Long-form storytelling

By Tommy Hamzik

I enjoy reading much of what’s now been classified as long-form journalism, which is why I decided to attend Joe Gisondi’s and Brian Poulter’s session about that topic.

Those two spent an entire summer traveling Route 1 in Illinois telling stories that totaled out to be around 14,000 words. What they did is remarkable, considering they said there wasn’t a whole ton of initial research they did prior to heading out there.

Gisondi offered lots of helpful advice for conducting interviews, gathering material and ultimately structuring together the piece. It made me think of the mini-profiles or features I’ve done on athletes and how much better they could have been if I put more time into it and opened up to finding more sources and small details to add in.

Gisondi left us by saying that if something makes you feel uncomfortable, do it. That’s something I always try to reinforce to myself, and something that will hopefully help me with becoming a better long-form writer.


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