We’ve all read them—those immersive profiles that make us feel like we know the subject intimately, though we’re only reading about them. As a writer, how do we craft questions that will inspire an interviewee to reveal truths that make for a great feature? Furthermore, what tactics can we use when it comes time to transcribe and shape those responses into a compelling narrative?
Creative Journalism and the Art of the Interview will give emerging and experienced writers alike the tools to conceptualize, write, and edit engaging journalistic portraits. Wherever you wish to shine the light of inquiry—on art pioneers, business icons, or scientific figures—this four-week course will guide you. The class will also cover the process of getting work out into the editorial world, from initial pitch to publication.
- Choose and research their subjects
- Write interview questions
- Conduct a relaxed interview
- Study classic profiles by a variety of writers
- Gain transcription techniques
- Create lede lines that sparkle
- Polish a draft for publication
- Learn to pitch a story and approach editors
WHAT THIS COURSE WILL OFFER
Week 1: Prepare
Through an interactive mind-mapping process, students will choose their subjects. We’ll also engage in exercises designed to help you research and create questions. Finally, the class will discuss how best to achieve a relaxed environment either in person or remotely. Working independently, students will conduct and transcribe their interviews for Week 2.
Week 2: Present
In a guided workshop setting, students will try out different lede lines on each other and integrate feedback. We’ll also discuss required readings—exploring a handful of classic profiles through the lenses of pacing, tone, and structure. Working independently, students will draft a 1000-word profile based on their interview for Week 3.
Week 3: Polish
Through teacher and peer editing, students will examine their work. After established criterion for constructive critique, we will workshop all profiles in a supportive online forum. Working independently, students will revise their work based on insights from the workshop for Week 4.
Week 4: Pitch
In the final week of the course, we’ll discuss how to approach publications. With professional advice, you’ll learn to share ideas with confidence, write your bio, and identify ideal outlets for your profile. Students will complete the course with an airtight story and an action plan for getting it published.
ABOUT ARI ROSENSCHEIN
Ari Rosenschein is a Seattle-based writer whose essays and fiction appear in Entropy, Noisey, Drunk Monkeys, Observer, KEXP.ORG, PopMatters, The Bookends Review, and other outlets. During his career, he’s profiled dozens of musicians, visual artists, and other personalities. His projects in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors include annual reports, long-form articles, product campaigns, executive letters, and other communications.
Rosenschein is the author of the short-story collection, Coasting (Magnolia Press), and holds an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles. A lifelong musician, he records and performs with his bands The Royal Oui and STAHV. He lives with his wife and dog and enjoys the woods, the rain, and the coffee of his chosen region.
PRAISE FOR COASTING
“Ari Rosenschein’s Coasting is a unique, funny, and unsettling story collection, populated with hipsters, drifters, dreamers, band members, and insiders who feel like outsiders. With sharp prose and intimate details, Coasting reveals a Los Angeles full of grief, loss, disappointment, illusions, and especially surprise.” -Victoria Patterson, author of The Secret Habit of Sorrow and The Little Brother
“With the insight of a socio-anthropologist and the familiarity of your favorite bartender, Ari Rosenschein introduces us to new West Coast archetypes who follow the tradition of California Dreaming into the 21st century.” -Nikki San Pedro for Newfound
“Ari Rosenschein’s Coasting does for gen Y punks and rockers seeking artistic fame and glory in Los Angeles roughly what Candide did for— and to—its naïvely optimistic protagonist. A superb debut collection.” -Peter Selgin, author of Life Goes to the Movies and The Inventors