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Prijatel, Patricia E.

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Comments from the author about writing: Minkay, my black and white Pekingese, loved to stand by the back door—two feet on the ground, two feet propping himself up on the frame around the screen—barking at squirrels.  When I was ten, I wrote an essay about this, describing him as “an old man in baggy pants.”  Oh my, I thought I was clever.  Nobody before me had ever seen a dog standing at a window and described him in this unique way.  Yes, I was that clever.

Five decades later, I know how clever I am not.  But that little attempt at describing my environment turned into a career as a writer and writing teacher.

I write because I am curious—I love to research, to figure things out, to analyze what is and wonder why and why not.  And, once I have this in my head, I find great reward in sharing what I have learned.

I have spent most of my career as a teacher—I taught magazine journalism at Drake University for 24 years until I retired in 2007, and I still regularly teach writing seminars and occasional classes at Drake.  Teaching and writing are complementary skills—they both require that you know what you’re talking about and can communicate it effectively.  And teaching always makes me look at my own writing with a critical eye, so I grow as a writer right along with my students.

When I was younger, I thought I would be a great novelist but learned early on that I was not so good at making up believable stories.  I also learned that I like non-fiction better—it’s that teaching thing again.

I have written articles for magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs and am the author of two books. I maintain a blog that educates readers about triple-negative breast cancer, but it has also been important in helping me fine-tune my skills as an essayist.

Minkay and my 10-year-old self are all long gone, but the rewards I get from writing and teaching continue to grow, develop and change every day.  It’s a great life.

Book Types: Nonfiction

Audience Types: Adults

Genre: Medicine, Publishing

Are you willing to do programs for schools, libraries, or other groups? Yes

If you are willing to do programs, will you charge a fee? Negotiable based on the audience, location, and length of the presentation.

E-mail Address:

Phone:  515-256-0609

Author's Web site:

County: Polk

Books By This Author

  • The Magazine from Cover to Cover, third edition, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2012.
  • Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 2012.

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