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What The Hell Is A Nut Graf?


Powerhouse agent Amanda “Binky” Urban remembers legendary New York magazine founder Clay Felker:

Clay had this thing: He wanted the reader to read through to the end. He didn’t want a knockout headline to give away the essence of the piece. Years later, I’d go to Jim Stewart‘s journalism class at Columbia. Everyone is talking about a nut graf. I raised my hand and I said, “What the hell is a nut graf?” He says, “Does anyone here want to tell Binky what a nut graf is?” And someone said, “It’s like the second or third graf and tells you what the piece is about.” Clay would have fired you for that! No one wonder I don’t read past paragraph two or three with most stories.

You should hear the way the j-school kids talk now. It’s all “Pitchety pitch, nut graf nut graf, do you have any advice about my career?”