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The Art of Feature Writing

From Newspaper Features and Magazine Articles to Commentary

Earl R. Hutchison

Publication Date - June 2007

ISBN: 9780195179385

368 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $129.99

Sound, sensible advice on the ins and outs of feature writing


From basic newspaper features to in-depth magazine articles and incisive commentary, The Art of Feature Writing introduces students to the myriad tasks of a journalist--including researching, interviewing, organizing, writing and marketing. Replete with accessible, dynamic examples drawn from a variety of diverse sources, this book takes a step-by-step approach to give students the skills, tools and confidence they need to produce their own distinctive material.

With the encouraging voice of an experienced teacher, Hutchison imparts sensible advice on both the craft of writing and the more practical concerns of a freelancer. The book is enhanced by rich pedagogical features including key points, chapter summaries and numerous exercises. From writing a lead that sings to the income tax implications of a freelance career, The Art of Feature Writing helps students generate compelling copy as they develop a more sophisticated understanding of the career of a writer.

About the Author(s)

Earl R. Hutchison is Professor and Director of the Communication Program at Tennessee Technological University. He brings a diverse professional and academic career to his writing. He was, for example, an arc welder for General Motors, and he also ran a cattle farm for ten years. After serving five years in three infantry divisions (30th, 24th, and 82nd) as a rifleman, platoon leader, and jumpmaster, he earned degrees leading to a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also been an assistant editor on a weekly newspaper, an assistant editor on a small daily newspaper, and a general assignment reporter on a large daily newspaper. He is the author of Writing for Mass Communication, Second Edition; Tropic of Cancer on Trial: A Case History of Censorship; and coeditor of Mass Media and the Law: Freedom & Restraint. His television play, TKO, was produced by CBS. More than 3,000 of his news stories, features, reviews, and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines.

Table of Contents

    I: On the Path to Becoming a Freelance Writer
    II: On Defining a Newspaper Feature: Dog Bites Man - Dog Dies
    III: Writing the Newspaper Feature
    IV: Writing Investigative and Survey Features
    V: Magazine Writing and the Reader Interest Plane
    VI: Commentary: Editorials, Columns, Essays, Reviews
    VII: The Art of Writing - The Echo of Words
    VIII: The Art of Interviewing - The Only Wheel in Town
    IX: The Search for Information
    X: Focusing, Outlining - Pulling It All Together
    XI: To Market, To Market - The Business Side of Freelancing, Part I
    XII: Home Again, Home Again - The Business Side of Freelancing, Part II