Introducing Deep Reads

Highlighting our best immersive reporting and narrative writing

Today The Washington Post introduces Deep Reads, an initiative that highlights our immersive reporting and narrative writing.

The Post has always been home to the finest literary journalism, a destination for the best writers and a publication known for its richly crafted narratives. Deep Reads, which will spotlight these stories, is an important part of carrying this legacy into the future.

This journalism provides a window into the challenges, joys and contradictions faced by real people. Readers are drawn to narrative stories because they are beautifully told and deeply reported.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading or listening to these engrossing stories, which we believe advance our public-service mission by helping us to understand one another.

Sally Buzbee, Executive Editor

Football bonded them. Its violence tore them apart.

By Kent Babb

They were roommates and teammates in the ’90s, bound by their love of football and each other. But while one became a Harvard football coach, two more saw their lives upended by head injuries, and one became a CTE crusader. Through it all, a question lingered: If they could do it all over, would they still play football? Read the full story.

A school shooting left a 7-year-old terrified to go back. At 13, she found a way.

By John Woodrow Cox

In 2016, a teenager opened fire on the playground at Townville Elementary in South Carolina. Ava Olsen survived, but her best friend in first grade died. Overcome by trauma and loss, Ava left school, not setting foot inside a classroom for six years. Would her return in seventh grade be derailed by news of another elementary school shooting? Read the full story.