Together we will trace each stage of sculpting a 11,000-word interview down from a raw transcript to a sharp, concise, literary product. Nobel winner Svetlana Alexievich, author of Voices from Chernobyl, is my inspiration for the style I've adopted of identifying the themes behind my subjects’ words, and drawing the emotional resonance out of what were seemingly mundane conversations. Journalists or writers of any genre who strive to excavate the artistic and storytelling value from an interview will glean lessons for their creative process in the messy task of finding the story in someone else’s situation.
Sheela Clary is a freelance reporter and writer based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. A long-time educator and nonprofit leader, having served in the Peace Corps, and created programming for disadvantaged youth, she's interested in education and the impacts of income inequality. She publishes features, personal essays and reviews regularly on...