May 12, 2019

Write Better With Gary

Gary Gilson CSJ ’61 announces debut of his new StarTribune column:

Starting Sunday, May 5, 2019, The Minneapolis Star Tribune will publish, in the Business section, the first of Gary's regular columns on the craft of clear writing.

Gary writes:

"The opportunity to succeed Stephen Wilbers, a great writing coach, in this slot is an honor.

I will be using a storytelling approach to illustrate principles of simplicity, precision and clarity. To me, that also means feeling free to break the so-called rules of composition, as long as you “make what you write . . . say what you mean.”

And that’s why my favorite single line in the English language (in bold italics, below) comes from a song (“Say It Simple”) sung by the great trombonist Jack Teagarden:


            “Say it simple, so I can understand. 

            Use all the easy words at your command.

            Don’t tell lies, I never cared for fiction. 

            Talk real clear, don’t want no friction with your diction.

We hope you will read the column and spread the word to your friends and contacts. The columns will run every other Sunday and will re-appear on Gary's website:

Gary Gilson is a regular columnist for the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the craft of clear writing.
His motto is, “Make what you write . . . say what you mean.” His goal is to help writers harness simplicity and precision to produce concise, clear, and compelling copy.
A graduate of Dartmouth College (English major) and of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he started as a reporter at The Minneapolis Star and then had a long career in television documentary production.
His work in public TV in New York and Los Angeles won five Emmy Awards. He returned to the Twin Cities to host a weekly magazine series on the public TV station.
Gary has taught at Columbia, Yale, Minnesota, Macalester, St. Thomas, Cornell College of Iowa and, for the past 22 years, at Colorado College.