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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2016 > Features desk: Basic features

Features desk: Basic features

Get to grips with ‘the best job in journalism’ with advice from seasoned journo and former features editor Tina Jackson

Feature-writing is handsdown the best job in journalism. Getting paid for using your skill with words to tell stories that you couldn’t – and don’t have to – make up? There can be few better ways of earning a living. But because it’s such a good job an awful lot of people want to do it. It’s a competitive business.

To make any kind of success of writing features it helps to understand exactly what they are and how to construct them. News is about what happened. Features tell you why it happened. Features are about human interest. They use a narrative structure to give the reader an insight into a world they did not previously know.

IDEAS ARE VITAL

Given my background in newspapers and consumer magazines, I’ll be referring to this kind of journalistic writing as a ‘feature’, ‘piece’ or ‘story’ because that’s what we tend to call it – ‘feature’ writing covers a wide range of work including colour pieces, arts features, travel stories, lifestyle writing, interviews and so on. For a specialist magazine (like this one), we’d probably refer to ‘articles’. Whatever it’s called, the key to writing a successful feature piece is simple.

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