This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,661) on Friday, December 20, 2019. Readers of this newsletter know that I am partial to good stories, especially when they are true; they involve writers and journalists; and they are women. We hit the trifecta this week with some good stuff about Martha Gelhorn, who is often […]
Martha Gelhorn and the wars of the 20th century, parkour considered, and plenty of reader reaction: newsletter, December 20, 2019
Advice to Robert Caro, America’s fourth man at Los Alamos, M-W’s word of the year, and more: newsletter, December 13, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,661) on Friday, December 13, 2019. This newsletter, I say with some pride, is read by folks in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and other places of which I may not be aware. As the year ends, I thank […]
A look back at the year of book production and the decade of true-crime books, and the deaths of famous females: newsletter, Nov. 29, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,661) on Friday, November 29, 2019. The gardens are, for the most part, sub-soiled and will be tilled in the next few days before the truly cold weather sets in. The bees are still alive in their three hives, although I do not […]
We all know what the essential element of a murder mystery is. It’s the murder. The essential element of an espionage thriller is more elusive, but I have a candidate in mind. It’s betrayal. And thereby lies the tale. What drives a person to betray friends, family, colleagues, and/or country? How deeply will the element […]
The significance of Nov. 22, the politics of pronouns, and the impact of World War I: newsletter, Nov. 22, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,663) on Friday, November 22, 2019. Thanksgiving is upon us, and it is, for many reasons, my favorite holiday. Good food and a bit of idleness, along with some crisp fall weather, are on my agenda. Whatever is on yours, I hope that it […]
The essential in espionage thriller, Gulf of Tonkin revisited, a remarkable mathematician, and more reader reaction: newsletter, Nov. 15, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,662) on Friday, November 15, 2019. The Veterans Day event we had at the Blount County Public Library that launched the first volume of Vietnam Voices could not have been better. About 150 people showed up, the choral group from Maryville’s Broadway Baptist Church […]
Edmund Morris and Richard Ben Cramer and unworthy subjects, a police procedural podcast, and reactions to the World Series: newsletter, Nov. 8, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,666) on Friday, November 8, 2019. Baseball is a game you can share with others. That was the message I got from a large number of emails sent after the special report on my trip to the World Series in the last newsletter. Those emails […]
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,666) on Friday, November 1, 2019. One of my life-long dreams was fulfilled last weekend when I had the opportunity to attend a World Series game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. I have written a long report on it for this newsletter, divided it […]
Edith Cavell was a British nurse working in German-occupied Belgium in 1915 when she formed an escape network for British and allied soldiers who found themselves behind enemy lines. She helped hundreds of soldiers and put herself in great danger in the process. German authorities realized what was happening, and Cavell was arrested, tried for […]
How do you write a mystery novel? Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lenox, says that plots don’t come naturally to him, so he has a trick: I start by writing a brief, extremely dull short story. No one will ever see one of these if I can conceivably prevent it; it’s usually only about […]
Long before the term “visual learning” came into being, Emma Hart Willard knew what it meant and how important it was. So important, she believed, that constructing the tools to put it into effect was well worth time and effort. In 1846, she drew a chart titled The Temple of Time (below) in which she attempted […]
In 1903, 20-year-old Newell Convers Wyeth, an aspiring illustrator, boarded a train and headed west. Actually, he could claim more than the adjective “aspiring.” He had just pulled off a coup in the world of illustration that had eluded artists who were two or three times his age. His illustration of a cowboy on a […]
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,653) on Friday, October 25, 2019. We got rain again this weekend, and we got more on Monday night. After a two- to three-month stretch with almost no rain at all, the world is beginning to feel good again in East Tennessee. In the […]
The paragraph below comes from J.K. Rowling‘s website, so if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll want to check out the site and especially this page. This is especially for younger writers. You can’t be a good writer without being a devoted reader. Reading is the best way of analysing what makes a good book. […]
If you were a young reader, you know that Carolyn Keene wrote the Nancy Drew mysteries. And if you remained aware of that into adulthood, chances are that you found out that Carolyn Keene didn’t exist. So who was Carolyn Keene? The creator of Nancy Drew was Edward Stratemeyer, about whom we have written before […]
Just how revolutionary was the American Revolutionary War? Pretty revolutionary, according to historian T. H. Breen, who has written a recently-published book examining the thinking that went on behind the American colonies’ break with the mother country. What we call the American Revolution cannot be linked to a single moment such as the signing of […]
The woman who created Nancy Drew, the Ratline podcast, and reader reactions; newsletter, October 18, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,665) on Friday, October 18, 2019. Rain finally arrived in East Tennessee this week after an absence of about 45 days. It was greatly welcomed. There wasn’t a lot of rain but enough to begin turning the ground from brown to green. The hope […]
There’s something about a book that doesn’t die — even in a regime as authoritarian as Nazi Germany. In the 1920s, one of the most popular authors in the Weimar Republic of Germany was Else Ury, who wrote a series of children’s books known as the Nesthäkchen series. These ten books featured a fiesty, blond-headed girl Annemarie […]
Author Philip Kerr got very bad news in July 2017. He had stage 4 cancer, and the doctor gave him between one and two years to live — although, she said, she had had a patient in his condition that lived for five years. “I’ve got five years,” Kerr said to his wife, Jane, when […]
Philip Kerr’s last book, the difference between dogs and cats, Else Ury’s books: newsletter, October 11, 2019
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,6xx) on Friday, October 11, 2019. When does a dry spell become a drought? In East Tennessee, we have had only one good rainstorm in the last two and a half months. But no one yet is calling it a drought, probably because from last October through […]
Verse and Vision
Point Spread on Amazon
Welcome to JPROF
Since 2004 JPROF.com has been providing journalism instructors and students with material and ideas for teaching and learning journalism. Jim Stovall is the site's creator and operator.
JPROF.com is now the site for First Inning Press and First Inning Artworks.
This site has more than 500 pages and posts. Use the Inside JPROF tab in the top menu, the search line above, and the categories and tags in the posts to find what you need.
The site for the textbook, Writing for the Mass Media, is now part of this JPROF.com site.
Get a FREE copy of Kill the Quarterback
Get a free digital copy of Jim Stovall's mystery novel, Kill the Quarterback. You will also get Jim's newsletter and advanced notice of publications, free downloads and a variety of information about what he is working on. Jim likes to stay in touch, so sign up today.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your address.