Why getting longform right is crucial

The opportunities to succeed with longform & narrative journalism are huge in an age when people are reading on different devices and sharing stories like never before. Getting it right – and getting noticed – is difficult, but it’s vital. Too often good work goes under-noticed, isn’t promoted properly, or gets lots in a sea of content. Well Told, the UK’s first longform conference, is bringing some top UK writers and US narrative teachers to share their storytelling skills and help ambitious journalists avoid the pitfalls.

  • Amy O’Leary, chief story officer with Upworthy and formerly with the NY Times and This American Life, will be talking about how storytelling skills are more powerful than ever in an era when facts and fake facts are battling for the upper hand.
  • Ed Caesar, who has risen to be one of the UK’s most celebrated feature writers and who now regularly writes for the New Yorker, will be talking about the kinds of stories he follows and how he does it.
  • Masterclasses on structuring stories, handling complex issues, and the basics of narrative reporting, all helping people who want to improve their feature writing.
  • And for writers or publications which have struggled to get their best work noticed, the successful tactics of online engagement, based on years of practice and data at the BBC and Chartbeat, will be laid bare.

Other names who are appearing are broadcaster Paul Morley, author Emma Jane Kirby, freelance Iona Craig, reporter-turned-author Yomi Adegoke and R4’s Simon Cox.

On top of all this there will be chances to meet and network with some fantastically well-connected journalists. The event takes place in central London on the weekend of 27/8 May. The full schedule is at welltold.org/schedule and there are discounts available for freelances, students and groups.