A contemporary discussion on leads

As you may know, the Pulitzers were recently announced. Roy Peter Clark has been a Pulitzer jurist a few times and he’s dispensing his advice, and winners on the best leads in the contest.

I’m handing this out in class.

I’ve been a Pulitzer juror on five occasions, and I know the drill. There may be more than 300 candidates in a category, and your job is to find three finalists. Your default position is to reject, reject, reject (in Pulitzer parlance to throw it under the table). To have a chance, your prose has to grab a juror by the throat. Leads matter. And your first lead in a series or a collection matters most of all.

He’s got great rules, advice and analysis that all writers should consider.


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