Winter 2007 Contributors, matthew Cheney has published fiction and nonfiction with a wide variety of venues, including One Story, locus, rain Taxi, web Conjunctions, and elsewhere. He is a regular columnist for the online magazine Strange horizons and runs the literary weblog The mumpsimus. Scott Espositos writing has appeared in the san Francisco. Best American Magazine Writing 2007. A book of magazine articles implies certain contradictions. Magazines are read and then, a few weeks or months later, recycled or passed on, while books linger, asserting their worthiness to be reread.
The Art and Craft
Winter Issue special feature: Writing and reading at Work quarterly conversation. Winter Issue special feature: Writing and reading at Work. The quarterly conversation is happy to announce that we will be running a special feature in our Winter issue on the theme of reading and writing at work. For this feature we are interested in: the literary hamlet criticism that we usually publish, only focused on authors who have unusual relationships to their places of employment (think gaddis and Walser) personal essays that deal with ones relationship to reading/writing and their work; or essays. We are accepting contributions for this special feature on a rolling schedule. Inquire with the editor for specific deadlines. As always, we will also be considering the usual array of features, book reviews, and interviews for the winter issue. More from The quarterly conversation: Winter 2006 Contributors, daniel Olivas is the author of four books, including devil Talk: Stories (Bilingual Press, 2004). He is currently editing an anthology of Los Angeles fiction by latino/a writers, and lives in Californias San Fernando valley. Dave munger has been an editor, teacher, book designer, and stay-at-home dad.
features are usually longer than news stories. A 2,000 word feature on how to use social media safely may work for a magazine, but could stretch to three screens on a webpage so you might struggle to keep a web readers attention. . If you are hoping to place your feature on earned media, then unless you are asked for a lengthy piece, try to keep it to 400-500 words. . Try to keep web features to under 500-600 words. If this has got you thinking you might also want to read this handy guide to feature writing by pr newswire i think it has some great tips too. F youd like to find out more about my Writing training courses, then do please get in touch. Picture courtesy of david Castillo domimici, free digital Photos.lab
Then introduce bullet points to draw attention the to tips or advice. . Use text out boxes to highlight details about a specific product/service or the biography of someone youve interviewed. . Pull out memorable"s and soundbites. And if you are writing a feature for the web, dont forget to include well placed hyperlinks. Write using plain English, follow. Orwells six rules to keep your writing easily accessible and understood. . And dont forget to follow the rules of grammar too. Measure it, write to the correct length. So know the medium well. .
(Dont feel that you have to tell the story in a chronological order this is often the weakest way to write a feature unless the story is best told in a historical fashion.).Yo! Grab attention in the lead paragraph by describing a dramatic moment, using a telling", asking a question or describing a scene. Build a bridge, use a nut graf a bridging sentence or short paragraph (usually highlighted in bold) to link the introduction to the rest of the feature. . Position it after the second or third paragraph and use it to answer the so, why should i keep reading? Question a reader might ask. A good feature will connect the story from beginning to end with a common thread. . This might be a single person, an event, or a thing something that highlights the overall theme. Eye-catching detail, worried about long lengths of copy? .
Cut to the Chase: Writing feature, films with the Pros
Be creative, the feature may be written by an organisation but dont make the story about the organisation. . This will come across as blatant advertising and will turn readers off even if you are using our own media to publish the story. Try to take a creative approach to framing your PR/marketing message across. . Dont force the brand name into the headline and lead paragraph. Use this space to highlight the story angle. .
If you want to produce an easily accessible story, then you have to involve people in the story whether through interviews, case studies, statistics or descriptions. Writing a feature allows you to tell the story in one of many ways. Decide what kind of feature is best suited to the messages you want to communicate. . A case study, interview or profile, advice piece, day-in-the-life-of story, reportage, news gre analysis, historical, seasonal, behind the scenes, a review or trend piece. . Try to make a point that is interesting, remarkable or amusing. Shape it, structure the story in such a way so that the most compelling information is a the beginning. .
