It’s over. You did it. You produced the best nonfiction stories of your young lives. Listening to your excerpts on Wednesday was wonderful – distinct voices and polished reporting and even humor.

Now comes the fun part: publishing. It’s your choice. You can pitch outside publications by following the guidelines we covered in class, choose not to publish your story, or take advantage of the opportunity to showcase it in the Linfield Review. Brad Thompson is excited, and he and Jon will help shepherd your stories if you go that route, rolling them out over the next few months. This means they will live on, available for you to pass around and link on virtual resumes and cover letters, scroll-able testaments to your hard work, ambition and skills. They will also be eligible for the annual collegiate awards bestowed by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

As discussed, I’m here to provide counsel, help with pitch letters and edit your stories, if you choose. Shoot me an email once/if you decide on a route – the sooner the better – so when I’m looking over your final story next week I can keep editing in mind as well.

Finally, here is our class photo – we are an exceptionally handsome group! – and, below that, the text of what I said at the end of our final class.





When I arrived on the Linfield campus in September, I had no idea what to expect. Would I like teaching? Was it too ambitious to ask undergrads to attempt graduate-school-level work?

And I have to say, at first I wasn’t sure. Only one of you was versed in journalism? Some of you had no writing experience?

Then you turned in your Humans of McMinnville assignments, three days in, and I was sold. You’d all done it – gathered your nerve and ventured out and interviewed strangers, even if it took you an hour to work up the courage to do so. And the details and characters you brought back! The newlywed in her dress, Tim the trashman, a forlorn girl at a bus station, a nostalgic pilot and, of course, a man whose life mantra was, “Fuck it shit happens.”

Earlier this semester I mentioned that this felt like a Linfield All-Star team and now I’m sure of it. I’ve been consistently surprised and impressed by your engagement and curiosity. You showed maturity and professionalism in running this class remotely, sometimes with me and sometimes without. You were an excellent audience for John Branch and George Dohrmann and Peter Demarco, each of whom commented afterward on how impressive you were.

You provided support for each other, not just with your peer feedback but also as people. I never sensed competition, and I was amazed to see students helping each other in their free time, meeting to revise papers, and voting for more peer feedback. Part of my job this fall was to provide an outside perspective on the college to the Dean and faculty. And when they asked about remote learning, my response was that Linfield students are capable of a lot more than they might imagine.

All of you will take other classes, from other professors. This is but one course in one semester. But this will forever be my first teaching experience and, at the risk of getting corny, I want to thank all of you for making it so gratifying. They say your first class is your most memorable. It’s testament to you that I’ll leave with so many great memories.

I’ll remember Ben reading a passage about a wayward fraternity member, fighting through tears as he intoned, “What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.”

I’ll remember Dave Sumner visiting class, and how some of you noted his red step counter and others, upon his departure, emitted an audible swoon.

I’ll remember Josh’s initial concern about whether he was up for this class, as a sophomore transfer student. Then, weeks later, reading his re-created memory about a car accident, full of details and scenes and wonderful voice, and being so happy that he stuck it out.

I’ll remember the warm, welcoming smile Mikayla gave my two very nervous daughters when they visited class, and how important that was to them, and how generous it was of her.

I’ll remember Jana’s knitting and Ben’s apples and Hannah’s staccato note-taking and the way Sara gets a really intense look on her face when she’s processing information.

I’ll remember Lacey coming in to office hours a few weeks into the semester, after her observed reporting assignment, with a voluntary revision, which she’d performed solely because she wanted to get better. Now there’s a life skill.

I’ll remember Gabi’s, well, Gabi-ness, from warning us NEVER to call her Gabi, to calling us dude to her fearless and empathetic reporting.

I’ll remember Maggie running into a former Linfield employee at a vegan strip club. Hell, I’ll remember Maggie going to a vegan strip club to report. Not to mention the time she spent hours reporting in the middle of Portland to tell us about, “the city’s lot for shitting, for shaving 30 seconds off of your journey, for getting out of a tight parking lot, for kissing unabashedly, for sleeping, for creating art.”

I’ll remember Anna Keesey talking about the choking baby syndrome, and how it influences fiction, only to realize, as the weeks went on, that it also applies to college students. Whenever one of you veered off track, and I wondered what the f— was going on, I usually later learned that there was a good reason. This is a crazy time of life, and I know it’s been especially crazy for some of you, but you’re all still going, and will be stronger for it.

