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Boreal Community Media

Meet your Boreal Community Media Freelance Journalist: Greg Seitz

Mar 19, 2023 07:47AM ● By Editor
Submitted photos.

A Boreal Community Media Exclusive - March 19, 2023.

Did your passion for writing develop early in your life?
Yes. When I was about seven, my dad bought the family an Amstrad word processor, and I was pretty excited to have a computer in the house. But all you could really do was write on it! So that's what I did, and I wrote a story about four dogs on a trip down a river.

Who (or what) inspired you to pursue professional writing?
My dad was a writer and we joke that it's an inherited disease. I hold his opinion of my writing in high regard. If he likes something, it means a lot. I also had an excellent English teacher in tenth grade who liked what I wrote, and other teachers who helped me get a writing scholarship to the University of Minnesota. That encouragement goes so far for teenagers. I often say writing is the only thing I'm any good at, so pursuing it professionally seemed like my only choice.

What are a few of your favorite stories that you have written about in the past?
In 2014, I broke the news of a massive expansion of an oil pipeline that crosses the St. Croix River and tributaries in northwestern Wisconsin. That had a big impact and that's always rewarding. Same with several articles that have shined a light on the risks of large-scale livestock farming in our region. I was also in the Boundary Waters in September 2011, due east of the Pagami Creek Fire, and provided photos and firsthand reports that got a lot of attention. Lately, I've been writing a lot of history and something I recently published about the métis culture in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota revealed a story that's largely been lost to history. 

What are some of your favorite spots along the North Shore?
Anywhere I can throw rocks in the lake. Sugarloaf Cove is really beautiful and natural, I love walking out on the rocky point there. My wife's family has also had a long relationship with Lutsen and we've spent a lot of time on the beach there. Last fall, I had a great camp at the Forest Service's Temperance River campground; I love anywhere I can sleep to the sound of running water.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I loved Jonathan Slaght's book "Owls of the Eastern Ice," and am intrigued by the wild areas and rivers of Russia's Far East. It seems difficult to reach, which means a lot of those rivers are not traveled often. Reading Ian Frazier's book "Travels in Siberia" also made me want to visit that huge, historic, but sparsely populated region.

What is the best advice that you were ever given (and who gave you that advice)?
If you want to write, write a lot. I don't know where I picked that up, but it's worked. I studied writing for my undergraduate degree, and then spent the last 20 years writing as much as I can to improve my craft. I found the experience of publishing new work almost every week helped me as much or more than any formal education.

Greg's first Boreal Community Media article can be found here:


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