Let’s face it: most textbooks are a snoozefest. But “The Radical Write” not only features great student writing, but fun, insightful and inspiring narration from Bobby. One of the toughest things for a teacher to get across to high school students is to develop and trust in their own “voices” as writers. It’s just a little bit easier when you can provide those students with a book written with Bobby’s strong, intriguing voice. I don’t want some wimpy, namby-pamby “just do your best, honey” kind of text for my students. I want them challenged to do their very best, to see that high school students can write with skill and passion, without any “Well, that’s pretty good for a kid” nonsense. This text never apologizes. To not have copies of “The Radical Write” in your classroom is just willful ignorance, and you seem like a smart teacher. Buy the damn book.”

— Jack Kennedy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Half the battle of teaching kids journalism is getting them to present the news to their readers. The other half – the more difficult half – is getting those same journalists to present that news in a form that makes their audiences want to read it. ‘The Radical Write’ teaches both skills – how to present the news and how to write that news in a compelling manner. It’s a great resource in my classroom.
— Jim Streisel, HiLite adviser, Carmel High School, Carmel, IN

“Like its author, Radical Write is casual, contemporary and grounded toward an ardent story telling mission. The insightful book features low-key, humor-flavored, anecdotal discussion linked to pertinent, student-generated examples, which combine to provide an insightful formula that engages student writers. Indeed, kids love it. Particularly the discussion of interpretive reporting — something not found in many texts — resonates well with the news magazine staffs of Spark.”

Dean Hume, Spark Adviser, Lakota East High School, Lakota, OH

"Warning: Reading the Radical Write could cause a wholesale disruption of all that you hold dear in traditional journalism. It will result in abandonment of the inverted pyramid, inane “Imagine…” leads, month-old news summaries and other outdated practices of scholastic journalism. Side-effects include laughter at Bobby’s humorous voice, amazement at his many great examples and a dedication to narrative journalism – that is, telling actual stories about real people."

— Jim Woehrle, Newspaper Adviser, Midland High School, Midland, MI

“I started using Bobby Hawthorne’s Radical Write shortly after the first edition was published in 1994. Finally, a journalistic writing textbook that recognized the increasingly-changing world of how news consumers absorbed information. Hawthorne’s book was radical insofar that it looked at the function of modern scholastic journalism, veering away from trite inverted-pyramid coverage and over emphasis on data, and focused on the essence of good story telling, namely people! If I could have only one textbook to satisfy all of my writing needs, the Radical Write is clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest.”

Tom Pilcher, Media Adviser, Hoover High School, Des Moines, Iowa


I can’t imagine a high school journalism room operating without The Radical Write. Unlike other textbooks, this book not only helpful and insightful, it’s a fun read. I never have to worry about my students’ eyes glazing over when we read this book. The format is perfect for this generation of scan readers.

Carol Richtsmeier, Publications Adviser, Midlothian High School, Midlothian, TX