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July 8, 2013
By Elisa Lanter, media relations assistant
Jason Offutt, Northwest Missouri State University instructor of mass media, is publishing two books this summer. A non-fiction work was released June 1, and a novel is being released in late August.
“Across a Corn-Swept Land: An epic beer run through the Upper Midwest,” is a humorous travelogue of his journey on U.S. Highway 71 from Maryville to Canada. Offutt writes about the tourist spots he visited near the roadway.
“I have always loved travel writing,” Offutt said. “I wanted to write my own travelogue and focus on the strange tourist hotspots in the Midwest.”
The other book, to be released later this summer, is an end-of-the-world, science fiction novel. An official title has not been determined, but Offutt said the book is about a new antidepressant that becomes popular and begins to show strange side effects among animals and humans.
“A former student contacted me on Facebook last year and challenged me to finish a book by last November, which is National Novel Writing Month,” Offutt said.
While he didn’t finish the draft by his self-imposed November deadline, Offutt completed it shortly thereafter.
Offutt has written and published seven books as a faculty member at Northwest with all but one being non-fiction. His first book, released in 2005, is titled “On Being Dad” and includes comical articles about being a parent. He also has written about paranormal occurrences.
“Northwest has such a great environment,” Offutt said. “Working here allows me to have time to travel and time to continue my writing. I use the same techniques in writing that I teach in the classroom, which keeps me fresh.”
Offutt, who begins his ninth year as a faculty member at the University this fall, is now working on a book about his recent travels to London.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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