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Should young writers worry about Sarah Palin?

By / October 31, 2008



That's the question popular book blog GalleyCat asks underneath a video in which acclaimed nature writer Barry Lopez speaks about next week's US presidential election and its impact on young writers.

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Actually, Lopez (author of the award-winning "Arctic Dreams"), speaking at the 2008 Whiting Writers Awards ceremony, says he is trying to focus on hope, although he admits to being terrified by the thought of Palin as vice president.

(Lopez is not specific about the source of his terror of Palin, although it is the case that her running mate John McCain has voted against federal funding for the arts.)

The video is part of a series GalleyCat is producing, starting yesterday, and stretching on up to election day next Tuesday, in which they ask more established writers how they believe the election results will impact young writers.

In yesterday's video, Lopez says he'd like all of us to nurture the promise in young writers rather than to burden them with the idea that the future will be dark if they do not achieve.

In today's video, short story writer and professor Manuel Munoz speaks about his creative writing students at the University of Arizona. As students at a state school, he worries about the impact any budget cuts could have on them.

Speaking directly to the writing community about the election is an interesting idea. Of course, it's also an idea more likely to support the left of the political spectrum than the right (it's already been noted by the press that Barack Obama has received more public support from big-name writers than has John McCain), but it's still a good reminder to all of us that national security and tax cuts – crucial though they may be – are not the only lenses through which to consider the votes we cast on Tuesday.

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