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Inside Story

Everyone’s Guide to Reporting and Writing Creative Nonfiction by Julia Goldberg


Advance Praise for Inside Story

“Fellow journalists and memo writers, here is a book to keep close at hand. Not only does Goldberg nail all the ingredients of good writing and reporting, but she also provides an illuminating set of examples from the very best in the industry. It reads the way a book on writing should read.”
Erik Wemple, media critic, the Washington Post

“Digital disruption, creative destruction, revolutionary technology, the fall and rise of old and new journalism and publishing paradigms—amid all this noise and opportunity, good writing and honest, well-crafted reporting endure. Julia Goldberg’s transcendently intelligent guide offers any fact writer who aspires to navigate the 21st century a beautifully stocked toolbox of advice, strategies, craft wisdom, encouraging examples, and hard-won perspectives on getting the job done right. Beyond its up-to-date practical wealth, Inside Story inspires by being the kind of stylish, authoritative, and vividly alive creative nonfiction it will empower its readers to make.”
Hal Espen, former editor of Outside magazine

“From characterization to structure, interviewing to ethics, Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story: Everyone’s Guide to Reporting and Writing Creative Nonfiction covers the full range of techniques, genres, and opportunities available to writers of fact. As an added bonus, she does it with flair, feistiness, and intelligence. A great new guide to the nonfiction craft.”
Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer

“Don’t read Inside Story without a highlighter! Every reporter—from a greenhorn to a veteran—will find helpful tools, tricks and lessons about the craft of reporting and writing.”
Mark Zusman, editor and publisher of Willamette Week, a Pulitzer prize-winning weekly

“Who needs a four-year journalism degree or a two-year master’s when you have this book? Julia’s tome distills the wisdom, wit, fearlessness, judiciousness and sheer joy that all great nonfiction writers need in easy-to-read prose and with great case studies. If you don’t win a Pulitzer after reading Inside Story, then you didn’t read it close enough.”
Gustavo Arellano, editor of OC Weekly and author of ¡Ask a Mexican!

Inside Story has at least two features no other craft book does. I love its section on reporting. And I am passionately enthusiastic about its generative discussion of the various shapes an essay or article might take. It rejects merely linear form as well as journalistic or academic prescriptions. This is the perfect book for beginning and advanced writers of creative nonfiction, and I will use it in my classroom.
Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education

“This is the creative nonfiction guide we’ve been waiting for—as informed and thoughtful as a D’Agata or Lopate anthology, but with the practical and generous perspective of a writer who’s done it all, from teaching to journalism to online curation. Julia Goldberg’s new book, Inside Story, offers a uniquely ideal combination of personal perspective, practical examples, inspiring anecdotes from literary history, and a whole host of helpful challenges and prompts. I’d trust any writer and editor whose trunk was once filled to the brim with yellow notepads.”
Nathan Deuel, author of Friday Was the Bomb: Five Years in the Middle East

“In the wise and thoroughly entertaining Inside Story, Julia Goldberg divulges the many truths of nonfiction writing, any one of which should be of immense help to writers embarking upon projects of most any genre. But beyond being a hands-on, practical guide to the craft of writing, it’s also a smart, honest, and most deliciously irreverent dispatch from the real world of writing from a real-world writer.”
T Cooper, author of Real Man Adventures and Changers

“Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story is so much more than a genius book about craft, although it’s the most accessible and enjoyable book about craft I’ve ever read. This book is for teachers, of course, but it’s also for writers who are looking, in their own work, to unpack and better understand the increasingly popular but unwieldy, ever-evolving, and occasionally controversial genre of creative nonfiction. Goldberg blends her unique humor, practical insights from her many years as a journalist, and her own unique mastery of the craft in a book that will no doubt be a staple in college classrooms—and on the shelves of writers—for years to come.”
Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World

“Creative non-fiction has a siren’s call for writers—it’s a way to unflinchingly examine ourselves and our worlds. But it is a difficult pursuit. Julia Goldberg has made that pursuit easier, more productive, and more likely with her new book, Inside Story. Witty, incisive, and full of brilliance, she takes a clear and detailed look at the makings of both journalism and memoir. Goldberg’s distinctive intelligent voice makes reading Inside Story like having a personal writing teacher at your side.”
Miriam Sagan, author of Map of the Lost and Tanka from the Edge

“I don’t know how I could like Julia Goldberg’s Inside Story any more than I do. As a teacher, the book will serve as a primer to all my students who want to write for any form of journalism and media. As a writer, I will keep Inside Story nearby to remind myself of the vital issues of craft and technique as I compose and revise. To put it plainly: If you want to write creative nonfiction, this book is essential.”
Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs a Drink and Nickel

“If you want real-world tools for becoming a standout nonfiction writer, look no further than this book. Instead of giving you platitudes from an ivory tower, Julia Goldberg dishes out the hard-earned wisdom she picked up from working 15 years in the trenches of alternative journalism. If you’re serious about a career as a writer, my advice is to take this book home, pour yourself a stiff drink, and prepare to get schooled by one of the most bad-ass editors to have worked in the alt-weekly industry.”
Jason Zaragoza, Association of Alternative Newsmedia

“With an approachable, engaging style, Goldberg delivers a ream of practical advice from working professionals and illustrative anecdotes from her own experience as a reporter and editor. It provides all of the essential information a beginning nonfiction writer needs without ever feeling like a textbook.”
Gwyneth Doland, Correspondent, New Mexico PBS


Inside Story tackles the myriad approaches to the burgeoning genre of creative nonfiction—from memoir to criticism to literary journalism to the lyric essay—by deeply exploring each stage of the generation, reportage, writing and editing of stories. Drawing on and integrating examples and advice from diverse practitioners in the field, Inside Story extends beyond idea and inspiration with practical advice, examples and exercises geared toward everyone from writing students, citizen journalists, bloggers and working writers. Inside Story provides a keen focus on the fundamental aspects of reporting, including interviewing and researching, while also offering advice and exercises toward writing nonfiction dialogue, devising structure and creating a sense of people and place from the ground-up. The book also explores the ethical implications of writing in the real world, providing insight and humor at each step of the way.


Julia Goldberg has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, serving as editor of The Santa Fe Reporter from December 2000 through April 2011, during which time the paper won dozens of national awards for investigative reporting, writing, design and web innovation. Julia also previously held the editorial chair for the national Association of Alternative Newsweeklies board of directors, helping to design, coordinate and oversee national journalism workshops and web projects. Her own writing has appeared in numerous regional and national publications, including The Rumpus, Salon, The Huffington Post and Alternet, to name a few. She is a contributing writer and editor to Best Altweekly Writing 2009-2010 (Northwestern University Press). Julia has personally received multiple first place journalism awards for environmental, feature and investigative reporting, as well as multi-media journalism. Julia is a full-time faculty member in the Creative Writing Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where she teaches a variety of nonfiction writing courses and is a faculty advisor for the student online magazine. A former daily radio talk show host, Julia also serves as nonfiction editor for the acclaimed literary website The Nervous Breakdown.

ISBN: 978-0-9970207-7-9
312 PAGES | 6 X 9
Publishes May 2017

Book categories: Featured and Nonfiction-Language Arts/Writing

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