The Grady Writing Lab launched this semester to provide journalism students an opportunity to review and improve their writing outside of the traditional classroom.
Nick Chiles, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and best-selling author, is the lab’s first writing coach. Chiles returns to Grady following his writing seminar for NEWSCRAFT 19 held during spring semester.
“We are now all married to these devices in our hands, for better or for worse, but what’s interesting is that phenomenon has made the art of storytelling even more important than ever. The site and the piece that tells the best story gets the most attention, the most clicks,” said Chiles. “I want to help Grady students become skilled at telling stories, at understanding how to use the many tools now at their disposal to create crisp, clear and compelling narratives.”
Students can make appointments to meet with Chiles on Wednesdays and Thursdays this semester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments will take place in the Journalism Innovation Lab on the first floor of the Grady College inside Studio 100. Appointments can be made here. Students can also contact Chiles by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership will operate the writing lab, which will be funded by the William S. Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management.
“Writing skill is the foundation to becoming the best journalist you can be,” said Dr. Keith Herndon, who is the Cox Institute director and holds the Morris Chair. “Having a chance to work directly on your writing with someone of Chiles’ stature is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.”
Over the course of his 33-year career, Chiles has distinguished himself as one of the nation’s foremost chroniclers of African-American life, culture and celebrity—both as a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist. He is the author or co-author of 14 books, including three New York Times bestsellers he wrote with R&B icon Bobby Brown, civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and gospel legend Kirk Franklin. He is the co-author with Atlanta attorney Robbin Shipp of the book Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System, which was a finalist for a 2015 NAACP Image Award.
Chiles was a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, and magazine and website editor-in-chief during his years in journalism, winning nearly 20 major awards—including a 1992 Pulitzer Prize as part of a New York Newsday team. He has served as a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and taught at Princeton as a recipient of the prestigious Ferris Fellowship. Chiles is also a literary agent with the Manhattan-based agency, Aevitas Creative Management. He is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Atlanta.