Jacqui Banaszynski

Jacqui Banaszynski—Pulitzer winner, globe-trotting teacher, editor, writer, frequent presenter at the CASE Editors Forum—has been a friend of mine for more than 25 years. She thinks about the importance of story and the role of storyteller as well and with as much eloquence as anyone I know. The Romanian writer Cristian Lupsa, who has studied with her, recently posted this bit of writerly wisdom from Banaszynski. It reminds me of Brian Doyle:

Stories are our prayers. Write and edit them with due reverence, even when the stories themselves are irreverent.

Stories are parables. Write and edit and tell yours with meaning, so each tale stands in for a larger message, each story a guidepost on our collective journey.

Stories are history. Write and edit and tell yours with accuracy and understanding and context and with unwavering devotion to the truth.

Stories are music. Write and edit and tell yours with pace and rhythm and flow. Throw in the dips and twirls that make them exciting, but stay true to the core beat. Readers hear stories with their inner ear.

Stories are our soul. Write and edit and tell yours with your whole selves. Tell them as if they are all that matters. It matters that you do it as if that’s all there is.

Though you can never be sure where in the world she is at any given moment—Missouri, Florida, Romania, China, Maryland—Banaszynski has a house in Seattle. Next year’s Editors Forum will be in Seattle. You see where I’m going here.


  1. Kiley Mallard

    I was fortunate enough to take a week-long feature writing course with Jacqui at the Poynter Institute a few years ago. She is amazing. I could listen to her stories and teaching all day. Also, I am SO excited to hear the next Editor’s Forum is in Seattle! This east coast girl loves any excuse to go out west. What are the dates?

  2. Dale Keiger

    Jessica: Was not a blog post, but a Facebook post, with not much more said.
    Kiley: CASE Editors Forum 2018 will be March 21, 22, 23 in Seattle

  3. Liz Massey

    Jacqui was the person who helped me realize that the managing editor work that I was doing was important and worthy work. I recommend any chance for any writer or editor to encounter her wisdom. 🙂

  4. Alexandra Pecharich

    Had the honor and pleasure of attending a daylong presentation by Jacqui at Florida International University last year. She brought home the important decisions, both large and small, that one must undertake to turn a good story into something truly powerful.

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