By Caylee Hanna / Staff Reporter
S.C. Gwynne, an American writer, came to Amarillo College Dec. 5 and 6 to kick off the AC Creative Mind Series for 2019-2020, which revolves around the theme “Reverberations of Conflict: The Legacy of the Civil War.”
Gwynne spoke to history classes, gave a free lecture at the Amarillo Globe News Center and held a writer’s workshop to offer advice to young journalists and aspiring writers.
“The single most important piece of writing is the transition between the ideas ideally in your outline,” Gwynne said during the workshop.
“There’s no way I could ever write transitions without having an outline because good writing is really just moving through these ideas in a sequence.”
Gwynne also explained his transition from being a journalist to writing about history.
“I would say on a very fundamental level, writing history is just really, really slow journalism,” Gwynne said.
“In journalism, you have editors breathing down your neck. You’re on deadline and that’s the way it works. So eventually where I landed was writing a history book. You can write in leisure in the privacy of your own room or a library and it’s what I prefer to do.”
Gwynne was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his 2010 book “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Tribe in American History.”
His latest book is called “Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War.”
Courtney Milleson, associate professor of speech, helped organize this event along with Eric Fauss, assistant professor of social sciences and coordinator of the Creative Mind Series. Milleson said that the goal of the event was to inspire attendees.
“I hope the audience knows how incredibly powerful the written word is,” Milleson said.
“We have the power to tell our stories, feelings and emotions. And if we just take the time to hone that craft, we can really begin to be change agents in our entire stratosphere.”
Students also learned about upcoming opportunities that Gwynne is exploring.
“I found it interesting when Gwynne explained his journey and future opportunities he might have with a possible movie,” Jessika Fulton, a mass media major, said.
Along with Gwynne’s visit, an exhibit of photographs titled “Ruins of the Civil War,” on loan from the Library of Congress is on display now through Jan. 8 at AC’s Southern Light Gallery in the Ware Student Commons.
Additional events for the Creative Mind Series will take place in the spring.