✏️🛠️ So, What Is a Narratively Story, Anyway? (Hint: Surprising, Exciting and Delightful, to Start)
Two Narratively editors break down what defines a feature story for the site and why it might be tricky to pin down—with advice on how to do it.
We get a lot of pitches here at Narratively for our big feature stories — our Deep Dives, Memoirs and Secret Lives. But if we’re being honest, only a small fraction of them really feel like a Narratively feature from the start, not because many of them aren’t great pitches — they are — but because they’re often outside the scope of what we’re looking for. Which can be frustrating to writers and to us, too. Writers put a lot of work into pitches and are hoping to find a home for their stories, and we want to find wonderful stories to publish. So, why is it so hard to pin down what a Narratively story is? We wanted to dig into that question here, in hopes of illuminating our readers and prospective pitchers (and possibly even each other).
We also wanted to take a second to announce some recent changes on our team. If you’re a new subscriber, you might not notice this, but longtime readers are likely used to seeing Brendan Spiegel’s name next to “story edited by” on most of our features… but soon you will be seeing a little less of that. Brendan has (mostly) moved on to launch Narratively Academy, Narratively’s education branch, which we recently announced (and you can learn more about) here, while Jesse takes the reins overseeing editorial content for the site. Below, we discuss those changes (just a bit), break down what does — and doesn’t — make a Narratively story and how to go about finding one yourself.