Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Congratulations to Pulitzer winners

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jun• 15•21


Where would we be without dogged journalists and writers who uncover difficult truths, facts, and problems that need solving? Who help protect our fragile democracy. Who work towards accountability and justice. My profound congratulations to all the Pulitzer Prize winners, including Darnella Frazier for her Special Citation for courageously filming George Floyd’s murder. Her courage and  level-headedness still astounds me. Her testimony at Floyd’s murder trial was elucidating and heartbreaking.

Here’s a link that lists the winners

And here’s a link to an article about what journalism students can learn from this year’s winners. Please support journalism in its many forms.

But you don’t need to be a journalist to make a better world. There are so many ways writers can reveal the truths of our times, truths of the human footprint on this planet. Songs that mend our hearts, stir our emotions, songs that we listen to  over and over because their meaning cannot be denied. Because reading, writing, listening,  especially songs and poetry, feels like soul to soul communication.

Poetry teaches us the power of language and provides solace. Phyllis Knight said it best: “Turning to poetry gives rhythm to silence, light to darkness. In poetry we find the magic of metaphor, compactness of expression, use of the five senses, and simplicity or complexity in a few lines.”

Reading feeds us. Essays enlarge our understanding,  introduce us to other worldviews, help us examine our culture and society.  Force us to examine our own opinions and beliefs.

Fiction transports but also teaches us empathy and stretches our imagination.   Stories decode, shed light on human nature and all our many trials. Teach us how to avoid other people’s mistakes. Help create a life worth living.

All writing forces us to think deeper, understand ourselves more, take stock of our ideas and skills.

Keep writing, keep making a better world, keep dreaming, have heart

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