Eric Lipton wins his second Pulitzer Prize

He won his first Pulitzer at The Courant with colleague Bob Capers, and now Eric Lipton has another for some single-handed investigative journalism.

His reporting “showed how the influence of lobbyists can sway congressional leaders and state attorneys general, slanting justice toward the wealthy and connected.”

If there ever was a core issue in American government, that is it.

Congratulations, Eric. Your former colleagues are all rooting for your continued success.

(Now, if you could just write a book on how to take back the government.)


DeSilva Publishes No. 4.

A Scourge of Vipers, the fourth novel in Bruce DeSilva’s Edgar Award-winning series, has just been published. The protagonist is Liam Mulligan, an investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, R.I., the city where  Bruce began his journalism career way back in 1968. He moved on to become the Courant’s Boston guy and, later, writing coach.

The pre-publication buzz has been great, Bruce says:

Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, two of the bibles of the publishing industry, have both given it coveted starred reviews, the latter calling it “quality all the way.”

The Providence Journal review says: “DeSilva plainly belongs in the company of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, a contemporary tour guide through society’s seedy underbelly who has fashioned a masterpiece of hard-boiled crime melodrama.”

And James Lee Burke, a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, says: “Bruce DeSilva writes a story in the tradition of Hammett and Higgins, and he writes it with the knowledge of an old-time police reporter. DeSilva knows cops, corruption in eastern cities, wiseguys, rounders, bounders, gamblers, and midnight ramblers. He writes with authority about the issues of our times, and he does it with honesty and candor. If you want a hardboiled view of how a city actually works, this is your book.”

Here’s an interview with the cigar-chomping Courant refugee.


Freelance Success: No Oxymoron, She Says

Freelancing with Theresa Sullivan Barger: a 2-Part Writing Workshop

Beginning Saturday, March 14, and concluding Saturday, March 21, 9 am –  noon.

Freelance Writing success is not an oxymoron. This two-session course is about the business and craft of freelance writing, starting with finding ideas, selecting the right outlet and crafting pitches that sell. We’ll cover query letters, how to become your editors’ go-to writer and how to advance your writing career. We’ll address: making a living; avoiding slave wages; finding writing work; dealing with rejection – a fact of life for writers; essential tools of the trade; social media for writers; maximizing tax deductions and time-management. We’ll look at the pros and cons of being a specialist vs. a generalist and choosing the path that’s best for you. No matter where you are in your writing career, this class will help you move forward.

Theresa Sullivan Barger, a former staff writer and editor for The Hartford Courant, is an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Family Circle, The New York TimesYankee, AARP, The Saturday Evening Post, Center for Public Integrity, Yale Public Health, CFO, CT Health Investigative Team, AAA Horizons, and elsewhere. She led a freelance writing workshop in 2013 for The Mark Twain House & Museum’s Sunday Afternoon Writers’ Workshop series.

$100. Buy tickets here or by calling (860) 280-3130.  Mark Twain House events site.


A Last Remembrance of Ron Georgeff

To all who could not attend Ron’s recent memorial service, here are the remarks of the three speakers who were asked to reminisce about Ron.

Susan Campbell and Joe Nunes are longtime Courant colleagues, as all or nearly all of you know, and Ira Williams is Ron’s oldest friend, dating back to their years in college together in Kansas. Ira told us things few of us knew about him.

Susan Campbell:

I knew Ron was the national editor of the Hartford Courant, but I became better acquainted with him when he moved back to the Land of Broken Toys, the features department. No small amount of the staff members had been moved back there as punishment. They’d displeased or angered the gods, but who cares? What the gods didn’t know was that by sequestering all us ne’er-do-wells in one room, they were creating a potent mix of creativity, volatility, and fun.

Mostly fun.

In a weird way, the features department was a healing place for some of us, a place we could go to lick our wounds, get into some great arguments and basically, act in ways that might make us rotten as people, but fabulous as journalists.

I quickly learned that you could argue with Ron, but he was mostly right. I also learned that Ron could provide a unique perspective on just about any topic. If I wanted to argue perspectives, I could feel free to do so, but again, Ron was mostly right. His perspective on any topic was always deeper and more-thought-out than mine. About 30 percent of the columns I wrote were Ron’s idea. You could get into a conversation with him that would veer rather quickly into medieval music –

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