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|Pulitzer Prize Winner, Author of Friday Night Lights, Visits La Salle|
|On Tuesday, February 1st, H.G. (Buzz) Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with The Philadephia Inquirer and best-selling author of Friday Night Lights, spoke to students in La Salle University's Mass Media Writing Seminar course. |
The theme of this semester's seminar, which is co-ordinated through the Communication and English departments, is sports writing and is taught by Frank Bertucci, an adjunct professor with over 35 years experience as a sports writer and editor. Friday Night Lights was a required reading for the course. The students also had an opportunity to view a DVD of the movie based upon the non-fiction book, and discussed both with Mr. Bissinger.
Bissinger spoke of the writing process, of moving from Philadelphia to Odessa, TX to spend several months with the football players, coaches and teachers at Permian High School, the setting for Friday Night Lights. He explained the value of a good editor to the process, the trials and tribulations of the novelist (it was his first) and of "sweating out" one scene in the book and the movie, a coin toss to determine playoff participants, which would determine the value of the project. Permian won the toss and Mr. Bissinger had the novel.
He also explained that his first idea for the novel came from a Sports Illustrated story about a Texas high school football player. He kept that idea in mind for 20 years before he finally had the opportunity to translate it into Friday Night Lights, demonstrating to the 17 students in the class that patience is also important in the writing process.
Mr. Bissinger was the first of several writers who will serve as guest lecturers with the course throughout the semester.