As told to the Mayborn Nonfiction Conference

I went. I heard. I tweeted what resonated most with me.

  • We’re in it – Skip Hollandsworth, all about “Bernie”
  • This is a story you don’t get in the way of – Skip Hollandsworth
  • Only when readers feel will they begin to think it through – Jeff Guinn
  • Unconventional warfare is a cancer we pour in and once we do that, it’s hard to control – Tony Schwalm, The Guerrilla Factory
  • There are no shortcuts in the process of owning your material – Jim Hornfischer
  • OH at #Mayborn: “Because the person who comes back is not the person who left” – what migration/immigration and military memoir share
  • Truth and courage – Alfredo Corchado, Reyna Grande
  • I look for the voice, the voice that will carry it – agent Bonnie Nadell, on book proposals
  • In democracy no decision is more profound than war and peace – Rick Atkinson
  • In good narrative history, there is no foreseeable future – Rick Atkinson
  • Public figures deserve their complexity – Kevin Merida
  • I was always trying to write about this cosmic wrong – Donna Britt
  • I said everything except this is a story about the healing power of love – Kelly Benham
  • Storytelling can be a healing process, a wounding process – Tom Huang
  • I probably should’ve run – Hugh Aynesworth, JFK eyewitness
  • JFK 50 years later. Here’s a story from a Dallas reporter who was there
  • Love favors the prepared heart. – John Valliant
  • I spent a year writing a pitch letter. Front-loading works well – John Valliant
  • In memoir writing, there are ways to take a powerful memory and nail down the corners – Amanda Bennett
  • It was, in the end, a love story – Amanda Bennett
  • A photo can be simultaneously clear in its storytelling ability and confusing – Paul Hendrickson
  • Westword’s Alan Prendergast tells the #Mayborn tribe that the original new journalists used archival research more than they let on.
  • In those silences that follow your questions, you must use your imagination as well as your research to understand – Helen Benedict
  • Editors see the holes in the logic that you can’t – Susan Orlean
  • It’s just not the #Mayborn until Bill Marvel asks a question
  • Archives have the good stuff; and can be more intimate than the interview – Susan Orlean
  • There is a radiant quality to a story that has that longer timeline – Susan Orlean
  • @LowellMBrown Yes. Chickens are very popular in the twitterverse
  • To start on twitter, tweet about your chickens  – Susan Orlean

You can follow me at @phwolfeDRC. Or find more searching #Mayborn. Or read Michael Merschel’s story (paywall) which underscores that, if you went, you could not continue to think that journalists are “heartless, self-centered or careless.” We showed, amply, that we have heart.



  1. Jana DeGrand on July 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Every time I see something happening in the world around me that I feel is of importance to our community, my first thought is, I must tell Peggy. In 2005 when gas drilling was beginning to descend upon neighborhoods, Peggy and Lowell Brown gave voice to my plight. To say that journalists have heart is a humble statement. I know as journalists, you must remain impartial to your story, but I am eternally grateful for you and your heart. Thank you for caring, researching, digging, reporting, enlightening, educating, speaking out, but most of all, thank you for being my friend! I love you Peggy!

  2. Peggy on July 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I cannot even begin to catalog what I learned from you, Jana. And godspeed to you and Darrin for your new life, finally, off the shale. Much love to you both.

  3. Sharon Wilson on July 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for sharing those. When can we read Paige’s essay?

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