Story Time

It’s been an atypical week for me here at Iowa Alumni Magazine, filled with tasks not normally on my regular schedule—such as attending simulcasts from the annual CASE Editors Forum and appearing as a guest in a UI magazine writing class.

It’s fun to get out of the office and talk to young journalists about the art and craftsmanship of writing. We covered a lot of ground during my presentation, including what makes a good story: compelling protagonists, tension, change, resolution, and a relevant message that matters. We talked about these ingredients and reflected on how they factor in to the books and stories that have captured our attention and imagination.

At lunchtime today, I sat before another class—only these students were about 15 years younger than my first audience. As I read Horton Hatches the Egg to my son’s kindergarten class, I once again pondered the discussion I had had with the UI upperclassmen. Dr. Seuss sure knew how to weave a fantastic yarn. He was a masterful storyteller with the ability to enrapture even the toughest of audiences (energetic, easily distracted six-year-old boys and girls). Who can’t sympathize with and cheer for Horton the Elephant, who sits on lazy Mayzie bird’s egg, who endures crisis upon crisis as he remains loyal to his word, who is faithful one hundred percent, and who is rewarded for his hard work and endurance? A page-turner, indeed.

Great stuff, Theodor Geisel, great stuff.

Whether presented as an award-winning investigative piece or a children’s literary classic, a good story is a good story. One hundred percent.

Kathryn Howe
Associate Editor


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