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Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling

Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling helps writers cultivate their nonfiction storytelling skills by exploring the universal decisions writers confront when crafting factual narratives. Rather than isolating various forms of narrative nonfiction into categories or genres, Sue Hertz focuses on examining the common choices all true storytellers encounter, whether they are writing memoir, literary journalism, personal essays, or travel stories. Write Choices also includes digital storytelling. No longer confined to paper, today's narrative nonfiction writers must learn to write for electronic media, which may also demand photos, videos, and/or audio. Integrating not only her own insights and experience as a journalist, nonfiction book author, and writing instructor, but also those of other established nonfiction storytellers, both print and digital, Hertz aims to guide emerging writers through key decisions to tell the best story possible. Blending how-to instruction with illuminating examples and commentaries drawn from original interviews with master storytellers, Write Choices is a valuable resource for all nonfiction writers, from memoirists to essayists to literary journalists, at any stage of their career.

Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling

Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion’s Front Line

Through character and conflict, this narrative nonfiction book takes readers into the human drama at the heart of the abortion wars. Hertz chronicles during a turbulent year how protests and politics affect the women seeking reproductive choice and those providing it at New England’s largest clinic.

Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion’s Front Line (181 KB)

Feature story on the early morning work of a Maine fisherwoman, which led The Washington Post series "Twenty-four Hours in the Life of American Workers." This series aimed to illustrate the challenges essential workers faced every day during a global pandemic as they sought to fulfill their professional responsibilities.


Learning to Roll with June in Quebec

Travel essay on the wisdom of biking in northern Quebec pre-season

Window Woman of New England

Alison Hardy has dedicated her career to saving antique windows

Seriously Single (541 KB)

Kate Bolick challenges the spinster stereotype as well as the boundaries of first person narratives.

Of Hipbones and Hostels

Travel essay published in the anthology "Around the World."

Of Hipbones and Hostels

A Very Personal Organizer; A Personal Coach and Best-Selling Author is One of a New Breed of Advisers for Hire

A profile of life coach Cheryl Richardson, whose lectures and books have made her an Oprah favorite and a national voice for taking better care of ourselves

Biking British

How does one survive biking in the legendary Cambridge, a city of winding, narrow streets and crowds and alpha drivers?

Taking Care of Mom & Dad

Boston Magazine cover story on the sandwich generation

Can Heavy be Healthy?

Thinness is equated with beauty, success, and self-control. Obesity, with poor self-control, ugliness, and lack of intelligence. The very notion that a fat person may be healthy is almost outrageous to most people. But after months of research and observations, writer Sue Hertz concludes that yes, you can be fit and fat.

Do, Re, and Mi

The author explores a lifelong ambition – learning to sing on key. Can she? Will she?

The Unexpected Congresswoman

With the help of an antiques dealer, a nutritionist, and a medieval scholar, Carol Shea-Porter, who had never held public office, beat the Republican incumbent to represent her New Hampshire district in the U.S. Congress.

Whatever Happened to Dinner?

Boston Magazine essay about the disappearing family meal.

What's a Joint like You doing in a Race Like This?

Perhaps the knee isn't made for the lives we lead.

Time and Tide of Portsmouth

The challenges to a city's identify when it is caught between preserving the past and its nautical history while creating a vibrant seaport that lures tourists and new residents alike.

Temple of History

The New Hampshire Historical Society's regal home in Concord, one of the state's most renowned structures, celebrates its 100th birthday. The path to the creation of this striking building, though, was far from easy.

Those Perfect Places

Why do we live where we live? The author explains what drew her to Boston's North Shore while others ruminate about their location choices in the Commonwealth.

Budget Beach House

House Beautiful story about a couple who constructed their Cape Cod home with salvaged materials.

It's All in the Details

How an 1840 Colonial farmhouse was restored to accommodate a 21st century lifestyle with respect to its architectural heritage.

How to Live in a Haunted House

What are homeowners to do when they suspect that they are not the only ones inhabiting their house?

The Truth About Former Flames

Checking up on a former flame can be dangerous.