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Lanson Documents His Personal Journey as a Writer in New Book

Journalism Professor Jerry Lanson

Heather West MFA '13
December 09, 2010

Journalism Professor Jerry Lanson has published his third book on the art of storytelling. Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves: Telling Stories in an Age of Blogging was released this week through Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. “I see blogging as a way for writers to continue to develop their voices,” Lanson said. “It’s not just about giving opinions, but creating a place to tell a variety of stories.”

Much of the book is built around stories—articles, blogs and commentary—that Lanson wrote while on sabbatical in the South of France. As he attempted to capture the French countryside, Lanson kept track of his writing process to show readers how he approaches story telling from a story's inception to its final revision. "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves is essentially about how to tell stories from the idea to the end product. Instead of being a textbook, it is a book that talks about my own journey and struggles as a writer. It is a book about the writing process, in the frame of a personal journey,” he said.

In reviewing Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves NPR Ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard said Lanson provides the road map to make the writing  journey easier “All of us deep inside believe we have something important to say. But writing is one of the most difficult challenges.”

Thomas Kunkel, president, St. Norbert's College, and former dean of the University of Maryland School of Journalism, said Lanson is a talented writer and an even more talented writing teacher. “This book will be invaluable to anyone who wants to apply time-tested techniques to 21st-century storytelling.”

To read a sample chapter, go to www.jerrylanson.com.