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Features desk: In their own words

FEATURES DESK

Conducting strong interviews and presenting them in the best way possible are essential skills for non-fiction writers of all kinds. Tina Jackson talks you through the options

Good journalists need more than writing skills, particularly when it comes to interviews. People skills are essential too: talking, and listening. At the heart of all good journalism is the ability to engage with a stranger and persuade them to communicate.

Whatever kind of interview you’re conducting, you are after one thing: quotes. These are more than the meat on the bones of your story: in many cases – a profile interview, for instance– they are the story itself. The stranger who will provide the material for your feature article may come in many guises – celebrity, expert, case study, to name just three possibilities – but in each instance, the success of your piece is totally dependent on your ability to get them to provide you with good quotes.

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About Writing Magazine

Earn from your writing and get published: Cash prize competitions, calls for submissions and writing opportunities in 20 pages of Writers' News Discover your inner writer Cut to the heart of your novel – without losing the plot Social skills: Learn to use your online time to the max 10 top tips to get your book published and keep it selling Reader successes: Readers share their success stories Meet our publishing deal competition winner Star interview: Prize-winning poet and author Kei Miller on writing without boundaries

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