The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing

The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing
Emond Publishing
Page Count:
Out of Print
Publication Date:
July 2008

A combination manual and reader, this book offers a comprehensive overview of practical skills complemented by full-length examples of some of the best work in the genre. The chapters are written by a team of seasoned journalists and educators, and the readings have been carefully chosen to help illustrate a specific skill or approach. This book will inform and inspire feature writers at every level.

Impressive, complete, and too much fun to be a textbook. ... It does a lot, and reads as though one author, not ten, put it together. Both beginners and old hands will find it useful, as it respects readers' wit and willingness to tackle complexity. This volume is a delightful stand-alone tutorial, but one could easily build a course around it.

— Mark Kramer, founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism (Harvard University) and co-editor of the anthologies Literary Journalism and Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writer's Guide

Part I: The Idea of Story
Chapter 1: A World of Ideas: The Birth of a Feature (Philip Preville)
Reading: "The Ketchup Conundrum” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)
Chapter 2: Perfect Pitch, or How I Learned to Love Rejection (Matthew Hays)
Reading: "My Year of Living Dangerously” (Katrina Onstad, ELLE)
Part II: Getting the Goods
Chapter 3: The Great Quest: Researching Feature Stories (Sue Ferguson)
Reading: " The Golden Bough” (John Vaillant, The New Yorker)
Chapter 4: Telling Pictures: Reporting and Reconstructing Scenes (David Hayes)
Reading: "Die Hard” (David Hayes, National Post Business Magazine)
Chapter 5: Anecdotal Evidence: Interviewing to Tell a Story (Don Gibb)
Reading: "The Fight for Their Lives” (Aaron Derfel, The Montreal Gazette)
Chapter 6: Going Deep: Immersion Reporting (Linda Kay)
Reading: "Living on Lobster Time” (Philip Preville, Saturday Night)
Part III: Writing It Down
Chapter 7: Building the Beast: Approaches to Structure (Paul Benedetti)
Reading: "The Sixty-Storey Crisis” (Anne Mullens, BC Business)
Chapter 8: Required Elements: Details of Structure (Susan McClelland)
Reading: "When Animals Attack” (Bruce Grierson, Western Living)
Chapter 9: Doing It in Style: The Feature Writer's Art (Moira Farr)
Reading: "The Persian Dub” (Abou Farman, Maisonneuve)
Part IV: Rights and Responsibilities
Chapter 10: Truth and the Storyteller: Ethics in Non–fiction (Ivor Shapiro)
Reading: "Into the Valley of Death” (Stephanie Nolen, The Globe and Mail)
Recurring Feature: “Glad You Asked — Tips from Veteran Feature Writers” (Edited by Paul Benedetti)

“Ivor Shapiro has created the book I've been waiting for, and I'm eager to share it with my students. The authors glean lessons from their extensive experience in clear, engaging prose, and the examples are rooted in the best feature journalism.”

— David Beers, UBC School of Journalism and founding editor of online magazine The Tyee (

“I've been looking for the right book on feature writing for years, and this is it. The examples are brilliant; the writing is clear; and the tone is never patronizing. It doesn't hurt, either, that the authors practise what they teach.”

— Jim Meek, University of King’s College, Halifax

Prices and Formats

The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing Emond Reader ebook (Lifetime Access)

Format: Digital
Cover: Online
Colour: One Colour
Status: Available

Price: $50.00

The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing Emond Reader ebook (1 Year Rental)

Format: Digital
Cover: Online
Colour: One Colour
Status: Available

Price: $39.00

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