Sports Writing Q&A

12
Jul
2019

Discover your voice and make meaningful friendships! Our Teen Summer Workshops (for 11-14 year olds) provide students with an intensive, enriching writing experience that not only fosters open creative expression but also builds confidence and strengthens communication skills in a safe, supportive environment.

We would love for you to join us, whether you’ve been writing for years or just want to be part of a unique creative process.

We spoke with Jim McConville, who is teaching our “Sports Writing” summer workshop (August 19-23, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; ages 10-13), to find out what he loves about writing and sports.

Read more and register here.

PWN: What book featuring a sport do you recommend and why?

JIM: A sports book I would recommend would be The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy. Not only do I think the title is so interesting and powerful, but it is a really neat look into one of the most famous and popular American athletes of all time. It provides a look into Mantle’s life outside of baseball that I knew the footnotes to but not really the whole story. A very interesting look at how we worship athletes and celebrities in this country.

PWN: What similarities do you see between the drama of a story and the drama of a sporting event?

JIM: I see endless similarities between the drama of a story and the drama of a sporting event. Wondering what the characters will do versus wondering how the athletes will perform, how the ball will roll on a certain day, who will get the lucky bounce. And on top of that, I think there is such a connection that develops between the viewer and the character/athlete. If you are engrossing yourself in a book or a game, it seems only natural to develop a rooting interest for someone or something and be with them until the end.

PWN: What do you hope your students will take away from this camp?

JIM: I hope the students leave with an even more attentive, curious, and critical eye than they arrived with. I hope they will continue to notice the smallest details in sports and life and savor those moments in their writing. And I hope they will see, if they do not already, that sports stories are about so much more than sports.

PWN: What’s your favorite sport to write about and why?

JIM: My favorite sport to write about is baseball. From Bull Durham to Mickey Mantle to Walt Whitman believing baseball was part of the soul of the United States, I think there is something inherently innocent and wide-eyed and romantic about big grassy outfields and sun-cooked dirt infields. Playing through the summer and ending in autumn—I think there is a metaphor there!

Read more and register here.

Jim McConville is a Writing Instructor for Project Write Now.