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The Power of NarrativeStaying savvy, skilled and solvent in journalism's wired era

Learn from the best narrative writers, editors and publishers.

Past Speaker: Travis Fox

What is this conference about?

The Power of Narrative Conference has convened in several places under several names since its founding at Boston University in 1998. Our mission remains constant as storytelling journalism goes digital: helping narrative journalists to strengthen their craft skills, puzzle out the complex ethics of intimate journalism, and impart the down-to-earth humanity that is the genre's strength. Every year, we quickly sell all our seats. The conference talks are stimulating, sophisticated, practical and relevant, aimed at mid-career nonfiction storytellers in many media, offered by terrific and varied practitioners. The vigorous Q & A sessions following each talk keep us on-target. And, between sessions and at meal breaks we program in time to meet speakers and new colleagues and share ideas, aspirations, projects, networks.

History of the Conference

At its founding, we called it 'Aboard the Narrative Train.' Across the Charles River at Harvard University after its first three years, it became 'The Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.' It returned to its roots at Boston University in 2010 and became 'The Power of Narrative.' Throughout its wandering evolution, print journalists, editors of papers and publications and documentaries, niche content journalists with websites, book and magazine writers, cartoon journalists, adventurous individual practitioners and nonfiction writers and documentarists in many media have filled our seats. They have learned from the best narrative writers, editors and publishers including — Calvin Trillin, Nora Ephron, Tom French, Norman Mailer, Sy Hersh, Gay Talese, Alma Guillermoprieto, David Halberstam, Ken Burns, Susan Orlean, Tracy Kidder, Jon Franklin, Roy Peter Clark, Anne Hull, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Jacqui Banaszynski, and Raney Aronson-Rath, among hundreds of other speakers.

Who should attend?

Our audience is mainly mid-career practitioners already embarked on narrative journalism careers. They come from many other states and nations, and report in established print papers and magazines, write books, publish in innovative ways on the web, make podcasts, multimedia reporting, slide shows, and every sort of combination of media, sometimes pushing the boundaries with innovative start-ups. We hear from the leading edge, while remaining true to the deep power and ethical values of telling public stories with a personal voice.