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.


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 am also 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 have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won thirty-three poetry awards. 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 am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, haibun, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, etheree, and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also 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 was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 111 clients in 16 states. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to 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. Currently, I am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society.
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