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The Palmer Method

August 23, 1992

David Reid's review of Raymond Carver's book "No Heroics, Please" (July 19) brought back old memories. Quoting Reid: "His first formal instruction in writing was a correspondence course from something called the Palmer Institute of Writing. . . . "

That something was probably the best-run correspondence school around. Back in 1940, as a recent graduate of Syracuse University's College of Forestry, I too enrolled with Palmer to get a start in writing. Their ads in The Writer promised professional help, and that was what they delivered. I still have my old lessons in my files, with some very helpful critiques from my instructor written in the margins.

After World War II, thanks to that good start, I made my living with my typewriter, both as an advertising copywriter, and a writer of books and articles. Incidentally, the correct name was Palmer Institute of Authorship.

JERRY COWLE, PACIFIC PALISADES

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