Capture a compelling conversation and storyline in lieu of a full-blown story.

Key dates

  • Monday, Sept. 28: Launch + be familiar with reading list + start interviews
  • Monday, Oct. 5: Final version turned in. (no peer review)

Reading list

For each style of feature I will ask you to complete I will provide some examples that we can discuss in class to help jog your creative muscles and that you can refer to for inspiration while you work on yours. Please read, listen or watch at least three of them — some by the pros, some by the students — before we launch each segment.

The assignment

Great features depend on great interviews, which are conversations with a purpose yet still open to unexpected possibilities. A well-done Q&A captures a compelling conversation and storyline with a person in lieu of a full-blown story.

You will

  • Record a 7-10 minute podcast that…
  • Introduces the person as well as the subject of the conversation along with why that’s a compelling angle now…
  • Encapsulates at least eight question/answer exchanges that move readers through the conversation in an engaging way…
  • And is relatable to a clearly defined audience.

You will not

  • Regurgitate a transcript of the interview with all the boring parts.

Rubric (250 points total)

  • Interview | 50 percent
    • Finds a compelling line or lines of conversation with the subject
    • Is explored in significant depth to explain while also providing a sense of the person’s character and style
    • Is relatable to a broad audience
  • Writing | 50 percent
    • Meets a 7-10 minute duration in podcast form
    • Uses clear, open-ended questions
    • Tells a story within the arc of conversation
    • Does not regurgitate a transcript of the interview
  • Deductions
    • Fact errors: -50 percent

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