There are many methods to writing captivating, compelling leads—enticing storytelling salvos that propel readers into your piece—but it’s a delicate art that requires a deft editorial touch.
Clark’s criteria for the honorees include:
Julie Johnson of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, nabbed top honors for this jarring “narrative action” intro:
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Gino DeGraffenreid was about to jump back into his truck after loading a fleeing family into a police car when he thought he heard someone yelling amid the roaring wind and fire in the hills northeast of Santa Rosa.
He ran toward the voice and saw them: a couple wearing next to nothing, freezing amid an unprecedented fire belching smoke and raining firebrands.