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October 12, 2007

Allan Sloan of Fortune magazine channels legendary Forbes editor James Walker Michaels: 'How to write a column'

Hjoij

Sloan is Fortune magazine's senior editor at large and his "Deals" column appears regularly in the Washington Post Business section.

Michaels (above) died on October 2, 2007.

This past Tuesday, October 9, 2007, Sloan wrote in the Post, "To this day, I write my columns using the structure I learned to write one-page Forbes stories for Jim."

I emailed Sloan asking for the structure he alluded to and he was kind enough to respond with the family jewels.

Summarized, they are:

1) Start with something "reasonably grabby"

2) Try to drop an allusion to it into the piece one or twice

3) End with something that ties back to the way you started

4) Write conversationally

Thanks, Allan.

Gretchen Morgenson, the superb New York Times business columnist and reporter, also worked for Michaels at Forbes and wrote an appreciation which appeared in that paper on October 7, 2007.

October 12, 2007 at 05:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

read this nonsense:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5591707/site/newsweek/

Posted by: EluxTroxl | Oct 12, 2007 7:31:16 PM

When Google stock was still under $100, Sloan said it was an unwise buy. That's why I don't heed a word of what he says. I ignored it then, and happily ignore it now.

Posted by: EluxTroxl | Oct 12, 2007 7:29:27 PM

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