14 responses to “Writing basics: how to write a lead”

  1. Julie Dodd Thomas

    Michelle this information was very timely and helpful to me. Thanks for sharing it. Julie

  2. Susan Johnston

    These could potentially be lumped into other categories but I’d also add the rhetorical question (“Would you pay money to spend the night in jail?” as a lead-in to a piece about former jails turned into hotels) and the startling statistic lead (finding a mind-boggling stat that makes readers sit up and think “I had no idea there that many people with an obscure disease/dogs who do yoga/types of herbal tea!”). Both are similar to the hook lead.

    Great post and solid examples!

  3. Stephen Carr

    Where do humorous leads fit in? During the last financial crisis they talked about the fiscal cliff. I happened to be writing about the dangers of predicting the installation costs of all the new LED light fixtures being developed. I called the article “Don’t Go Over The Fixture Cliff”. Would that qualify as a hook?

  4. Brian

    Am I the only one who thought that the body was destroyed in the gas explosion? Ambiguous headline, that was.

    1. Brian

      Must be a Brian thing, I came down here to post the exact same question. lol

      1. Brian

        Actually, now that I see the date, the previous post was probably me, so move along, nothing to see here.

  5. Joeymae

    Hello I am a Journalism student. My assignment is to write a picture lead. I was looking over the internet about the topic but to my dismay, found none. Do you have a sample or a description of a “picture lead”? Any information is highly appreciated.

    Beast regards,


    1. Joeymae

      Correction: Best regards not beast.. too late to have realized that… My apologies…

  6. John

    Hi Michele,
    I’m wordcount alum from a couple of years ago. My blogging has lead to freelance writing with the local paper. Today while working the hotel front desk Ive been binging on your posts.

    This one on lead generation is going to be a great and refreshing resource.
    Thank you
    John Cooke, Cape May (friend of Jen A. Miller).

  7. Tanisha Williams

    I’ve been a silent lurker of your blog and I must commend you for your helpful posts. This in particular will definitely help aspiring writers in coming up with masterful work by creating the appropriate and catchy leads that can hook readers. Very timely and useful! ChatEbooks recently posted https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-4-Simple-Tips-on-Writing-a-Concise-and-Impressive-Book-Synopsis