I’ll remember the perseverance. Sara going back to interview again and again, using empathy and persistence and doing the type of reporting many professional journalists are incapable of. And how I opened Alicia’s final story this morning, about Sergeant Shasta, and there it was. After so many attempts, she had the beginning, and then, right after it, she had context. She told us why we were reading this story. She figured it out. She did it.

And Jon’s transformation from an overwhelmed and overscheduled student to someone who, in his final week, conducted half a dozen more interviews and transformed his final project, finally mastering embedded details and quotes, telling us about Sam Riddle, “driving a white Ford Squire Wagon during his sophomore year in high school – a ‘cliché grandma car,’ as Riddle remembers.”

And of course I’ll remember the writing:

Hannah describing the Blessing of the Animals, with lines like, “Father Vandehey emerges, all swooping robes and smiles, his bald head glinting in the sunshine”. And giving us a wonderful portrait of a station master who, “sports an impressive blond moustache and mutton chops, and is dressed in navy blue shorts, a red polo and matching red hat, the kind you might see an elderly model train enthusiast don, either in demonstration for the kids, or in a moment of enthusiastic fantasy.”

And Rachel ending her Taylor Swift love story with a line that made me nearly spit coffee when I read it: “Shit, I’m eighteen. I can’t get married. We were both so young when this started; why the fuck do you think that means us getting married so soon would be a good idea???”

And Jana’s description of a movie security guard as, “Six feet tall and rail thin, his black hair shorn close at the sides and bleached to a flan color on top. With a stubbly goatee, he seems like a slightly stoned Latino hipster”. Or when she wrote, “I regressed ten years to when I was 11 and a rain cloud – surely a harbinger of some larger cataclysm – could induce a fit of terror. Then, as now, I felt like the toads my father and I used to scoop out of our pond. We dumped them from our nets into empty plastic paint buckets and they would scrabble at the sides of the container. A frantic thing in an inert shell.”

I’ll remember Josh’s description of Kevin O’Banion, as, “a quiet guy with a loud, bright smile, and a shock of brown hair ‘swooshed to whatever side it feels like swoosh-ing to that day.’”

And when he wrote about trying to entice that dog on the side of the highway: “He inched closer, then broke into a more steady walk toward me. “Come here” was almost a prayer now.”

I’ll remember observations, like Lacey telling us about a t-shirt that read “beer no evil”. And Gabi writing that, “the tops of trees all lean toward each other like old biddies telling secrets, the sun flashing between their branches.”

And Lizzy describing, “a shiny black motorcycle barely noticeable in the dim light. On the wall above it is a hot pink sheet of construction paper with “4 Sale” written on it.’

I’ll remember powerful narratives, like how Molly tells us about Shawn McTaggart near the end of her journey. “As the hours dragged, Shawn stopped long enough to go to the bathroom and write a quick reminder in the snow, “Eat, pee, walk”. She didn’t have time for anything else. No more photos and no more sleep until Nome. In the middle of the night, when Shawn felt sleepy, she ripped the duct tape off her cheeks fast, like a Band-Aid, to wake herself up.”

And Ben, bringing the class to tears while talking about his mother. “The last thing we were talking about was Meatloaf, the singer, and Dad was at the point in his discourse where he explained, in his infinite dad-knows-music-better-than-you-ever-will wisdom, that he finds Meatloaf very campy and as a result he can’t take him seriously, and that yes, Bat out of Hell is a great song but the album could be better, and then I ask it — “Do you still love her?”



And one of my favorite pieces of writing of the semester, when Sara told us about Chelsea, and that party with the sweet lavender cake – it’s Paleo, we’re told, for the 30th time – and the dog and the husband in the apartment, ending with that chilling scene: “Later that night, as we get ready for bed, we hear Chelsea singing. Outside. By the kennel.”

I could go on, of course. I thought of just quoting some of your best feedback lines, but I’ll spare you all that. Instead I’ll just say that I undoubtedly  learned more from you than you did from me this semester, and for that I thank you. You should all be proud of yourselves. This wasn’t easy but you all did it, and I expect to be reading your work in years to come, whether it’s in novels or magazines or academic texts.

You’re truly an impressive group. Or in the words of Ms. Gonzalez, “Dudes, you are awesome!”




