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October 14, 2003

The late George Plimpton to be posthumously honored at Writing Today 2004

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The late author, editor, and actor George Plimpton will be posthumously honored as Grand Master of the 24th Writing Today conference at Birmingham-Southern College March 12-13.

Plimpton, who was editor of The Paris Review since its founding in 1953 and also served as contributing editor to a number of magazines and periodicals, including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Harper's, died in September. While he accepted the role as Grand Master for the Writing Today 2004 conference prior to his death, the conference planning committee chose to honor him posthumously.

“We are all saddened by Mr. Plimpton's death, and we mourn his loss to the world of arts and letters,” said Florence Jackson, chair of the Writing Today 2004 conference. “He was a singular talent, and we want to use the occasion of the 2004 conference to recognize his work.” The Writing Today conference brings literary professionals from around the country to the BSC campus for how-to workshops and lectures on the literary arts, as well as practical information necessary to the craft of writing. The conference explores a wide variety of genres, including the novel, short story, screenwriting, biography, newspaper and magazine feature writing, children's and young adult writing, and poetry, among others.

Plimpton wrote 10 sports books, as well as published oral biographies on, among others, Robert F. Kennedy and Truman Capote. He was known for using the technique of “participatory journalism” as he used in his well-known book “Paper Lion,” which chronicles his legendary experiences playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions. He also wrote several anthologies and compiled a number of books from the pages of The Paris Review. In addition, he co-edited the first three volumes of the “American Literary Anthology.” Plimpton also appeared in more than 30 films.

For more information on the Writing Today 2004 conference, call 205/226-4921 or e-mail



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