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My ESPN Rise article: Xavier Rugby

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by randomhero423, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. randomhero423

    randomhero423 Member

    A article I wrote about my school's rugby team was recently published on ESPN Rise. I am just asking for any feedback or insight on how i can improve my writing or anything in general. In case you are wondering, I will be attending St. John's University in the fall.


    thanks and enjoy.
  2. smsu_scribe

    smsu_scribe Guest

    Pretty solid, clean story. That's a nice clip for you to get some ESPN pub. The lede works fine, but I think you could elevate this story tremendously by working in something more creative, something like a good anecdote that SHOWS us why Xavier is so good at rugby.

    Personally, I think you should lede with the story about the team traveling 20 minutes for practice every day because they have no field, and then having to practice around nine other teams just to get some work in.

    I know this has already been published, but if you were to do this over, I'd suggest going to a practice and making some descriptive observations about the team getting to practice and trying to do something like find a spot at Pier 40 to get a practice in. Just jump right in with that, and then tell us why this is even more unusual: because the team is a longtime powerhouse.

    That would just make the rest of the story read smoother and you'd have a more clear and focused theme, I think. Right now, it's pretty general, in that Xavier rugby has a tradition of winning and toughness. Those things don't make it more interesting than other good rugby programs. Dominating without the benefit of a nearby practice facility does.

    Pretty good quotes throughout. One more thing I have is just cliches..."best-kept secret," "chip on their shoulders." Too much of those kind of phrases makes the reader lose interest quickly.

    But overall, you're young, I take it, and to get a small foot in the ESPN world is a great step. You put out a pretty solid piece.
  3. ringer

    ringer Member

    Nice work! Good job.

    I didn't mind the lead; it was right to the point. You quickly proved your premise in the second paragraph with the team's combined scores this season.

    Overall, I thought you picked just the right stats and placed them well throughout the article.

    The pacing was perfect.

    The only thing missing is...where this school is located? Is it in Manhattan? Do the athletes guys take the subway to practice? Do they ride a bus through a busy toll plaza surrounded by yellow cabs? Also, what's at Pier 40? Is it a working port? A few details like that could have provided great color.

    Good luck to you! I'll be on the lookout for your byline.
  4. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Dude, real solid. Nice work, and congrats.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed reading it as much when it was published as I did when you sent it to me earlier for feedback.

    I think you've got real talent and it seems as though you're willing to listen to feedback. I look forward to reading more from you.
  6. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    I agree with SMSU about the lede. Not having its own field, and what I'm sure is limited practice time with so many teams clamoring for the space, makes the team's success even more impressive. As always, there's a few style things here and there that can be cleaned up. But on the whole, good job.
  7. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Nothing to add here. Pretty good. Save that clip. I wish I had an ESPN clip.
  8. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Nice work. Look forward to seeing your stuff in the future. I have a feeling I will, whether you post it here or not.

    As it's been said before: A few style issues, nothing glaring. Maybe I missed it skimming through, but who is No. 1 in the country?
  9. randomhero423

    randomhero423 Member

    thanks for all of the feedback guys and compliments. it really is much appreciated.

    i don't have a problem with my lede, but i can see how the traveling to practice one could have worked too. i figured with the audience probably not being familar with rugby, it would have been a more smoother way to start it off. but either way could have worked.

    i do wish i went to a practice. that's a bad job outta me, because i just never thought of it. my recorder malfunctioned after the interview with the head coach, so that's why i only got one quote from him in there.

    i feel my writing has improved a ton since i first started writing in november and to be honest i'm really excited about where i can go with this. once i'm done with finals and all of that good stuff, i'll be meeting with two writers of the AP (at different times) about how I can improve, continue writing for the same basketball site i work for now, and intern at a local newspaper. i still have a long, long way to go though.
  10. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    I agree with a lot of what smsu said ... the lede could have been more creative and it could have had more specific anecdotes/color. But it is very well organized and you used your quotes and numbers effectively. I think it's a great job for a high-school senior. The rest of the stuff will come with experience. Great job.
  11. ringer

    ringer Member

    Uh oh. Now I'm curious. How much editing did the ESPN editor have to do?

    I only ask because the author's last post included gaffes such as "more smoother" and "writers of the AP"...and those aren't typos. That's just bad English. How disappointing.
  12. randomhero423

    randomhero423 Member

    they really didn't make much. all they did was add in where the teams came from and took out a quote. and i think that's it.

    when i post i just try to get my point across. i dont really try to write as if im writing an essay, an article, or even a letter.
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