TIPS FOR AUTHORS Making News Stories Interesting and Readable

Do you want people to actually read the story you submit to the GLEANER? Research has shown that readers first look at the photo and possibly its caption (if the photo intrigues them), then they glance at the story title. If both seem interesting, they'll read the first paragraph. If, by this time, nothing has raised their curiosity or sparked their interest, they move on to the next story.

So the photo, caption and headline must grab the readers' attention first. If you leave any one of them out, you've lost that means of catching the reader's eye.

You can see why your first paragraph is so important. Starting your first sentence with a date is ho-hum. Avoid that. Carefully craft your first sentence to raise the reader's curiosity and encourage them to read on. Set the scene for your story. Get the who, what, where, when and why into the first couple of paragraphs, so they will be seen, even if the reader doesn't read all the way to the end of your story.

"News" is defined by some as something new that people are interested in.

Go to www.GLEANERonline.org under "Resources" (in the left panel). Click on "Contributors' Information" then scroll down to find GLEANER Guidelines for more help.

Nadine Dower

GLEANER Managing Editor

August 01, 2007 / Tips for Authors
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