What’s Your Best Column Ever?

you, the columnist 

By Dave Lieber

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Columnist


Nice publicity hit on the top-15-columns-of-all-time survey at the NSNC conference. Book researcher polls our membership. Results make news.

   Thanks to Newsweek-The Daily Beast senior political columnist John Avlon for asking us to help him do research for his new book, Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns. Can’t wait to read it. Nice to know a publisher has interest in such a subject.

   Results summary: In columnist’s footrace, Ernie’s Captain Waskow wins. “Yes, Virginia …” gets silver. The late Molly Ivins is there for the bronze.

   Rest of all-star team includes: Westbrook Pegler; Jimmy Breslin; Leonard Pitts Jr.; Murray Kempton; Dave Barry; Mike Royko; H.L. Mencken; Steve Lopez; Walter Lippmann; Chris Rose; Red Smith, and Marjorie Williams.

   By my count, six have NSNC ties, and I’m not talking about the Kramer tie. Ivins and Lopez are in the Ernie Pyle Hall of Fame. Pitts is a Columnist of the Year winner. Chris Rose and Dave Barry spoke to us. (Not even counting Breslin who stood up the group 20 years ago.)

   But enough about those luminaries.

   What about YOU?

   Since this column is called “you, the columnist,” that means it ain’t about them. We want to know about your best column ever.

   Would you send me a summary of the story behind your #1 column? What did you write? Why is it the best?

   I’ll print the responses in my October column from every NSNC member who sends me a paragraph summary. I’ll include your name, your website (to promote you, the columnist) and your description of your best ever.

   INSTRUCTIONS: Send a paragraph or two to me by e-mail to dave@yankeecowboy.com in the next few weeks. OK, you need a deadline. I get it. Sept. 21, (chosen since on that day in 1897 “Yes, Virginia…” appeared.)

   INCLUDE: Your full name. Your website, if you wish. City and state where you live. Your current columnist status (retired, working for, etc.). And your description of your greatest column ever. Send this by Sept. 21 to dave@yankeecowboy.com.

   I bet your stories are just as good.


Dave Lieber is founder of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation. Learn about his newest book at BadDadBook.com.

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