here is where

PODCAST EPISODE #13: “Best Of” Advice Edition, 2013

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This year has been a blast.

Since launching the Telling The Story podcast in April, I have interviewed twelve great journalists and storytellers about their work.

With the year wrapping up, I decided to take a look back.

I compiled some of the best moments from the past year into a “Best Of” advice edition of the Telling The Story podcast. Hear from eight terrific storytellers about their thoughts on what makes a great storyteller, such as:

  • Jon Shirek: my first podcast guest and my co-worker at WXIA-TV in Atlanta
  • Anne Herbst: a versatile news photographer and now assistant chief photographer at KDVR-TV in Denver
  • Matt Detrich: a longtime staff photographer at the Indianapolis Star
  • Andrew Carroll: the author of the fascinating new book, Here Is Where
  • Roman Mars: the esteemed host of 99% Invisible, and my most popular podcast guest to date
  • Erin Brethauer: multimedia editor of the Asheville Citizen-Times, and — for a week this year — the overseer of the New Yorker’s Instagram account
  • Tomas Rios: a self-described paid-lance sportswriter whose work has appeared in Slate and Deadspin
  • Rachel Hamburg: a recent graduate of Stanford and the managing editor of the Stanford Storytelling Project

It’s a solid group of storytellers, and they offer some great advice.

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“Telling The Story” podcast guests on: advice for young journalists

I am on vacation — and out of commission — for the next two weeks, so I figured I would use my usual Wednesday space to put together some of the stronger exchanges and sound bites from the first six episodes of the “Telling The Story” podcast.

Last week, I posted the highlights on the topic of the changing landscape of journalism. This week, I present three segments in which some of the finest storytellers around offer their advice for up-and-comers:

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“Don’t write to be published”: Andrew Carroll is a great writer, which is somewhat amusing, in that he never really intended to be one. But maybe that’s part of what makes him so good; he writes with a unique style (witness his book, Here Is Where), and he talks with that style as well. He uses lively language and crackling words, and here he offers his keys to becoming a stronger writer — namely, to follow your passion and be a great reader.

CLICK HERE for the full podcast.

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“Find that mentor that scares you”: Anne Herbst can do it all — she has worked as a photographer and a one-woman band for TV stations and the major newspaper in Denver. As such, she gets asked for advice — a lot. Naturally, she was prepared when I posited the question to her here. She talks in this exchange, among other things, about finding a mentor who doesn’t pat you on the back.

CLICK HERE for the full podcast.

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PODCAST EPISODE #5: Andrew Carroll, author, “Here Is Where”

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To this point, the Telling The Story podcast has focused on short-form storytellers.

I have interviewed a multimedia journalist, a former sports anchor, a television photographer, and a newspaper photographer. Each person produces his or her work quickly, usually on deadline, in the often ephemeral format of daily media.

Not this guest.

Andrew Carroll joins me on the fifth episode of the Telling The Story podcast. He is a two-time New York Times best-selling author who has just released a mammoth, 450-page tome called Here Is Where, which tells a giant handful of forgotten stories from America’s history. In researching and putting together this book, Carroll has produced a phenomenal piece of storytelling.

I wrote about Here Is Where several weeks ago in a book review that focused both on Carroll’s storytelling and his themes. The book left me spellbound by its conclusions about the role of history in present society.

Here is what I wrote at the time:

Here Is Where is absolutely worth a read. It is the first book I can remember that captivated me with its content while truly making me think about larger, cosmic concepts and connecting me with history in a way that seemed real and palpable.

Carroll is nearly as good a podcast guest as he is a storyteller. In the podcast, we cover a ton of ground, touching on a variety of subjects including:

  • The importance of history, and particularly these forgotten stories: “There are still all these great stories around us, and they connect us in ways we don’t even realize.”
  • The best advice he was ever given: “Don’t write to be published. Write because you love to write. Write because it changes your view of the world. Write because it makes you more attentive to what’s around you.”
  • On the pros and cons of modern media: “I do wonder overall how much the art of conversation is being lost … because the art of conversation is so much a part of writing.”

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PODCAST PREVIEW: Andrew Carroll: “Every writer has to be a reader”

If there is such a thing as the Telling the Story Blog trifecta, Andrew Carroll has completed it.

I first mentioned the author and his book, Here Is Where, on my 3 Great Stories segment.

Then, after reading the book last month, I wrote a commentary in the form of a review about the masterpiece he had produced.

Now, I am proud to introduce Carroll as my latest guest on the Telling the Story podcast.

Carroll is a two-time New York Times best-selling author whose most recent work, Here Is Where, is a look at the forgotten stories from America’s history. The author road-tripped across — and even beyond! — the continental United States to fulfill the mission.

Come back to tellingthestoryblog.com Wednesday at 8 AM to hear the full podcast with myself and Carroll. We talk about a variety of subjects, delving into the overarching themes of his book and examining the storytelling process one chooses when facing the mountainous challenge of writing a 450-page book.

Carroll also offers his advice for young writers. His first pearl of wisdom? If you want to write well, you need to read. A lot.

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BOOK REVIEW: Andrew Carroll’s “Here Is Where” is haunting, enlightening, and beautiful

I never would have guessed that an in-flight magazine would lead to one of the most thought-provoking reading experiences in my life.

But here I am, thoroughly moved by the new book, Here Is Where, by Andrew Carroll — and I owe it all to US Airways Magazine.

I mentioned three weeks ago how I picked up the in-flight mag out of boredom and wound up reading — and being engrossed by — the abridged introduction to Carroll’s latest book. Here Is Where, he offered, would detail the forgotten stories that make up the fabric of America; Carroll traveled to the sites and cities where each of these stories took place.

I got home that night, purchased Here Is Where, and started reading it while on vacation last week. I finished it last night, having wolfed down chapters like Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

And, unlike after eating a dozen Krispy Kremes, I feel energized, hungry, and genuinely moved.

I originally purchased Carroll’s book for two reasons. The first? His ability to craft an absorbing story. Carroll lured me in with his introduction, teasing me with details and rewarding me with a solid pay-off; I knew I would be in for a treat, no matter the topic.

And I was right. Carroll is a phenomenal storyteller, and he elevates certain anecdotes simply on the strength of his writing. I especially found this in his chapter about a not-so-famous airplane hijacking in the mid-1970s, which played a large part in the creation of many of the air travel security measures in place today. Carroll keeps peppering the tale with surprises, turning an already interesting story into one of the book’s most memorable. Even some of his throwaway bits work, like when he gets a speeding ticket and wonders who came up with the idea for cruise control — only to find the answer later in the chapter, thanks to his research.

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