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New Jacobson Series Features Working Writers

The Jacobson Center for Teaching, Writing and Learning will complement Smith’s writing curricula with a new series called “Working Writers” that will invite professional writers to speak on the craft of journalistic communication.

Intended as an educational seminar, the series is expected to offer insights on how to write effectively for magazines, newspapers and other popular media, and how to achieve publication.

On the first Monday of each month, beginning in October, the Jacobson Center will feature a different speaker from the Smith community -- some from among Smith faculty -- to expound on his or her genre of journalism.

The series, which is open to the college community, will take place in Seelye 207 (Faculty Lounge) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Selections from the featured genre will be available for review at the Jacobson Center in the week prior to each event.

“Working Writers” will kick off on Monday, October 3, with guest Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics, and author of 13 books and numerous articles and opinion pieces in national media. Zimbalist will reflect on writing the op-ed piece. His most recent book, published last spring, is National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer.

On Monday, November 7, Madeleine Blais, professor of journalism at UMass-Amherst, will offer her comments on writing the biographical profile. Blais, a former Boston Globe and Miami Herald reporter, is a Pulitzer Prize-winner for feature writing. She has written three books, including In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award in 1995.

The series continues on Monday, December 5, with guest George Colt, who is currently teaching in the American studies department. Colt, a journalist, poet and playwright, will speak on writing the personal essay. A former staff writer for Life magazine, Colt has written two books, including The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home, a memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2003.

“Working Writers” will continue in the spring with talks by Michael Gorra, Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English Language and Literature, on writing book reviews; David Marcus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who last year taught at Deerfield Academy, who will speak on writing the “call-to-action” piece; and local writer Pamela Petro, on travel writing.


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