Words Matter
Writing to Make a Difference
Edited by Amanda Dahling and Mary Kay Blakely
281 pages
6 x 9

Formats available:
Hardcover   $29.95 TR
ISBN: 978-0-8262-2089-9
E Book   $29.95 TR
ISBN: 978-0-8262-7364-2

About the Book

Newspapers and magazines have been steadily shrinking, and more and more former subscribers have gone to digital and internet sources for the news. Yet it has become increasingly clear that “short takes” don’t satisfy many readers, who still long for nuanced, long form journalism. By providing examples of classic magazine articles by professional writers, all of whom are graduates of the Missouri School of Journalism, this book fulfills the need for more sophisticated, thought-provoking essays that will resonate with both the general reader and students.

The book is divided into three broad categories: profiles, first person journalism, and personal memoirs, and includes the original articles as well as a “postscript” by the writers in which they discuss what they’ve learned about writing, journalism, and the business of getting published. Useful for students and instructors in writing programs, the book also appeals to writers interested in both the art and the craft of successful writing.


Mary Kay Blakely is associate professor emerita of Magazine Journalism, Missouri School of Journalism. She is the author of Wake Me When It’s Over: A Journey to the Edge and Back, and American Mom: Motherhood, Politics, and Humble Pie.

Amanda Dahling is an editor for University of Missouri Extension where she develops and edits educational publications, curricula, Web content and social media strategies. She lives in Columbia, MO.


“I wish I’d had this book when I was teaching advanced magazine writing–in fact, for any of my writing classes. The pieces are so compelling and varied. They make for a big treat and lessons in writing in and of themselves.”—K. C. Cole - USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, author of Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and His Astonishing Exploratorium

“I read Words Matter with great interest and admiration. The heart of it, the 26 pieces by University of Missouri alumni, is superb.”—Patricia O’Toole - Columbia University School of the Arts, author of The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends and other books


Of Spies and Spokesmen
Nicholas Daniloff

From Vagabond to Journalist
Robert M. Farnsworth

Going Solo
G. Stuart Smith

Letters from the Editor
William F. Woo & Philip Meyer

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