Profile Assignment

Here’s The Formal assignment bit:

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

AKA the profile assignment

Assignment: Write a 500-1000 word profile of someone who lives, works or plays in your neighborhood. (NOT someone you already know, as in, not a friend!)

After you find a person you’re interested in, try to sit/walk/stand with him or her for an hour or two. Ask questions about her work or his family or what she’s studying or what he’s cooking, etc., but do a lot of scene-setting as well: Notice the sights, sounds, clothing, friends, interactions, physical characteristics that are unique to your person. Look at the work (or play) style, speed, energy, attitude of your person you’re profiling. How do the people around your person react to and treat her or him? What about pets, partners, children? Does your person have any tics? Does she chew on a pen? Does he push his glasses up his nose when the topics get interesting?

Use Harrower’s discussion of profiles and my feedback on your food vendor profiles to help you out. Remember: Capture details. Re-create scenes. Add quotes and dialogue. Make sure you have a memorable lead!

Feel free to send me sample leads or questions on Wednesday and definitely revisions over the weekend; I’ll be checking email once a day and, well, Twitter as usual (which is to say often). I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Draft due date: Thursday, Feb. 18, BY EMAIL, by the time class begins.

Final profile due date: Tuesday, Feb. 23. The piece is due with photo(s), tags and links for any chance at full credit.

Value: 50 points.

About Suzi Steffen

Suzi Steffen teaches, writes, edits, reviews and rides (her adult tricycle named Momo) in Eugene, Oregon. For many years, she taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication. As of fall 2015, she's teaching at Linn-Benton Community College, and as of fall 2017, she's also teaching at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State. Suzi edited Lane Monthly and works as an arts journalist across the state and country. You can find her at jprofsuzi on Twitter or email her at jprofsuzi at gmail dot com.
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