One-on-One Mentorship: Perfecting Your Reported Feature

Cost (stories up to 2,500 words): $225

Sign Up (2,500 words)

Cost (stories up to 5,000 words): $395

Sign Up (5,000 words)

You’ve done the research, reporting and interviewing for the story of your dreams. Now, how to synthesize all of that information into a cohesive written article that will get editors excited and reel in readers? This is not a group class but a one-on-one story structure and editing workshop, with 10 slots available this summer. Narratively co-founder and longtime editorial director Brendan Spiegel has edited thousands of longform reported stories and written articles of his own for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired and many other publications. In this mentorship, he’ll review and critique your first draft; provide in-depth guidance on how to improve the structure, flow and storytelling of your piece; and help you get to the finish line.

Writers should have a completed draft (or robust outline) of a reported story before the start date. (After signing up, you can choose to start either June 24, July 1, July 22 or July 29.)

You will receive feedback in four stages:

  • Week 1: You submit your reported story. 

  • Week 2: Instructor edits story, providing a memo outlining overall feedback, thoughts and suggested edit; ideas for additional reporting if necessary; plus detailed in-line comments on the story. Student and instructor have a one-on-one phone consultation to review feedback and talk through a plan for next steps.

  • Week 4: You submit a revised draft of your story.

  • Week 5: Instructor reviews your new draft and provides further detailed notes. 

  • Week 7: You submit a third draft of your story.

  • Week 8: Instructor gives story a final polish and provides advice on potential publications for submitting your story.

This class is right for you if…

  • You have a completed draft (or robust outline) of a reported story.

  • You want to receive feedback on that story to perfect it before pitching to publications.

  • You’ve pitched your story but haven’t placed it, and you’re wondering how it might be improved. 

After this class you’ll be ready to…

  • Submit your completed reported story to a top publication.

All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Sign Up (2,500 words)

Sign Up (5,000 words)

Your Instructor: As co-founder and editorial director at Narratively for the past 11 years, Brendan Spiegel has personally assigned and edited over 2,000 longform stories, working closely with everyone from first-time writers to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters. Brendan takes a hands-on, immersive approach to editing — he’s especially proud that one writer recently dubbed him “the kindest and toughest editor I’ve ever worked with.” The stories he’s edited have won awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, the New York Press Club, The Best American Sports Writing and many more, while leading Narratively to be cited as a Webby Awards Honoree for Best Writing. More than 50 of the longform stories Brendan has edited have been optioned for TV and film development. Brendan’s own reported stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, New York magazine, Travel and Leisure and many other publications. But the only thing that really impresses most people he meets is that he appeared on an episode of the PBS show, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? when he was 12 and caught Carmen in Africa.

“Brendan is one of my favorite editors in the field. His care and patience around ensuring my voice, words and intentions are considered and seen have allowed both my individual articles and also my writing at large to thrive. Brendan is an honest, transparent and thoughtful collaborator. I wouldn’t be the writer or journalist — or editor! — I am today without his guidance and expertise.” —Caroline Rothstein, writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Nylon, Narratively, The Forward and elsewhere.

Sign Up (2,500 words)

Sign Up (5,000 words)

Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

Questions? Email us at academy@narratively.com.

MORE: Check out all of our upcoming Narratively Academy classes here.


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