The Final Push

And so we come to the end. We have one class remaining, this Wednesday. Please bring a printout of your final story, in all its glory. Also, think about a passage you’re particularly proud of – could be the opening 300 words, or a beautiful scene midway through or a powerful exchange of dialogue. You may get the chance to read it aloud, after which you will be showered with praise by your peers (right, peers?).

Between now and then, good luck finishing your stories. If you have a tricky paragraph, or are wondering about your opening, or are trying a new direction or have specific questions, send me an email. I can’t do close reads at this point but I’ll try to give it a scan and respond ASAP.  Also, if you want to discuss potential publishing routes in person, or just want to swing by and shoot the shit, I’m around before and after class on Wednesday.

See all of you then and, as promised, here are the story guidelines:


 DUE Wednesday, December 9th at 8 AM

– Email as an attachment (Word is best so I can use track changes) to:

– Write your name in the file name – for example, “Maggie’s Awesome Final Story”

– No more than 4,000-5,000 words unless you clear it with me


Before you File: 

  1. Read your story aloud to catch errors and listen for repetition and sentence rhythm
  1. Proofread it multiple times.
  1. Check the spelling
  1. Fact-check the entire story. Follow the method we discussed and use the handout linked on the class page. Go over every piece of information in the story and double-check its accuracy. Remember: these are real people you’re writing about, and your stories will appear on the web, accessible to anyone and everyone. Accuracy is paramount. Mistakes are the best way to sink your credibility.


Source List

Attach a source list to the back of your story including everyone you spoke to and all your informational sources. This allows an editor to verify and/or gain information.

Here is what it should look like:


  1. Maggie Hawkins – in person, at the Linfield Starbucks, 12/7/15. Hand-written notes and 45-minute transcribed digital audio file (available upon request). Contact information: 503-xxx-xxxx
  1. Ben Bartu – phone interview. 12/2/15. 45 minutes long. Typed notes. Follow-up interviews: 12/4/15 (20 minutes) and 12/6/15 (email). Contact information: 503-xxx-xxxx


  1. American Association of Pastry Bakers. Provided statistics on fast-rising dough. Spoke to Mary Johnson, head media relations officer. Website:
  1. Story in the New Yorker, 10/7/13, “Doughnut Apocalypse,” by Malcolm Gladwell. Provided valuable context and background.
  1. Book, “Doughnuts Ruined My Life,” by Charlie Sheen. Crown, 2014. Research.



Grading Protocol

Grades are ephemeral. Skills and perspective are not.

Of course, grades are also a necessary evil. So for your final story:

– In general, if you produce a story you’re truly proud of and that readers find fascinating your grade will likely reflect it

– Effort, revision, risk-taking, reporting and persistence will be taken into account. Did you revise that troublesome section? Did you make that follow-up phone call? Did you painstakingly go through your stilted sentences? These are all traits that will help you in life, not just this class.

– Did you utilize the skills we developed this semester: reporting, interviewing, using dialogue, scene, etc.?

– Are you telling a story (Characters, arc, context, universality)? This is, after all, a class in storytelling

Good luck to all!


For Monday

Great seeing everyone last week.

I’ve been reading your second drafts and see encouraging progress. A few of these are far enough along that I’m going to endeavor to provide line edits in a Word file. Those with larger structural issues, or that require more reporting, I’ll respond to in broader terms. There’s no sense worrying about commas and grammar in sentences you may cut or change drastically. I’m making my way through the stories but keep in mind that 14 stories x 5,000 words = roughly the length of a book, so it takes some time to do close reads on each.


For Monday, the first part of your homework is to revise the heck out of your story. Keep plugging. Use the active voice (remember, Microsoft Word has a feature that will tag the passive voice for you, if all else fails). Cut the fat/lard out of your sentences. Ask yourself: Is there a quicker, more powerful way to say this? Call back sources if you need more information. And begin the fact-checking process now. Here is the CUNY primer I printed out, which includes how-tos on fact-checking and a number of good links.

Remember: For your final paper, you need to turn in a list of sources, with contact information. You also need to include a list of citations for all research.

Second, on Monday we will be discussing how to pitch your stories. In advance, please do two things:

  1. Read the following two (very short) articles with practical advice so you’ll have a sense of what’s in store. They are here and here . Optional, if you’re getting more serious, is this useful Q&A with magazine editors about how to pitch. Worth scanning.
  2. Make a list of the publications you are interested in pitching to. Go ahead and make it your dream list. Always good to aim high. Publications can include local papers like the News-Register, or the Oregonian. You can include websites and online news sources and alternative weeklies and the New York Times. Merely the act of pitching these publications, whether or not they respond, will provide a valuable experience.

