11-year-old decided that journalism was her future. The rest is history.

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature 2011 Memoir & Creative Nonfiction finalist:

News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist
Laurie Hertzel
University of Minnesota Press


Excerpt from an interview with Laurie Hertzel:

“News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist is a sort of coming-of-age story, and a look at newsrooms back in the days of fedoras and typewriters, and the experiences of a woman in a man’s world. Parts of it are pretty funny – hopefully, the parts I intended.”


News to Me is the story of Hertzel’s journey into the world of print journalism in the mid-1970s. The book is a chronicle of a small-city newspaper on the cusp of transformation, a portrait of Duluth and its people, and the account of a persistent journalist.


Laurie Hertzel worked at the Duluth News Tribune as a newsroom clerk, librarian, copy editor, beat reporter, feature writer, news editor, and columnist. Her journalistic work has won numerous national awards, and her short fiction was honored with the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize.


“Salty characters abound in this charming, picaresque tale of the shy girl growing up mentored by the smoky, boozy, old-style reporters that populated the newsrooms of the ‘70s. Her loving portraits of these denizens never fail to charm.”  – mnartists.org

“This affectionate and insightful memoir may recount Laurie Hertzel’s days at the Duluth News Tribune but it will resonate with anyone who has loved newspapers and newspaper reporting.”  – Louise Kiernan (Chicago Tribune senior editor)

“Laurie is a top notch storyteller and this book is an intimate and entertaining look at a wonderful career in journalism.”  – Cathy Wurzer

News to Me was such a funny book, as in laugh out loud. I also enjoyed the author’s honesty about her career and profession. Her down-to-earth tone with well-timed writing made the book so appealing. Reading about Duluth – which is one of my favorite cities to visit in Minnesota – was also a highlight.”  – Minnesota Book Awards Preliminary Judge

Book Trailer:

Dig a little deeper and check out the three-part series featuring stories from the book on MinnPost.com back in August, 2010:



Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Each year in the weeks leading up to the Minnesota Book Awards gala, all Minnesotans are invited to take part in voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. Vote now through the end of March. Please, only one vote per person.

Have you read News to Me? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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