freelancer, and working with editors to aspects of craft like structuring stories and developing characters. There’s even a section on the ethical issues one might encounter as a writer.

The book’s structure is superb, and it really allows you to pick and chose based on what you need and want. What sections, chapters and tips you find most useful will really depend on the individual and the contributors are really given room to shine and highlight the truly diverse ways of writing there are.

All in all, I recommend this book to all those interested in, engaging in or aspiring to get writing. If you want to work in journalism then this book is invaluable, though it will be of use to anyone who finds themselves putting pen to paper (or hands to keyboard). If nothing else, this book will have you looking at writing with a fresh perspective. This book deserves to be on the bookshelves of all writers of nonfiction.

If you found this review useful please let me know by hitting the “helpful” button below :)
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Craig M Sisterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2020
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Christopher H
3.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the media
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2012
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Sayera
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2019
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Audrey Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection
Reviewed in Canada on February 25, 2014
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