news for the reader. This type of article calls for more in-depth research on a topic. They are often the
lead article in a magazine, are the most in demand, and garner the highest pay. Example: An article
on whether Christian young women should participate in beauty pageants; increased violence in
schools; new treatments for AIDS. Since these topics are often tied to current events, you must move
quickly so your piece will be timely and someone else won’t beat you to the punch. A feature article
usually pays more since it requires research and is so timely. At most publications, the best pay rate
is reserved for feature articles. Although feature
articles generally deal with politics, ethics, science, social issues, economics or art, it
is best if you specialize and gain a reputation in one or two of those areas. Read as
much as you can in your selected topic area, seek out and cultivate relationships with
experts in the field, and keep up with what is happening in that area of interest. Always
query before tackling a feature article. Be sure of a market and the appropriate slant.
Ideas for feature articles are everywhere, and once you start tuning in to those
potential features, you will have more ideas than you can ever follow through on.
Simply look for things that interest you—first—and will then interest your readers as
well. Some features are profiles that focus on an individual; others are stories about
situations, organizations or programs.
Feature articles are not the place to start your writing career. Learn to write
well and add a good number of credits to your resume before you tackle your first
feature. Learn all you can about this specialized type of article, while you hone your
research and interviewing skills. A feature article is written in short, declarative
sentences, with active/vivid verbs, few adjectives, and simple descriptions. Ultimately,
let the story tell itself. Examples: Stories of politicians or celebrities in the news;
stories that reflect the results of current public policies or new laws; story of what one
school is doing to curb teen violence.