Former Journal-Constitution editor stresses the importance of effective writing to students

Glenn Hannigan speaks on journalism in Gailor Auditorium

by Emily Daniel

On the evening of September 19, Sewanee residents were treated to an engaging discussion on the importance of effective communication in writing. The discussion took place in Gailor Auditorium and was led by Glenn Hannigan, a former editor for The Atlanta Journal-
Constitution.

Hannigan is certainly no stranger to writing. He wrote and edited for The Journal-Constitution for nearly thirty years before striking out on his own and founding TruVine Communications, LLC in 2008. He is currently the pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Roswell, Georgia and routinely holds writing workshops for various newspapers, corporations, and colleges.

With both frankness and sense a of humor, Hannigan instructed his audience in the fundamentals of clear, effective writing. He particularly emphasized the importance of simplicity, saying that, although it’s a role that few like to assume, “the world needs an editor.” He also stressed the idea that the best writers are often not the most educated ones—but the ones who are willing to take risks, who appreciate and learn from feedback, and who genuinely like people and want to share their stories. Hannigan’s talk was made possible by The Sewanee Purple.

According to Julia Wallace (C’14), editor-in-chief of the Purple, he first came to her attention last spring when it was discovered that Sewanee student Becca Hannigan (C’16) his daughter. However, Wallace admits that actually bringing him to campus was “a long time coming.” “I emailed him in March and he confirmed for September,” she says. Wallace, like Hannigan, believes that learning to write effectively is vital. “People…forget about the basics of writing all the time,” she says. “It is so easy to get ahead of yourself, and after a while people end up writing…nonsense. There is no substitute for clear communication.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Glenn Hannigan and his work can visit the TruVine Communications, LLC website: www.truvinecommunications.com.

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