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Literary Journalism

All about the genre of literary journalism and a how-to to create your own piece of literary journalism

Kelly Erbe

on 4 November 2012

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Transcript of Literary Journalism

What is it and how do I create it? Literary Journalism Let's start with "What" Let's look at "Where" Where can you find more on literary
journalism? Let's look at "How" how do we write literary journalism today? P.S. Let's Look at One! a really good example of literary journalism! a brief history of literary journalism Although aspects of literary journalism have been present in writing from well before the mid 1900's, the existence of literary style of journalism wasn't widely recognized as its own genre until Truman Capote, an American author, marketed himself as having created a new genre of writing. Tom Wolfe, another American author who is best known for his hand in the literary journalism movement, was responsible for getting the literary establishment's attention with the introduction to a book he was editing. Shortly after Wolfe gained the attention of the literary establishment, "the new journalism" became a hot topic. It has been known as several names throughout history including
"nonfiction novel"
"factual fiction"
"creative nonfiction"
And , of course, "literary journalism" as we know of it today. Writing must be based on observation, review of documents, or thorough interviews. In other words, it must be factual. There must not be composite characters or undocumented action or speculated thoughts of a third party. Literary journalism must have a distinct voice. Narrative is an important part of literary journalism, and it should seem as though the author is telling a story. An author of literary journalism should use copious detail to express meaning beyond their specific reference. In history, this has been called "symbolic detail" or "symbolic realities." Importantly, a piece of literary journalism must attempt to achieve literary impact. It must resonate with the reader in a similar way as would fiction, drama, or poetry. A piece of literary journalism engages the reader in a personal and responsive way. About Truman Capote a review of his timeless effect on the
literary journalism genre "...journalists began to discover the devices that gave the realistic novel its unique power, variously known as its 'immediacy,' its 'concrete reality,' its 'emotional involvement,' its 'gripping' and 'absorbing' quality. The essential means of achieving these, wrote Wolfe, is through (1) scene setting, (2) replication of extended dialogue, (3) third person point-of-view, (4) 'the recording of every day gestures, habits, manners, customs, styles... and other symbolic details that might exist within a scene.'" Let's look at connections a quote to connect historical thinking with present literary journalism requirements (1) factual (2) Subject Representation (3) Voice (4) Detail (5) Impact
Thorne, Ann. "Developing A Personal Style: Janet Flanner's Literary Journalism." American
Journalism 23.1 (2006): 35-62. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. Here's a source I used to compose this presentation Here's an informative website... "Breakable Rules for Literary Journalists and Nieman Storyboard- A Project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard."


This website gives a wonderful outline for literary journalism techniques and rules. Here's a website to relate to my
historical review... Tom Wolfe's "The Birth of the New Journalism Eyewitness Report" published in New York Magazine:


This is a great source for literary journalism style, and it is interesting to hear from a voice that defined the literary journalism movement in the 50's and 60's. Here's a general overview website... "Literary Journalism-Definition and Examples of Literary Journalism"


This website provides a very simple definition of Literary Journalism along with several links to examples of literary journalism. Here's one last overview website... "Literary Journalism"


This website includes links to information on literary journalists who are known for their involvement in the genre of literary journalism. You can find the rest of the wonderful piece of literary
journalism here:

Source published by Rocky Mountain News at http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2005/nov/11/final-salute/ THE END THE END
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