Free feature-writing workshop hosted by Observer, FutureHeights

John Ettorre

 “Feature Writing 101,” a free workshop for citizen journalists, will be held 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road.

The workshop, hosted by the Heights Observer and FutureHeights, is the third in a series designed to help people who want to foster discussion of community issues by writing for the Heights Observer or any other citizen journalism project. The previous sessions focused on newswriting skills. It’s not necessary to have attended either of the previous sessions.

This workshop will focus on writing feature stories; topics include selecting a subject, background research, interviewing and how to begin writing. Attendees will be exposed to samples of excellent feature-writing, and provided ideas and other resources for honing their craft.

The workshop will be led by John Ettorre, a member of the Heights Observer editorial advisory board and a professional journalist and Emmy-award-winning writer. His bylined work has appeared in nearly 100 publications, including The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. One of his cover stories for Cleveland Magazine was chosen by the editors as among the 50 best in the magazine’s history.

His blog, "Working With Words," a daily digest of notes and observations about the writing craft, has been recognized as the best blog in Ohio by the Society for Professional Journalists. Pulitzer-winning columnist Connie Schultz once called it “a thoughtful, sane place where inspiration simmers and wisdom reigns.”

“Making interesting people come alive on a page through the art of good storytelling is one of the tougher challenges for any writer, but also one of the most rewarding,” Ettorre said. “This workshop is designed to break feature-writing down to its essential elements, demystify the process, and arm anyone with a curious mind with the tools to tackle any topic, or any person, they find interesting.”

The session will include ample time for questions, and individual attention will be available as well.

The workshop is free, but reservations are highly recommended. To make reservations, please call FutureHeights at 216-320-1423. You can also sign up on, in the “events” box of the “FutureHeights” group.

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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.21.2009