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Narrative Nonfiction Panel Discussion, May 31
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: May 11, 2007

Narrative Nonfiction Panel Discussion at PSU, May 31

What:
Three of the nation’s renowned journalistic writing coaches will lead a discussion on narrative nonfiction, which blends storytelling techniques of fiction with fact-based reporting. The panel includes:
Jack Hart, writing coach for The Oregonian and author of A Writer’s Coach: An Editor’s Guide to Words That Work (Pantheon, 2006);
Roy Peter Clark, senior editor and writing coach for the Florida-based Poynter Institute (www.poynter.org) and founding director of the National Writers Workshop;
Mark Kramer, director and writer-in-residence of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University from 2001–2007.

When:
Thursday, May 31, 5–7 p.m.

Where:
Smith Memorial Student Union, room 333 (1825 SW Broadway, Portland)

Cost:
The discussion is free and open to the public.

Contact:
For more information, contact Debra Gwartney, gwartney@pdx.edu.

Background:
Jack Hart describes the narrative journalism structure as one that “provides a location where we can meet the protagonist and learn something about him, followed by scenes in which he encounters a series of challenges before facing the ultimate complication and, finally, a scene or two that tie up any loose ends.”

“Reporting with civic clarity is a journalist's primary duty, which leaves plenty of room for the telling of "real" stories,” writes Roy Peter Clark. “And narrative strategies are tried and true: setting scenes, developing characters, effectively using dialogue, and establishing point of view....An implied contract exists between reporter and reader that a reliable version of reality is being rendered with care and honesty.”

Narrative journalism has been described by Mark Kramer as writing that “assumes the reader is not a robot and that acknowledges the reader knows lots and feels and snickers and gets wild.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (#07-065)