Donnerstag, 22. Februar 2018

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Writing Obituaries / Emily Temple

Curious about morbidity—or just morbidly curious? Maureen O’Donnell and Linnea Crowther, both award-winning members of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, who write obituaries for the Chicago Sun-Times and respectively, recently did an AMA about their life’s work over at Reddit. Turns out you can write your own obit (although not everybody does), and even bad guys get good send-offs (sometimes). Here are a few highlights from the AMA, and when you’re done, use what you’ve learned to scrutinize these classic obits for literary legends.
On how one gets into obituary writing, exactly:
Crowther: I’ve been working for for almost 18 years, and I was honestly just a writer who needed a job back in 2000. I found my way to Legacy via the employment ads. I never expected to write obituaries when I got my English degree, but it has become a calling for me.
I would say the things you really can’t miss including are:
*Full name, including maiden name if applicable and any nicknames by which they were widely known
*The details of their death (date, location, cause of death as you’re comfortable talking about it)
*The details of their life (age, place(s) they lived, & occupation are most important IMO—can also include hobbies & interests, causes & charities they supported, schools they attended, favorite books/movies/music/athletic teams, etc.)
*Family relationships—definitely immediate family members & maybe some less immediate relatives, as you see fit & have space to include
*Information about any funeral or memorial services, burial, etc. If this information isn’t available yet, provide some way readers can access it later (like the name of the funeral home you’re working with, so they can contact the funeral director)
*Many obituaries (but not all) also include information on a memorial fund or charitable donations
I think the two most important things to remember are: 1. This should be a lasting way for you to remember the person, so think about what you know and love about them and include that, and 2: This is also one way people will get the information about the death, so make sure you’ve included enough basic information that an old friend would be able to know whose obituary they’ve found if they’re searching for it online or browsing the newspaper. ... [mehr]

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