Last summer, the world of professional bridge was upended by a cheating scandal involving some of the highest-ranking players in the game. This is prime magazine feature article territory. Scandal rocks obscure subculture? Sold! And so, low and behold, several months later, we have this:
Yes, that’s right, the bridge scandal story appears in the March issue of Vanity Fair and the March 7 issue of The New Yorker. Rolling Stone also got in on the action with its own feature, published today.
Feature articles generally take a long time to report, write, edit, fact-check, and go through production for print. Writers and editors often live in fear of someone else scooping them on a story.
(Pamela Colloff famously recalled a close call she had while looking into the story of Cameron Todd Willingham. “A very nice man from New York was just here,” Willingham’s stepmother told her. “He’s a reporter too. Maybe you know him? His name is David Grann.”)
Personally, I plan to read all three versions—a little good karma as I think about the features I’m editing—and I suggest you do the same.