I feel like i must have covered every detail and that discussing it with a customer is a waste of time, but I cant remember ever showing a feature file to a customer where we didnt change the feature to make it better. Theres always some ambiguity you can drive out. Have you got any feature files you'd like some input on? Send them over and I'll do my best to give some insight if I can. Pic courtesy of Free digital Photos.
Feature writing is a craft many prs have to grasp. Perhaps you have to write a feature for your organisations website, staff newsletter or company brochure, or an editorial piece in a consumer or trade magazine? Dont let it throw you off guard. Its quite liberating when you dont have to follow the strict structure of news release writing. . But it can be bewildering too. . Where do you start? Im in the middle of developing a two month long course on writing features for the web and this has inspired me to share ten tips on writing a feature for PR:. Make a point, all good features inform, educate, inspire, entertain or enlighten. So decide at the outset what the purpose of your story is and stick.
Features of Academic Writing
Given I have received a welcome email When I follow the link Then brief I should be logged straight into my account The fact that weve switched actor here isnt a problem in my view. Its still clear who i is in this case, because the scenario title is clear and descriptive. @victor Scenario: Victor receives a welcome email (change password on 1st screen) given I have received a welcome email When I follow the link Then I should be able to change my password from the first screen This is a very similar scenario, but its. Its very tempting to tag the check onto the end of a previous scenario, but this reduces clarity and the perceived importance of that particular part of the feature in everybodys mind. Feature files are bookmarks for conversation in just the same way that other agile tracking methods are. If they dont accurate represent the shared thinking, theyre worse than useless. Get the customer input Im not sure if this feature had originally been business run past the customer, but this point is so important that its worth restating anyway: If youre not showing the customer the feature files youre missing out on 90 of the value. Im still sometimes guilty of not doing this.
So id try and push some of these details down into steps. Lets take the scenarios in turn: @angie, scenario: Angie creates a complimentary account. When I create a new complimintary account for Victor. Then a welcome email should be sent analysis to victor. The @angie tag just ensures that Angie is signed. Its neater than a separate given step in my opinion. I dont include specifics such as email addresses: its just noise. @victor, scenario: Victor receives a welcome email (direct account login).
ask Angie the Administrator to create special free accounts for special people. Scenario: Angie creates a complimentary account. Scenario: Victor receives a welcome email. Scenario: Victor can change his password. Id check this with the customer too, just to make sure it made sense. If the password changing is important to them, Id make that a separate scenario. Writing the scenarios, i keep my scenarios really short.
The feature as written just didnt feel right to them: its not clear who the actors are from the text, although the feature has a certain workflow. Also the check that recipient can set the password is an important one, but isnt clearly called out in the feature. How could this be written differently? Setting the scene, the first thing I noticed is that the feature is missing a preamble. People often leave review these out, but I find them invaluable to set the context of the feature and to ensure theres a point to adding the feature at all. To write the scenarios, i would approach this from the point of view of the personas involved, who i would normally give names. In this case there are two obvious personas: Angie the Administrator, and Victor the vip. Theres a more subtle role at play here too: Its unlikely that Angie decides who gets a complimentary accoun. Therefore we also have the particular stakeholder who wants this feature, who we will call Buster the business development Director.
Features of academic writing : Hedging
Ive written a fair amount in the past about Cucumber and the way i like to structure my features. After reading these through, someone recently asked me about a particular workflow concerning multiple actors. They were starting from the following feature file: feature: Complimentary Accounts, scenario: Creating a complimentary account, given i am signed-in to the admin area. When I create a new complimintary account with these details: name john Smith, email, then a welcome email should be sent. Scenario: Receiving a welcome email, given I have received a welcome email. When I follow the link, then I should see a welcome page. And I should be signed-in, and I should see the details of my account. And I should be able to set my password. The concern was that the feature had more than one actor involved: there was the administrator creating the complimentary account, and the recipient of that account.