Also, some cool news. Thanks to a great idea from Mr. Williams, all of your stories have the opportunity to be published online in the Linfield Review. That means your fellow students, and alumni and faculty (and anyone else, really), can read them. It means the stories will be link-able, in a college newspaper, and forever available on your resume. We’ll discuss more on Monday but I urge you all to take the opportunity to do the best work you can, and take pride in that work.

Finally, please bring your laptops on Monday, as we may use them in class. And take advantage of the time before/after to visit office hours if you have questions. I’ve already spoken to a few of you on the phone, and others in person.

See you all Monday and, of course, good luck.

For this Week

Hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

We’re into the final stretch. At this point everyone should have received my feedback, as well as two peer edits. I enjoyed reading the first drafts – I saw passages of beautiful writing and evidence of rigorous reporting. Josh has a near pitch-perfect one paragraph character description. Sara reported from multiple perspectives, deepening her story immeasurably. Jana seamlessly incorporated research and wrote with humor and empathy. Molly has the raw material to produce a gripping narrative. Virtually every piece shows real promise.

Now, the next step: Revision. Many of these were quite rough, which is understandable considering they were first drafts. Some require major surgery and additional reporting, others smaller, stylistic changes. Hopefully this week has been fruitful as you’ve edited and revised.

In particular, I want to highlight three issues many of you displayed in your writing: passive voice, wordiness and backing into sentences. All suck the life out of your writing.

With that in mind, here is the plan for this week and next:

In the interest of making your stories as good as possible, here’s what I’d like you to do. You do not need to turn in your revised drafts on Monday. Instead, please  further revise your stories, per the instructions below. If you’d like to come to the classroom to do it, great. If you’d prefer to do it somewhere else, that’s fine. I know writers work in different ways.

Instead, your new deadline for your revised draft is Tuesday at 8 AM (full instructions below). Before then, however, you must to do the following.

1) Read an excerpt from Strunk & White classic text, The Elements of Style. It’s short but incredibly useful. Click here and read #11 (“Use the active voice”), #12 (“Put statements in positive form”) and #13 (“omit needless words”). If you have a physical copy of the book – and you should, as it’s wonderful and cheap and portable – the numbers will be different, so go by the titles. It’s also useful to read the entry under the heading, “Use definite, specific concrete language” (which isn’t online).

2) Read the adapted excerpt I emailed you from Richard Lanham’s book. It’s a short, step-by-step method to take the fat out of your story (he calls it ‘lard’).

3) Now go through your story and use these tools. They will help not just with this story but everything you ever write. Given the extra day on your stories, I’ll expect to see evidence of it in your revised drafts. We will also be discussing Lanham and Strunk & White on Wednesday.

Then, turn in a revised draft by 8 AM on Tuesday morning and bring two copies to class on Wednesday. Your draft should be no longer than 5,000 words unless you clear it with me first. I expect everyone to read it aloud, then proofread it and spell-check it before turning it in.

Moving forward, I’ll be on campus on this Wednesday, then again the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk about your story. Email if you’d like to meet this Wednesday. I’ll be available almost all morning and most of the afternoon.

This week we’ll be talking about proofreading, fact-checking and publishing these bad boys. Which means we’re getting close to the really fun stuff. I look forward to seeing all of you. And, as always, good luck!







Deadline Time (It’s fun, really)

First, you all know your assignment for Wednesday. Here are the details:

  1. No longer than 5,500 words (and preferably closer to 4,000). Your peers need to be able to read it and get it back to you, and I want to be able to provide feedback on all 14 as soon as possible, to give you the most time to write.
  2. Email it to me by 8 AM at my gmail address. Please put your name in the file name. Ben, this is directed at you.
  3. Bring in three printed copies.
  4. Before you send it: Read it aloud, proofread it and spellcheck it.


For those who missed class today, we discussed deadline writing strategies and Endings. Some of the major points:


I. ENDINGS (aka “kickers”)

A) Goals:

  1. Resolve unanswered questions/tie up narrative


  1. Sum up the significance of the story/suggest its ramifications (a bit like a conclusion, but only in content, not in deployment)


  1. Inspire further reflection and contemplation, perhaps through symbolism


  1. Make the reader feel something


B) Strategies


  1. Telling Anecdote/Scene – Can be out of order, chronologically. Something that gets at the theme/meat of the story. Orlean, Saslow, Junger, etc.


