Weekly Writing Challenge – Gonzo Journalism

Weekly Writing Challenge

The Weekly Writing Challenge for the week of January 13, 2013 is about something called Gonzo Journalism.  Gonzo Journalism differs from typical reporting in that Gonzo journalists renounce claims of objectivity, often place themselves in the story as a first-person narrator, and include verbatim dialogue to capture and convey their first-hand experiences. The work can often have a “stream-of-consciousness” feel to it.

In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:


Gonzo, yes, but not a journalist.

Gonzo, yes, but not a journalist.

There are three different ways to participate in today’s challenge. The goal is to stretch your writing style by experimenting with and emulating a new form. As always, the goal of any writing challenge is to get you writing. You’re welcome to adapt the challenge to your needs as you see fit. For example, you may choose to include only one, two, or all three hallmarks of Gonzo journalism listed above in your post.

  • Report on one event/gathering/happening from your week in Gonzo journalism style. The event can be anything from your life: a slice of your weekly drawing class, the conversation between the butcher and the man buying stewing beef at the meat counter in your local grocery store, or what you observe and hear while you’re at the gas station filling up. Cram as many details in as you can. Record any dialogue as accurately as possible: include pauses, slang, stumbles, inflection, etc. Your post needs to be a minimum of three paragraphs long.
  • Write at least three paragraphs reporting on a scenario that you imagine in Gonzo journalism style.
  • Choose one of the following three scenarios. Imagine the scenario taking place in as great a detail as your brain will allow. Write at least three paragraphs reporting on the scenario in Gonzo journalism style.Scenarios:
    1. You’re standing on a busy street corner. A car runs a red light, hitting a cyclist crossing the intersection.
    2. You’re waiting at gate 23 at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport’s Terminal 7 to board an Air Canada flight to Vancouver. The flight has been delayed two hours so far. The gate agent announces a further three-hour delay before take off. To your right sits an elderly couple. She’s in a wheelchair. To the left, a family of four, with a boy, aged five and a newborn infant girl.
    3. You’re in a street-side café in San Diego, California. The couple seated at the next table is breaking up.

No matter which option you choose, have fun with the challenge! So looking forward to reading your posts.

Here is mine:


It is amazing to me that even on a warm summer day concealed little bit of steam coming from the cup of designer coffee from my favorite café. The sun feels so good my face as I enjoy afternoon free of commitments for the first time in too many months. But my peace is interrupted by the couple to my left who seem to be fighting.

The fellow is wearing a lightweight suit, obviously some type of businessman. The gal is dressed in fatigues, obviously either Army or Marines. I don’t like to eavesdrop on conversations and normally don’t but you cannot help hearing them as they seem to be breaking up. Red faces, pointing fingers and angry accusations accompany ever increasing voices.

“You might as well just reenlist make it a career. That’s all you care about anyway,” the man said.

“Have you forgotten this is to pay for my degree?”

“Jenna you know I can pay for your degree,” he countered.

“Yeah, there’s no way that’s going to happen especially after what you did,” she replied.

Part of me wanted to get up and leave but the other part, the curious side, hung in to hear more. I could see the pained expression on his face which meant he had done something to hurt her that he regretted. He drew in a deep breath before he began to speak again.

“I know I can never make up for what I did. I just. . . I don’t know,” he sputtered.

“Couldn’t keep ‘em zipped.”

“You know I’m not the one stuck on a ship with 2000 men for weeks at a time.”

“No, but you are the one that cheated!” Jenna said stabbing her finger into the table.

Now I really wanted to disappear from the scene. This was a very personal thing that no one needed to witness. I gathered my things and my cup to make my way to the parking lot. As I left I could still hear them over my shoulder and wondered how this was would all end. 


I hope you enjoy these other Weekly Writing Challenge responses:

  1. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to go Gonzo | A mom’s blog
  2. Weekly Writing challenge: The Shining | Just Visiting This Planet
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | Believe
  4. Pagans in the Park | Witty or Not, Here I Come
  5. Mortuaries Insult My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  6. So You Think Your Breaking Up With Me | Pennine Photography
  7. Three Ways To Go Gonzo | Muggle Magic
  8. Dear Veronica, Thanks for the coffee | ❤ ART BLOG
  9. Fearful and Loathsome/Gone Gonzo/Weekly Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  10. Live In The Moment! Have A Heart! Life In Recovery Does Expire….. | Recovery Ramblings Blog ~ Author Catherine Lyon
  11. Prior to the Pageant | JGTravels
  12. A Simple Matter Of Buying Stamps Part 2 | Fish Of Gold
  13. The Gig. | Babbleogue
  14. Gonzo Journalism of My Day… With an Imaginative Tangent | The Interworkings of the Mind of Victoria
  15. Warrington, Casey
  16. The Eunuch – DP Writing Challenge | Becca Joyce
  17. Daydreams and prostitutes… Me, Gonzo, and Manet! | Abstractions of Life
  18. What Time is it? | Mary J Melange
  19. Just Checking Please… | peacefulblessedstar
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
  21. Heated Argument | themagzee
  22. Starstruck | The Pen Speaks Better
  23. Gonna do it… | Love.Books.Coffee.
  24. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  26. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | Chiquitita
  27. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to go Gonzo | thejimmieG
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | It is not the critic who counts….
  29. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to go Gonzo. | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  30. Differences in opinions.. | Write Away
  31. Weekly Writing Challenge:Three ways to go Gonzo | Thoughts of an INFP
  32. Damn That Cat! | Samarth Jajoo
  33. Meow! | swastikajajoo
  34. Burritos After Dark. | Twenty-Four Problems
  35. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | Belle
  36. The alarms in my head are going ring-a-ding-a-ding-ding | Word Craft
  37. Newbie Blogger Wants Feedback | Armchair Philosophist
  38. Weekly Writing Challenge: GONZO – Red Light | I Hope You’re Taking Notes
  39. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | In my world
  40. The Way of the Office | Not a Punk Rocker
  41. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo | Basically Beyond Basic
  42. Chapter 5 – January 1J | Keigh Ahr
  43. Weekly Writing Challenge – Three Ways to go Gonzo | hometogo232
  44. Oprah Took Me Down | Emotional Fitness
  45. Blind-side Dating…straight from my imagination. | opticalmolasses
  46. Going Gonzo | lincathleon
  47. The Breakup | Simple Shorts
  48. Weekly writing challenge: Gonzo journalism. “My Dinner with Elsa” | thismoonlesssky
  49. A Few of My Favorite Things…. | Coffee Crumbs
  50. Goodnight, Friend. | classically dysfunctional
  51. A scene from life… | Snapshots in Words
  52. Remember the time we lost Superman? | rarasaur
  53. Yin Yoga-Gonzo Style | Winding Road
  54. Gonzo Breakup | Be Less Amazing
  55. Football is for the Birds (Weekly Writing Challenge) | Anecdotal Tales
  56. Borderline Bottlenecked Boredom | Blue Loft
  57. A Riverview Park Run | charlottesville winter
  58. Red Amber Green | Is this Gonzo Enough! | Introvertly Bubbly
  59. One of those days | The Colours of Confetti
  60. The last kiss | Master Of Disaster
  61. Weekly Writing Challenge: Wheels of misfortune | ThE cRaZy NiGeRiAn
  62. Loitering – the intrinsickness
  63. Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways To Go Gonzo | capsulecreations
  64. The class |
  65. Gonzo’ed | L5GN
  66. Chemical Leaks: A Common Nuisance for us West Virginians | derekalanwilkinson
  67. Rush Hour | The Silver Leaf Journal
  68. Getting My Gonzo On | The Playground
  69. Weekly Writing Challenge + Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation, But No Cigar | A Hedonistic Wander
  70. At a Cafe in San Diego | “The Ish,” presented by the Bohemian Rock Star
  71. Fault – The Daily Post Writing Challenge | Kerrie Ann Salsac | Writing for Life
  72. writemybrainsout
  73. writemybrainsout
  74. San Diego Cafe — Weekly Writing Challenge | Oh Danny Boy!
  75. Accident at Second and Union | Corned Beef Hashtag
  76. Say What?! | Gnome Lover
  77. Freestyle Fridays: “An Inspiring Conversation?” by Are You Finished Yet | Winding Road
  78. Weekly Writing Challenge: Going Gonzo with a Runny Nose vs. Frozen Digits | desibehindthewall
  79. The Start of Something New | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  80. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Accused | Posting Tuesdays. I am Grayson.
  81. Weekly Writing Challenge – Going Gonzo | Undefined Thoughts
  82. CRIME REPORT | Scribbling Gizmos
  83. The Northern Territory | her soliloquy
  84. Tea Cup Tale | Pop-Culture-Referenced
  85. Drunk Trail Angels | I’m Supposed to be Doing Something Else Right Now
  86. Going Gonzo: The Library Diaries | The Uncustomary Housewife
  87. Of fathers and daughters | Stories from aside
  88. Going Gonzo With the King | Finale to an Entrance
  89. The Pool | The Big Big TANGENT
  90. Weekly Writing Challenge #1: Conversations with my OCD | Fight Against OCD
  91. Ubiquitous – a short sci-fi story (1,736 words) | SonWorshiper
  92. Sven and Ole Go to Hell | Live Someday

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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1 Response to Weekly Writing Challenge – Gonzo Journalism

  1. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after looking at some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

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