Long-form journalism

Posted on Oct 14, 2016 | 0 comments

img_20161014_150823_resized_20161014_031953781This year, while finishing up a manuscript for a new novel, I returned to something I love: writing feature articles. I’d forgotten what a pleasure it is to immerse myself in a topic, gather a lot of material, and then try to shape it into a story. For me, it’s like sculpture–except that I have to gather the clay myself before I begin to sculpt. When something pleasing finally emerges, it’s very satisfying. With the added bonus of seeing it in print within weeks or months, rather than years, I’m enjoying my return to magazine writing. I’ve published three long features in Columbus Monthly magazine this year, and I’m proud of all of them.

I’m extra-proud that in the October issue of the magazine, Editor Eric Lyttle called out my story about the life of activist-poet MarShawn McCarrel in his editor’s letter at the front of the mag, with this praise:  “Our stock and trade is, and forever will be, storytelling. Look no further than pg. 56 for a shining example of the power of long-form journalism. Suzanne Goldsmith’s compelling piece about the life and death of MarShawn McCarrel is not news. McCarrel’s suicide on the steps of the Statehouse occurred months ago. But a magazine piece from a talented writer like Suzanne can make readers feel the alternating hope and hopelessness of McCarrel’s life, months after the news accounts of the incident.” (You can see Eric’s letter from the editor in its entirety here.)

MarShawn McCarrel was an extraordinary young man who died far too young. You can read my story about his life here. Here are the links to the two other stories I wrote for Columbus Monthly this year.

Living in Harmony: David Brown is bringing about change through song. Columbus Monthly, March 2016

Denny Griffith’s Other World. Columbus Monthly, January 2016

For more of my reporting and essays, follow this link.


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