Our most common type of feature story is the profile. The subject is a rider, trainer or other person involved in the horse world, and the writer relates the subject’s accomplishments, personality and motivation in one coherent article. It is imperative to include other people’s thoughts on the subject (parents, siblings, friends, students, teachers). This enlivens the article. Points of view opposing the subject’s also add interest.
Conducting & Writing the Interview
– Plan to spend several hours with the subject. Ask probing questions, ask the subject to be specific in his comments–it makes a more interesting story.
– A coherent article requires accurate notes and considerable thought. The writer must know the discipline and take time to digest what was said during the interview or during any previous interactions with the subject.
– A voice recorder provides a more complete record. Always take notes to back up the recording.
– Arrange your notes according to subject, then make an outline. Don’t just type the interview as it happened. Fill in gaps with further research/phone calls.
– Articles should be 1,600-3,000 words.
– If asked for a rewrite, it almost always means calling the subject or other sources back for more information. Sometimes the information may be in your original notes but not included in the article submitted, however.
– Photographs are a must. We want to be able to see what the subject looks like. We prefer a candid and an action shot. Writers should make arrangements–either by personally taking photos, borrowing them from the subject, or contacting a photographer. Occasionally, we have photos on file or can make other arrangements, but do not assume we can or will get photos.
– Do not promise the subject that your article will be accepted or that it will be printed at a certain time. Unless the staff assigns the story for a special issue, general articles are published on a space-available basis.
WE SUGGEST A QUERY LETTER BEFORE UNDERTAKING AN INTERVIEW FOR US.
Articles and queries may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.