FEEDBACK FROM A 2012 PARTICIPANT IN NEW YORKER WRITER JON LEE ANDERSON’S CAPTURING THE STORY JOURNALISM MASTERCLASS
The Capturing the Story masterclass was magical. Imagine getting a lesson in mastering the art of narrative from one of the greatest teachers around today – Jon Lee Anderson – in the middle of a forest, time and space frozen. Your only task is to take in his anecdotes, observe your surroundings, challenge yourself to focus on and develop a story, and listen to helpful feedback from your peers.
I learned to become more observant by analyzing Jon Lee´s writing and having the opportunity to pick his brain about the choices he made. I learned to be more discriminating in the details and descriptions I chose to include in my own stories by discussing my work and that of the other participants amongst ourselves, over coffee and wine. I learned, perhaps most importantly, to be a bit more confident about my work, and I understood that everyone struggles with writing to some degree. It feels less lonely and more human, and as a result, has become truly a more enjoyable process.
On a personal level, the masterclass brought together a group of talented, unique and kind people and it was an honor to share a week with them. I’ve kept in touch with several of the girls in the class, and am sure they will have my back – and vice versa – for years to come.