We’re pleased to host Peter Jacobi, guest lecturer and professor emeritus from Indiana University:

Saturday, May 4, 2013
3pm – 5pm

The Imagination, The Labor and You!
The Process of Writing and Everything That’s Involved.

Kansas City Plaza Library:
Cohen Conference Room
4801 Main Street, Kansas City,  MO

Free to the Public — RSVP not required, but if you can, please let us know so we can plan for enough chairs: jwkc (at)

Bring your questions for after the lecture!

Can’t get enough? Peter will also be giving weekend workshops on writing at the  Highlights Founders Workshops in Boyd’s Mills, PA. Click here for details:


More about Peter:

1. On writing well…Great advice from Peter Jacobi

Peter Jacobi is a household name when in comes to magazine editing and writing. The professor emeritus at The University of Indiana is probably more famous than the former basketball coach Bobby Knight (well, at least in the magazine circles). I had the pleasure to meet Professor Jacobi in person for the first time at the first children’s magazine editors retreat at Boyds Mill home of the founders of Highlights for Children magazine. We both spoke at the retreat. He talked about writing and I talked about publishing. What follows is Professor Jacobi’s advice regarding successful writing:

To be a successful writer your article must have:
1. The invitation: the lead or the initial tease; it should even hook the reluctant reader
2. The thesis: telling the reader what the article is all about, sort of an early summary. Perhaps a response to the readers expectations.
3. Purpose: the why it is for me “piece of writing.” It is an extended explanation of the purpose of the piece. The purpose must be made evident (another sales pitch).
4. Direction: you must have a sense of clear direction. Every point along the “verbal highway” must set the course… a crystal clear viewable course…you must write with a compass.
5. Propulsion: a sense of motion, going forward. Your writing must have actual movement with pulse and progress.
6. Memory: pleasure of reading should be followed by a sense of recalling. Good writing should give me “something to remember.”

In short, Professor Jacobi said, “the best writing supplies the ties that bind.” And no matter what, read your article aloud”…yes, Jacobi said, “read it aloud and see if it tells a story and keeps you connected.” Great advice from the master himself.


2. Jacobi describes work of reviewer

By Jack Dvorak, Bloomington Press Club

Peter Jacobi

……..Jacobi is a professor emeritus in IU’s School of Journalism, where he continues to teach one course each semester: magazine reporting in the fall and arts reporting in the spring. He attends hundreds of local performances each year while reviewing for the Herald-Times. He also writes columns for Editors Only magazine and others, and he is a writing and speaking consultant for various professional organizations. Before coming to IU in 1985, he was on the faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and had also been news assignment editor for NBC and ABC affiliates in Chicago.

Because Bloomington audiences are so expert in many ways as well as so diverse, Jacobi said he tries to answer at least three main questions in each review: 1. What was the performance saying? 2. Was the effort worth it? And 3. Was it done well?

To do this, he said he tries to “illuminate, persuade (with verbal artistry), stimulate thinking, and get across the why and how and what has been transformed, — and is much more into description and narrative rather than argumentation in reviews.”

So in any art form, Jacobi said he looks for 13 wants:

  1. Learn: People need to gain intelligence and be teased so that learning turns into pleasure.
  2. Enjoy: Become enraptured and tickled by a performance.
  3. Journey: People need to become travelers, to discover, to explore, to enter into another realm.
  4. Be there: Become a participant with the performers or have a feeling of participation – and leave exhausted.
  5. Meet the artist: To gain a oneness with someone other than the self. “Good art leads me to the artist. It takes me to the head and heart of the composer.”
  6. See things anew: Sharpens viewpoints and perspectives that had not occurred to a person before. Takes one into a special world.
  7. Imagine: To float, to drift between an awakened state and an imaginary state.
  8. Surprised: To encounter the unexpected because it’s energizing to be enterprising … and to get a jolt.
  9. Understand: Puzzles are solved, new meanings are encountered, and questions are answered.
  10. Remember something: Maybe it’s an experience of the past or some other remembrance that is important to one’s life.
  11. Trust: Wants honesty in art forms and not untruths.
  12. Child-like perspective: Lack of inhibitions, blocking out customs, and restoring a youthful shine to language and art. Wants writers and artists to bring out the childhood excitement of new experiences.
  13. Belief, faith, feeling and assurance: Bring stillness in the midst of chaos and wants art to entice, draw in, overwhelm and stimulate…..



To see past KC area writing events from 2004-2010 go to:

JWKC/MWCAG Professional Lecture Series and Events

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