Feature Writing Foundations: Master Class with Lane DeGregory

This Master Class was originally broadcast on:
October 23, 2015 Enroll Now
Details about an archived replay of the event will be announced soon. If you registered in the live event, you are already enrolled.

Course Overview

Feature Writing Foundations: Master Class with Lane DeGregory
Master Class
Time Estimate:
This Master Class comprises two 90-minute interviews with a one-hour lunch intermission.

About Master Classes

A Poynter Institute Master Class is a unique opportunity to learn from a prominent journalist or other media star in an intimate, exclusive online broadcast or in-person event.

Your next story may be one you work on for months or years. Or it may be a story you have to publish to the web in a half hour. No matter what amount of time (or number of words) you have, you will want to do justice to the person you're writing about. You want to fill each sentence with words that enrich the reader's experience and deepen her understanding.

In this Poynter NewsU event, Pulitzer winner Lane DeGregory will help you find story ideas where you can really stretch yourself and your writing, turn short assignments into enriching opportunities, and hone your skills as a writer. You'll have the chance to learn how she gets key interviews, how she gains and handles emotional intimacy with her subjects, and how she continues to find joy in her work, even when she covers stories that are emotionally devastating, like her 2009 Pulitzer winning series, the Girl in the Window.

The Poynter Institute offers an added element to its Master Class. If you'd like to attend the Master Class in person and meet Lane DeGregory, Poynter provides lunch at no additional cost. Simply select the option to attend in person when you enroll.

What Will I Learn:

The Master Class is partly made up of curated audience questions, but will also cover the following:

Session 1 – Story Ideas to Writing Process: Listening and Working Smarter
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern Time

  • Finding story ideas: from brief encounters to immersive features
  • Pitching your idea to source and establishing intimacy
  • Working from a chronology and scene list
  • Writing tactics to enrich the briefest of stories
  • Writing process, from idea to pitch to gathering information to thinking through the structure to editing

Session 2 – Working With a Team and Managing Emotions
1 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time

  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Debriefing and managing emotions in emotional stories
  • Managing working relationships with beat reporters
  • The importance of the photographer-feature writer relationship
Who should take this course:

Writers, reporters, and editors who want to take their feature stories to the next level.


Lane DeGregory

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer who prefers writing about people in the shadows. She went to work with a 100-year-old man who still swept out a seafood warehouse, hung out beneath a bridge with a colony of sex offenders and followed a feral child who was adopted.

Technical Requirements:

This Master Class live event contains audio. Please make sure you've got your headphones or speakers adjusted.

For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Firefox or Chrome
  • Mac users use Chrome, Firefox or Safari
  • You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • You use a wired connection instead of wireless

Please test your connection.

Questions? Email us at info@newsu.org.