A tile inset in Central Park in New York honors slain Beatle John Lennon.  Writer Tom French uses Beatles music as one way to teach and coach nut grafs..

Personal Essays

A retired newspaper man finds a new writing voice in the solitude of wilderness

August 24, 2021

With inspiration from other meditative writers, Chuck Haga meets himself and fellow campers in the Minnesota wilderness

Personal Essays

How a writer’s kaleidoscopic mind learned to still the distractions with haiku

July 29, 2021

A successful stage actor and director searched for the tools he needed to write in his own voice

Personal Essays

The role of editor as story director

July 16, 2021

All the world is, indeed, a stage — and all stories a sequenced (true) play

Personal Essays

What journalists need to know when interviewing a transgender person

June 24, 2021

A transgender activist and former journalist urges reporters to move past the bathroom question and other false stereotypes

Personal Essays

What a journalist mom learns from her daughter’s foray into writing the news

May 18, 2021

From the pens of babes: A 9-year-old starts a neighborhood newspaper, and reminds her journalist mother about passion, fun and problem solving

Personal Essays

What a retired journalist learned about re-learning to write

April 22, 2021

After 40 years as an editor and professor, Steven A. Smith goes back to his writing roots and dares to find a personal voice

Personal Essays

Jumpstart your writing routine: coffee, journals, sketches and postcards

February 4, 2021

A science freelancer works her way out of COVID malaise with morning writing rituals

Personal Essays

How 66 days of shell art helped a retired journalist rediscover her writing voice

January 29, 2021

Retired sports editor Cathy Henkel created a daily countdown to the presidential inauguration in shells and stones, and found herself telling stories

Personal Essays

Journalists on the screen: a conflicted image

December 17, 2020

The pop culture portrayal of reporters in movies and TV mirrors and shapes public perception of the press

Personal Essays

Authenticity and imagery in songwriting, outlaw country style

October 27, 2020

Learning an enduring story language through the music of Jerry Jeff Walker

Personal Essays

The struggle to define cinematic writing

October 6, 2020

Narrative writer, editor and teacher Constance Hale on the elements that make for a true compelling story, with a sampling of writing she loves

Personal Essays

Pitching a new editor: Don’t be too clever

October 1, 2020

A successful freelancer confesses how her "motor mouth" can turn off editors and tank her good ideas