Pair useful stories with pictures that capture moments

This was the core takeaway for public power communicators and freelance writers at the Ruralite Communicators’ Workshop this month.

The diverse group of 44 storytellers-in-training included accountants, member service specialists, office managers, human resources managers, and executive assistants. Everyone shared a common mission: strengthen the way we share stories.

Find the Light, then Capture Action

Early one morning, students chased the light with photography instructor David LaBelle. This video highlights lessons David shared during the 2-hour walk.

Craft Useful & Engaging Ledes

Struggling with how to start a story? Writing instructor Jack Broom walked students through the difference between an article—just the facts!—and an engaging story. Articles discuss topics. Stories do the same thing, but use characters to capture readers’ attention.

No matter which style you use, ledes need to be:

  • Clear
  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand

Last but not least, a lede should make a promise the rest of the story fulfills. Jack advises reading your story starters out loud to test how they sound. Remove as many words as you can without harming the meaning.

What Did You Learn?

We’ll share more photography and writing tips over the next few weeks. Please take a minute to share your biggest takeaway as a blog post comment. Let’s keep the learning going!