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How to Write An Engaging Feature Article

Recently, a magazine I work for changed its format - instead of producing quite a few short articles, it raised the pay on the articles it published and started encouraging long form articles of 1200 words. Especially in our digital age, when people often want information fast and concise, writing an extensive piece that really investigates a subject is a change. What questions should be asked? Who should you talk to?
A feature article is a bit like a smaller version of a non-fiction book and is not far away in the creative process from a short documentary. Examples of just those will help you learn how to write an engaging feature article and fulfill your goal of being a professional writer.
5. Understand Why People Will Want to Read This
We all are passionate about things. However, it will seem awkward and weird to just present those topics on their surface simply because we value them. Why should people care about this subject? In journalism, this is called a "hook," as i…
Recent posts

VIEW FROM SAN FRANCISCO: The quandary of religious nonprofits amid the city housing crisis

This was originally published with the San Francisco Western Edition newspaper. Please donate.



The Bay Area is rife with several nonprofits that exemplify a very contradictory social atmosphere in the region’s major cities. On one hand, cities such as San Francisco or Berkeley demonstrate a dynamic, diverse and largely accepting population that allows all sorts of civil society institutions to flourish. However, because of the high desirability of living here, these nonprofits often are challenged financially simply to survive in such an expensive area, let alone to thrive or flourish. 

Sharing Space

San Francisco’s St. John Coltrane Church — the only house of worship in the country dedicated to the legendary jazz phenom — was forced to relocate last year after being faced with an eviction notice. The church was previously renting a facility with the West Bay Conference Center on Fillmore Street, where they paid $1,600 a month to hold regular Sunday services. The Fillmore area also was a…

Curbing Food Waste: Imperfect Produce and Food Not Bombs Save “Ugly” Food from the Trash and Bring it to Those Who Need It

Hello all - I'm working on a Bay Area themed issue of Radical Second Things - this article will be reprinted there. It was initially written for the newsletter of Tilhas Tizi Gesheften collaborator Eva Gnostiquette. 

Please donate so that I continue writing like this.



America is an extremely wasteful society and its decline has only made it more stark. Just as millions of homes stand empty as millions more are homeless, 20% of food produced is wasted, with much of it never leaving the farm. There are organizations that recognize this problem and have taken steps to effectively curbing it and teaching the public that food can be distributed more equitably.
Food Not Bombs was founded by Keith McHenry in 1980 while he was a produce worker and an art student in Boston. The concept occurred when an associate was arrested after a protest and a bake sale had been held in order to help get him released. During the bake sale, one of the participants remarked that “wouldn’t it be a beautiful …

How Hate Remains in the Bay

Could a replay of Charlottesville occur here? The Bay Area has many of its own icons of a racist past that may be ripe for removal. UC Berkeley’s Barrows Hall, for example, is named after David Prescott Barrows, a university president at Berkeley who advocated for the colonization of the Philippines. Several students have advocated renaming the hall.

The electrified “Albany cross” that adorns Albany Hill was placed at a time when Ku Klux Klan membership in the Bay Area was widespread, while Jack London Square is named after an author who displayed consistent antipathy toward African Americans. In San Francisco, Justin Herman Plaza has been the subject of scrutiny as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has considered renaming the area, currently named after the architect of an “urban renewal program” that is credited with displacing African American and Japanese American residents.

Alt-Right in the Bay Area

 I spoke with Pawl Bazile, an organizer for the Proud Boys, a “Western ch…

Intoxicated Moments in History - Nazis on Drugs

Disappointment and Reality at a Bay Area Church

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I'm not sure if I should write about this publicly but I feel as if, if I don't, illusions will just continue.

For the last few years, I've been immersed in liberation theology. For me, the liberation theology material I listened to on podcasts like the Creighton University series weren't even anything theological - what Gustavo Gutierrez was saying was basically Marxist structural analysis taken on a much more intimate, day to day level. He illustrated how structures create poverty in contexts much more institutional than that of nineteenth century Germany. His work with Paul Farmer is an excellent readout of the material realities of our modern world. 

The liberation theology stuff naturally led to an affinity for Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day and the like. I started attending Saint Columba Catholic Church in hopes of finding a community surrounding it. The church literally has portraits of both on it…

Insane Comment About JC Lee

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My interview with JC Lee, Stan Lee's daughter, for the Bay City Beacon illicited an insane comment:
"JC Lee did this interview about her feelings towards Marvel and her father's comic books. It is an odd interview in which she alleges Marvel's movies are gratuitous and violent. Marvel took her own father's comic books and created movies so is she saying her father writes gratuitous and violent comic books?She stated that her father started something and she is going to continue it. Continue what JC? Your father's comic books didn't promote diversity or peace. Those people you are talking about as being greedy must include your father since he is one of the most greedy and dishonest men that I have ever investigated. I hope that one day the truth comes out about your dad. Come on JC, I have spoken to you on the phone many times and I just can't visualize you writing about anything peac…

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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