Resources for crafting, editing, and publishing a story


James Baldwin
Don’t forget to add a dash of visual relief (Source:
Photo by Edward Castro from Pexels (Source:
NPR Accuracy Checklist


  • Read Aloud: A Text to Voice Reader: This Chrome extension reads the current web page out loud, which is great for hearing if your piece sounds like a story. I usually do this by creating a new draft in Medium or my blog and then turning on the extension. As I listen, I ask myself, “Are there jumps in the narrative? Are there sections that need to connect more explicitly?” It’s also helpful for catching grammar errors.
  • Grammarly: This is a great browser extension for catching grammar errors or missing words, and I use it to proofread all of my emails and blog posts— it’s much more comprehensive than Spell Check on Microsoft Word, and they even have an app that you can download to your device and scan Word documents!
  • ZenPen: This is a great web tool that enables you to write and edit your stories in an aesthetically pleasing environment — I even used it for this story!
ZenPen is a writing environment that minimizes distractions so you can focus on your content
  • FutureMe: This is a fun tool that lets you send a letter to your future self via email. It can be delivered at any time interval (1 year, 3 years, 5 years from now, or on a specific date) interface, which allows you to deliver letters to your future self

Writing Inspiration

Podcast art for Ear Hustle, How I Built This, and Switched on Pop
Cover of “Song of a Captive Board” by Jasmin Darznik
The first page of a novel!

Tidbits and Lessons

  1. You must keep writing — and always remember what motivates you to do it.
  2. Do the story right the first time, for that is often the only time there is.
  3. We don’t get to rewind self-awareness. Honesty is linear.
  4. Automatically delete anything that isn’t vibrant enough to be remembered.
  5. Sometimes big writing occurs on tiny paper.
  6. Our work is a mirror.
  7. Out of chaos, something will emerge.
  8. No good story is ever told once.
  9. Have one main idea. Drive it home with three support devices — stories, facts, statistics.
  10. When interviewing for writing roles, prove your passion for reading, writing, and working with words. Show the interviewer that writing isn’t *just* a desk job, but something to believe in.
  11. Good reporting starts with getting out of the way and allowing people to share their perspective.
  12. Good storytellers are curious and self-aware — they ask good questions. If something looks out of place, there’s probably a story — you need to have an instinct for what makes a good story



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