  1. Analogy/Observation/Moment – You as the writer are summing it up, then leaving us with something. Laskas, Skydive


  1. Looking ahead – Moving the story forward, so that reader feels propelled. Schulz, Mooney


  1. Perfect piece of dialogue (try to avoid a quote but occasionally it works). Mooney goes for this. Sullivan does it, essentially, but paraphrases


  1. Great final line – if you can sum it up with something surprising, or a twist of sorts. Again, Sullivan.


  1. A call-back – like in comedy. Mention something early, often in the beginning, and come back to it, only now we see it through a new prism.


D) Finding Your Ending

– If stuck, you can often look through your story. Your ending may already be in there. Perhaps you just need to lift it out of the chronology and try it at the end

Make a list of your best stuff/scenes/observations/quotes. Use the best to start and the second-best to end.





A) Self-Editing/Writing block

  • An exercise: Force yourself to rewrite the first 500 words from memory. See what comes back. Make it flow. If you’re stuck, this can help. Sometimes it also provides a better tone.


B) Read it aloud


C) Compare it to your structure. Make sure you’re on track


D) Mimic a story you like. You can’t use someone’s words, but mimic the structure/tone/device


 E) Call back one more time – As you go, do you find you need one more piece of information? Are you missing a detail? Do you not understand something?

Call back. This applies to anything in life. If you’ve gone 80% of the way, go 100%. That extra effort will pay off.

Don’t think it’s too late to do major reporting: If you can’t figure a way to write yourself out of a hole, it’s often because you don’t have all your reporting. Rather than fight it, go do more reporting.


The Writing itself


  1. Music? Try one song on repeat. Instrumental helps many. “Mighty Rio Grande” by This Will Destroy You is a favorite of some narrative writers.


  1. Change locations – if you’re stuck, move. Your brain will respond to the new setting. Even into the next room helps.


  1. Move your body. Walk for five minutes. Exercise. Bring a notepad and ride the stationary bike. You’ll be amazed what will come to you. Lots of authors swear by running


  1. Write by longhand – if you usually use computer


If you have other strategies, I’d love to hear them. Finally, best of luck to all. I can’t wait to read the results.

For Monday

Good seeing all of you today. We can now add Ben’s clapping technique to Maggie’s whistle. I will need to incorporate both into my teaching, and perhaps parenting, repertoire.

For Monday, as mentioned:

  1. Read “The American Male at Age Ten“, by Susan Orlean. It will not feel like work. As you go, note her use of tone, empathy and detail.
  2. The six of you who need to, send me your revised structures by Friday. The reason: the sooner you determine your story arc, the more efficient you’ll be in the writing process. I sent back screen shots of my notes earlier this afternoon. Hopefully these, and the peer feedback from today, help as you go forward.
  3. Email me if you want to meet on Monday or Tuesday. Based on when many of you turn in your assignments, I’m guessing Tuesday night will be a long one for at least a couple of you, so get in before then if you have questions/need motivation/want to break down your story. I love breaking stuff down. Sara is booked for 2:30 Monday. Other time slots are Monday from 11:45 AM -12:40 and 2:45-5:30 or so on Monday. I can also be available Tuesday from 10-11 AM and 12:45-1:45 PM if you can’t come in Monday.
  4. Get your reporting done, and get to writing. But that’s obvious.

Good luck. You’re getting closer!

For Wednesday

Hopefully the structural discussion today helped.

What you’re currently going through is the toughest period in the writing process for a story like this. You’ve done some reporting, but likely not enough. You sorta know what your story’s about, but not quite. Chances are, you have a few paragraphs of writing you like, and a lot of messy stuff.

The good news is that it should be hard right now. To make something great, you need to incorporate different streams of information, perspective and insight. You need to wrestle with it. You need to draw larger truths out of all this raw information – the memories and quotes and statistics and scenes. You need to take it from “and then” to “but”, “therefore” and “meanwhile”. That’s the hard part but it’s also the most gratifying part. If you can pull it off, it’s an invaluable life skill.

