In June 2012, D Magazine published Michael Mooney’s “The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever.” The story is about a recreational bowler named Bill Fong, who on one night two years earlier, made an improbable run at perfection. The story has been included on just about every list of the best nonfiction of 2012 and ultimately was selected for Best American Sports Writing.
In this podcast, we talk with Mooney about how he found the story, what the reporting process was like and how he decided to structure it.
Since joining the podcast, Mooney has written dozens of amazing stories, including an up-close look at Glenn Beck. He just published the piece “Weekend at Johnny’s,” which had him traveling across America and visiting all of the bars that Johnny Manziel has partied in.
In the first episode of Gangrey: The Podcast, Matt Tullis talks with freelance writer Justin Heckert, who wrote the story “The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly” for The New York Times Magazine. The story was published in November, and is about Ashlyn Blocker, a teenager who suffers from congenital insensitivity to pain.
Heckert has written several amazing stories, some before his Times piece and some after. His story “Lost in the Waves” was anthologized in “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.” Heckert also talked about that piece with Tullis for an Annotation on Nieman Storyboard.
His piece “Let Me Live That Fantasy,” published on Grantland, was one of the sites greatest pieces before it shut down in October 2015. His story “Susan Cox is No Longer Here,” published in Indianapolis Monthly in December 2013, was reprinted in River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.
Most recently, Heckert wrote the afterword for Walt Harrington’s “Artful Journalism: Essays in the Craft and Magic of True Storytelling.”