Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Magazine Journalism

ENGL 128.301
instructor(s):
Monday 2-5:00

A course devoted to various aspects of print and online magazine journalism. Magazine journalism plays with the element of time: magazine stories are longer in general than newspaper stories; they tend to be reported over weeks rather than over days. A prolonged lead time makes possible different kinds of storytelling—and approaches to time. You can tell a tale out of order. You can play with the medium and with your readers. You can assume a voice or establish your own. You can use point of view, dialogue, suspense, the timely revelation of truths, the commentary of a narrator—anything that gives the reader the texture and tangibility of “what happened.” The form of magazine writing—nonfiction, built with facts and accuracy—does have its own rules, and doing it well depends on being able to see the big picture and the telling detail. Each week in this class we will read, discuss and write different types of magazine stories, drawing on general-interest publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. We’ll practice pitches to editors and end the semester by producing a 2,500-3,000-word magazine story.