The Feature Writing Sampler

Didion typewriter Decorative

This is a sampler of styles of feature writing –short and longform, news and culture– to give you a sense of narrative storytelling styles that might inform or inspire your efforts in feature writing and storytelling.


A Most American Terrorist by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah | GQ Magazine

Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom Murdered by Michelle Dean | BuzzFeed News

A Very Revealing Conversation With Rihanna by Miranda July | T Magazine, New York Times

Tales of The Tyrant by Mark Bowden | The Atlantic (2002 profile of Saddam Hussein)

The Falling Man by Tom Junod | Esquire

Frank Sinatra Has A Cold by Gay Talese | Esquire

How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million by Taffy Brodesser Akner | NYT Magazine

If He Hollers Let Him Go by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah | The Believer 


Falling in Love With Words: The Secret Life of a Lexicographer by Kory Stamper | Longreads Legends Never Die by Caroline Rothstein | Narratively

Uncommon Ancestry by Alison Motluck | Hazlitt

Rage, Rap and Revolution: Inside the Arab Youth Quake by Bobby Ghosh | Time 


When Whitney Hit The High Note by Danyel Smith | ESPN The Magazine

Colin Kaepernick Has A Job by Rembert Browne | Bleacher Report

The Wrestler and The Rape Victim by Jessica Luther | Vice

Silence At Baylor by Jessica Luther | Texas Monthly

Escaping Kakuma Soccer and the pursuit of meaning inside the world’s third-largest refugee camp words by Louis Bien, images by Kainaz Amaria | SB Nation


A Woman’s Rights by the Editorial Board | New York Times

The Male Glance by  Lili Loofbourow | VQR

Sexual Misinformation by Mira Jacob
Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Published in October 2017, this piece was the watershed moment of the #MeToo movement. In 2006, activist Tarana Burke began the Me Too Movement to raise awareness of sexual assault.

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories by Ronan Farrow | The New Yorker

Birthright by Jill Lepore | The New Yorker


New Tongues by Doreen St. Felix | MTV News

When The Lights Shut Off: Kendrick Lamar and the Decline of the Black Blues Narrative by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah | LA Review of Books

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. by Lauren Hough | Huffington Post

‘Shuffle Along’ and the Lost History of Black Performance in America by John Jeremiah Sullivan | New York Times Magazine

On Blackface, Bert Williams, and Excellence by Danielle Jackson | Longreads



Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis by Linda Villarosa | New York Times Magazine. This feature story published in 2018 won National Magazine Award. Villarosa is a professor of journalism at City College.

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic

The Resegregation of Jefferson County by Nikole Hannah-Jones | New York Times Magazine

The Problem We All Live With by Nikole Hannah-Jones | This American Life

The Welfare Queen by Josh Levin | Slate

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic

The Price of Nice Nails by Sarah Milsin Nir | New York Times
This essay by Lacy Johnson from 2017 is richly researched and reported, a remarkable example of literary journalism today.

What Bullets Do Bodies by Jason Fagone | Huffington Post Highline

“I DON’T WANT TO SHOOT YOU, BROTHER” by Joe Sexton | ProPublica

This February 2019 essay by City College professor Emily Raboteau lays bare the immediacy of climate crisis in personal, local and human scale terms. This essay is another extraordinary example of literary journalism today.

The Uninhabitable Earth Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.  By David Wallace-Wells | New York Magazine

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change by Nathaniel Rich | New York Times Magazine

GONE IN A GENERATION Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives  By Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney | The Washington Post

You Can’t Just “Clean Up” the Plastic in the Ocean. Here’s Why. by Susmita Baral | Teen Vogue


Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal by 2002 The Boston Globe Spotlight Team

As police struggle to solve homicides, Baltimore residents see an ‘open season for killing’ by Wesley Lowery, Steven Rich and Salwan Georges | The Washington Post


FML: How Millennials Are Screwed by Michael Hobbes | Huffpost Highline

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen | BuzzFeed News

This is a high school newspaper who took advantage of a security breach in 2017. The interview and then-incoming Defense Secretary John Mattis’ answers were revealing and shows great student reporting.

David Marchese, The Complete Vulture Interviews | New York Magazine, Vulture

John Cho Doesn’t Have All The Answers by Kevin Nguyen |GQ


On The Media | NPR

Scene On Radio

Systems Check

Code Switch

Invisibilia | NPR Podcast

S-Town Podcast

Still Processing with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham | New York Times

Why Is This Happening with Chris Hayes | MSNBC