Limited to 12 participants
Boccaccio got it right. People in social isolation turn to stories of the human condition, earthly pursuits and nature. Seven centuries after The Decameron was written, a pandemic has once again driven demand for in-depth accounts of current topics. And just as Boccacio’s extended chronicles influenced Chaucer and Renaissance art, many books and movies are based on modern long-form journalism.
Targeted at motivated storytellers, Telling Tales covers the basics of researching, writing, editing, and pitching in-depth narratives of more than 1,000 words for mainstream outlets. Workshops are led by a professional journalist and freelancer who contributes to publications around the world from his chosen isolation on a former vineyard. Richard conducts the practical course as a “real-life” exercise designed to prepare a publication-ready feature by the end of the sessions.
Group discussions, simulation exercises, analysis of articles by former students, and lectures are combined with short writing exercises reviewed during the workshops. Richard’s former students have built on these techniques for careers as freelancers, publicists, editors of in-house journals and online content creators.
• Generating story ideas
• Death to writer’s block
• Choosing the right topic at the right time
• Simple, strong, and succinct writing
• Storytelling structures – including the Hero’s Journey, Inverted Pyramid writing and in medias res
• Writing catchy headings and leads
• Editing jargon and superfluous words
• Show don’t tell – writing for the senses
• Nutgraphs and pre-header text
• Interviewing techniques
• Pitching stories for publication
• Extending the shelf life of time-sensitive stories
• Recycling content for multiple outlets
PRE-REQUISITES: Curiosity and a keyboard
RECOMMENDED TEXT: The Canadian Press Stylebook, 18TH edition, 2018,
James McCarten, Editor