Series to discuss career choices for writers

The Professional Writing Series at WSU Vancouver continues with an exploration of an essential issue for many working professionals: “Should Writers Quit Their Day Jobs?”

The discussion will take place at 7 p.m on Feb. 16. in the Multimedia Classroom Building Room 6 on the WSU Vancouver campus. Author and journalist Michael Balter will lead the discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Balter, author of “The Goddess and the Bull,” has written for Science, Travel & Leisure, and Bon Appetit magazines as well as the L.A. Times and the Los Angeles Weekly. He currently lives and works in Paris.

Balter’s book examines an ancient archeological site in Turkey. Balter said that he quit his day job as Science magazine’s Paris bureau chief to write the book. But, he added, this wasn’t the first time he’d made such a bold move. In the 1970s, after receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology, Balter turned his back on an academic career in the sciences and launched a new one in journalism.

“That’s the first time I quit my day job,” he said.

There are two remaining events in this year’s Professional Writing Series. Award-winning author Diana Abu-Jaber, author of “The Language of Baklava,” “Crescent,” and “Arabian Jazz,” will discuss “Taking Creative Risks” on March 2. On April 6, a panel of WSU Vancouver graduates from the campus’ Professional Writing Program will examine “After the Degree, What’s Next?”

All events are scheduled for Thursday nights at 7 p.m. in the Multimedia Classroom Building on the WSU Vancouver Campus. For more information, contact Pamela Smith Hill at (360) 546-9677 or

The Professional Writing Series is an annual event that brings writers and editors from multiple backgrounds to campus to share their insight, experience and artistic vision with the larger WSU Vancouver community.

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking rules are enforced Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking is available in the blue lot for $2.00 or at parking meters.

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