Minnesota Scholastic Journalism

The story behind the story

Minnesota journalism advisers will be posting an occasional series on how their students constructed stories for their publications. Advisers will provide an interview of the story’s author(s) and a copy of the story.

 The Weasley Story: Click here for a full copy of the story.

About the author: Clara Ilkaa graduated this past spring of 2014 from Stillwater Area High School. She served as a graphics editor on The Pony Express newspaper and had this story published in the Kabekonian yearbook after a feature writing assignment for her journalism class.

        1. What is your favorite type of journalistic writing to do and why?

I like features the best. Getting to focus on one person and what makes them special is interesting. When it is on something good about a person, it’s nice to watch them light up as they talk about their passions.

2. What was your inspiration for this story?

My journalism teacher clued me in on Haley’s Harry Potter loft, and when I heard about it, I wanted to write a story. I love Harry Potter, so it was nice having that background knowledge going into it. That idea of a clubhouse/secret loft is something a lot of little kids dream of, but for Haley, it was a reality that deserved coverage.

         3. How did you get the portraiture for this story?

Through interviews and visiting the loft myself. I recorded my interviews and took notes while I was in the loft on what I saw.

         4. What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story?

There were so many details I could have included about Haley’s Harry Potter passion and what the loft looks like. It was difficult to capture everything—all of Haley’s emotions and the visual aspect of the loft—without it turning into a novel.

5.What was the most fun or most rewarding aspect of writing this story?

The feeling of pride at the end, when you have a finished piece you’re really satisfied with, is the best.



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A joint resource for JEM & MHSPA
The story behind the story