Inside Story (Leaf Storm Press) tackles the myriad approaches to the burgeoning genre of creative nonfiction—from memoir to criticism to literary journalism—by deeply exploring each stage of the generation, reportage, writing and editing of stories. Drawing on and integrating examples and advice from diverse practitioners in the field, Inside Story extends beyond idea and inspiration with practical advice, examples and exercises geared toward everyone from writing students, citizen journalists, bloggers and working writers. Read some author interviews here.
“Fellow journalists and memo writers, here is a book to keep close at hand. Not only does Goldberg nail all the ingredients of good writing and reporting, but she also provides an illuminating set of examples from the very best in the industry. It reads the way a book on writing should read.”
—Erik Wemple, media critic, The Washington Post
“Digital disruption, creative destruction, revolutionary technology, the fall and rise of old and new journalism and publishing paradigms—amid all this noise and opportunity, good writing and honest, well-crafted reporting endure. Julia Goldberg’s transcendently intelligent guide offers any fact writer who aspires to navigate the 21st century a beautifully stocked toolbox of advice, strategies, craft wisdom, encouraging examples, and hard-won perspectives on getting the job done right. Beyond its up-to-date practical wealth, Inside Story inspires by being the kind of stylish, authoritative, and vividly alive creative nonfiction it will empower its readers to make.”
—Hal Espen, former editor of Outside Magazine
“From characterization to structure, interviewing to ethics, Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story: Everyone’s Guide to Reporting and Writing Creative Nonfiction covers the full range of techniques, genres, and opportunities available to writers of fact. As an added bonus, she does it with flair, feistiness, and intelligence. A great new guide to the nonfiction craft.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer
“This is the creative nonfiction guide we’ve been waiting for—as informed and thoughtful as a D’Agata or Lopate anthology, but with the practical and generous perspective of a writer who’s done it all, from teaching to journalism to online curation. Julia Goldberg’s new book, Inside Story, offers a uniquely ideal combination of personal perspective, practical examples, inspiring anecdotes from literary history, and a whole host of helpful challenges and prompts. I’d trust any writer and editor whose trunk was once filled to the brim with yellow notepads.”
—Nathan Deuel, author of Friday Was the Bomb: Five Years in the Middle East
Inside Story has at least two features no other craft book does. I love its section on reporting. And I am passionately enthusiastic about its generative discussion of the various shapes an essay or article might take. It rejects merely linear form as well as journalistic or academic prescriptions. This is the perfect book for beginning and advanced writers of creative nonfiction, and I will use it in my classroom.
—Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education
“Creative non-fiction has a siren’s call for writers—it’s a way to unflinchingly examine ourselves and our worlds. But it is a difficult pursuit. Julia Goldberg has made that pursuit easier, more productive, and more likely with her new book, Inside Story. Witty, incisive, and full of brilliance, she takes a clear and detailed look at the makings of both journalism and memoir. Goldberg’s distinctive intelligent voice makes reading Inside Story like having a personal writing teacher at your side.”
—Miriam Sagan, author of Map of the Lost and Tanka from the Edge
“Don’t read Inside Story without a highlighter! Every reporter—from a greenhorn to a veteran—will find helpful tools, tricks and lessons about the craft of reporting and writing.”
—Mark Zusman, editor and publisher of Willamette Week
“I don’t know how I could like Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story any more than I do. As a teacher, the book will serve as a primer to all my students who want to write for any form of journalism and media. As a writer, I will keep Inside Storynearby to remind myself of the vital issues of craft and technique as I compose and revise. To put it plainly: If you want to write creative nonfiction, this book is essential.”
—Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs a Drink, Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge, and Nickel
“You have to love a how-to book that begins with the promise of a blow job. You have to love it even more when you realize that it’s exactly the book you’ve been waiting to give to all your reporters, both beginning and advanced, to teach the former and remind the latter that while writing is indeed a noble art, it’s also a craft that can, and should, be practiced and polished. Julia Goldberg’s smart, funny book is the ideal guide. And that’s no blow job.”
—Patricia Calhoun, editor of Westword
“Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story is so much more than a genius book about craft, although it’s the most accessible and enjoyable book about craft I’ve ever read. This book is for teachers, of course, but it’s also for writers who are looking, in their own work, to unpack and better understand the increasingly popular but unwieldy, ever-evolving, and occasionally controversial genre of creative nonfiction. Goldberg blends her unique humor, practical insights from her many years as a journalist, and her own unique mastery of the craft in a book that will no doubt be a staple in college classrooms—and on the shelves of writers—for years to come.”
—Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World
“If you want real-world tools for becoming a standout nonfiction writer, look no further than this book. Instead of giving you platitudes from an ivory tower, Julia Goldberg dishes out the hard-earned wisdom she picked up from working 15 years in the trenches of alternative journalism. If you’re serious about a career as a writer, my advice is to take this book home, pour yourself a stiff drink, and prepare to get schooled by one of the most bad-ass editors to have worked in the alt-weekly industry.”
—Jason Zaragoza, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
“With an approachable, engaging style, Goldberg delivers a ream of practical advice from working professionals and illustrative anecdotes from her own experience as a reporter and editor. It provides all of the essential information a beginning nonfiction writer needs without ever feeling like a textbook.”
—Gwyneth Doland, Correspondent, New Mexico PBS
About the Author:
Julia Goldberg has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, serving as editor of The Santa Fe Reporter from December 2000 through April 2011, during which time the paper won dozens of national awards for investigative reporting, writing, design and web innovation. Julia also previously held the editorial chair for the national Association of Alternative Newsweeklies board of directors, helping to design, coordinate and oversee national journalism workshops and web projects. Her own writing has appeared in numerous regional and national publications, including The Rumpus, Salon, The Huffington Post and Alternet, to name a few. She is a contributing writer and editor to Best Altweekly Writing 2009-2010 (Northwestern University Press). Julia has personally received multiple first place journalism awards for environmental, feature and investigative reporting, as well as multi-media journalism. Julia is a full-time faculty member in the Creative Writing Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where she teaches a variety of nonfiction writing courses and is a faculty advisor for the student online magazine. She is a former radio talk show host.
Julia Goldberg photo credit: Jessica Preston Photography
“The idea for the book grew out of my last four years of developing curriculum for teaching these topics as a full-time faculty member in the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and building upon my 15 plus years of working as a journalist and editor,” said Julia Goldberg, “Creative nonfiction, which marries traditional reportage with literary techniques, is hardly a new phenomena (it used to be called literary journalism), but it is certainly having a tremendous renaissance. Numerous craft books, websites and competitions attest to the interest writers have in exploring the ‘real’ world without the confines of traditional nonfiction structures (such as the dreaded inverted pyramid). Several popular multi-edition Creative Nonfiction books emphasize the importance of gathering information for ballast and meaning in one’s work. But not enough attention is paid to the fundamental aspects of reporting (interviewing, finding information, devising a structure, crafting traditional dialogue, finding resources, applying an ethical framework). This type of information is found in traditional journalism textbooks, but these textbooks are very expensive and somewhat geared at traditional journalism majors who might be pursuing any number of paths, including broadcast journalism. Inside Story is designed to fill that gap.”
Leaf Storm Press is an award-winning, independent book publisher based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Leaf Storm is dedicated to publishing works with unique literary, artistic or cultural significance. Currently, Leaf Storm Press publishes fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, with a planned schedule of 6–8 titles each year. Leaf Storm Press is a member of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and an associate member of the American Booksellers Association (ABA).