For Wednesday, I want you to do three things:

  1. Read the following three short articles: this, on using place as a character; this at-times blustery, but helpful, breakdown of  nine rules for creative work from Chris Jones; and this on  three ways to tell your story. Read these BEFORE you do part two of the assignment because, hopefully, they make it easier. Bonus if you want/need inspiration: A first-person piece by George Saunders, one of the best writers alive, about his writing history. Warm, funny, wonderful. An example of tone carrying the day.
  2. Go over all your reporting. Pick out the good stuff. Take notes on your notes if it helps. Make a file with your best material, if that helps. And then write out your current story structure and email it to me by 8 AM. Print it out and bring it to class. It needs to be detailed. Use roman numerals if you like, or accompany it with a drawing  (which you should scan/photograph and email to me). Break it into 250-words chunks, or paragraphs, or sections. We need to look at it and know what your final magazine story will read like. I am emailing everyone an example of what I did on the Costello story (I’m a section guy, as you’ll see). We’re going to be talking about these in class. If you bring in an incomplete structure, you’ll waste an opportunity. If you don’t know your structure yet, now is the time to decide. You don’t have to stick with it, but you’ll be able to test it out on Wednesday.
  3. Print out and bring in a new or revised chunk of writing. Since you’ve all been working on your stories since last Monday, you all have new writing. Bring in a section on which you’d like feedback, between 500-800 words. It can be a scene, or a new opener, or something else. You don’t need to send it to me, though you can if you like. This is for the opportunity to do in-class partner revision, as we prepare for exchanging first drafts next week.

Finally, in case it helps with the structure exercise, I’m embedding a few (very) basic visuals that, hopefully, help as you plan out your narrative. Right now, the biggest challenge facing most of you is that you don’t have a story to tell yet.

So use these for inspiration, if you like. Don’t worry that they are simple. All stories are, in the end, simple in structure.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 4.26.17 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 4.12.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 4.12.23 PM

sources: Here, here and here

For Monday

Hope all are well.

I’ll be returning your work soon. In the meantime, for Monday please do the following:

  1. Finish your reporting. Or get close to it. Those of you who are waiting to do some big chunk of it, the time is now. Deadlines exist for a reason; they allow (force?) us to do things we couldn’t otherwise. And your first draft deadline is coming up very soon. Do yourself a favor and get your hardest reporting done now.
  2. Bring your key materials to class (on your laptop or written). We’re going to be talking about how to go through them. You should have enough that you are now sifting the best parts from the rest. If you don’t have enough to be sifting, you need to do more. This applies to you first-person writers too; you’ll be sifting your best scenes and ancedotes that you’ve re-created with the reporting you’ve done.

Have a great weekend. See you all Monday (electronically). The teaching assistant for the day is Alicia.

For Wednesday’s Class

It’s encouraging to see all of you digging into the writing. Some rich material, and I love the chances people are taking. Keep at it.

For this Wednesday, your assignment is:

  1. Keep reporting and writing. This is when the pieces start falling into place and, hopefully, your story is coming together
  2. For modeling and inspiration, read the”The Storm” a 4,700 word story  from Sebastian Junger that inspired the book that in turn inspired the movie “The Perfect Storm.” Then read the annotated version to understand how he did it and watch a very Short preview video and read the brief notes from that presentation. He’s one of the best out there and his advice will be useful to all of you, especially anyone who is re-creating events (which is virtually all of you).
  3. On Wednesday, make sure to bring your laptops to class and, if you want, a cup of coffee, tea or whatever gets your muse going (within legal limits, of course). The remote teaching assistants will be Molly and Jana.

Assignment for Monday

Good seeing everyone yesterday. Hopefully Pete’s presentation on covering 9/11, and reporting with empathy, was helpful. I know he was impressed with you as a group.

For Monday, your assignment is to send me a 700-900 word chunk of writing from your final project by Monday morning at 8 AM, with all the usual formatting. Bring a print-out as well. We’re going to spend the majority of the class workshopping your stories, so let’s make the most of it. If your reporting situation is such that you’d rather bring a detailed, multi-page outline, that works too. Regardless, I encourage all of you to be writing. You can bring three different ledes/openers if you want – a great exercise because you may well end up using all of them somewhere in your story. Or you can write one extended scene that you know you’re going to use. Take advantage of this opportunity for peer/editorial feedback.

In the meantime, let me know if you are having reporting issues (or breakthroughs). I know Lizzy’s got a big reporting day today, and Gabi has opportunities set up in the coming days as well. Good luck!