Feature Writers: Keep in Mind These Key Points

Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality FeaturesFeature writing, like everything, takes practice. The more you write, the better you get at it, and your style becomes more interesting and lively to the reader.

Follow these basic points:

1) Be open, honest, and professional with those you seek information from.

2) Ask a lot of questions of those you interview to get your facts together. And, if you’re inquisitive, you’ll also show people you are interested in what they are telling you.

3) Be observant and aware. Give all details to make your article interesting by using your five senses.

4) Just like a news reporter, make sure your details about people, places, and events are accurate.

5) Arrange facts in an interesting way. Your most interesting facts should come early in the article.

6) Make your article newsworthy. People want to read about something that is relevant and timely that they can relate to.

7) Be descriptive and create action. Remember, it’s show, don’t tell. Adjectives provide description, and verbs create action. Use words that haven’t been overused. Look through a thesaurus, if necessary.

8) A feature article needs to be more than just narrative. Include colorful quotes that reveal the personality of those you’ve interviewed or that reveal their interesting perspectives about a place or an event.

9) Be perceptive. Capture the delight or drama of everyday life or of what your subject matter involves. Even the irony of it, if appropriate.

10) Strive to create some reaction or emotion in the reader. What do you want the reader to feel during and after reading your article?

To reinforce and expand on a lot of what I write in my blogs, read my book, Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features.

And, if you are interested in writing a column, read my blogs on writing them. I’ve authored the book,You Can Be A Columnist.

Be mindful that one learns by constant reinforcement.

Copyright 2011 by Charlotte Digregorio.

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About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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