Rhinelander High School Alumnus receives 2022 George Orwell Award

By David Chrisinger
14 Feb 23

A 2005 Rhinelander High School Alumnus is making a name for himself in the writing world.

David Chrisinger received the 2022 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.

It was for his book entitled Public Policy Writing That Matters.

He got the inspiration for it while teaching a public policy course at John Hopkins University.

It was first published in 2017 with a second edition in 2022 after teaching at University of Chicago where he currently works as an Executive Director and Writing Director in the Academic and Student Affairs office, and where he leads the Harris Writing Program and the Persuasive Writing Credential Program.

“A lot of the lessons I teach in the book and that I teach my students are about putting down all the vitriol and name calling and blaming and trying to shame and guilt and all these different things and instead say, ‘Okay, what kind of future do we want? And how can we get there?’” said Chrisinger.

The George Orwell Award is given by the National Council of Teachers of English.

It was given to Chrisinger because his book “highlights the importance of public policy that is thoughtfully, concisely, and clearly written.”

Extended interview with author David Chrisinger.
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Past recipients include author Michael Pollan, philosopher Noam Chomsky, and comedian Jon Stewart.

“To be mentioned, not only in honor of George Orwell, but to be in that sort of esteemed company was really humbling and surprising and amazing,” said Chrisinger.

Chrisinger first read Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm while at Rhinelander High School.

He says he’s grateful for the education he received there.

“I learned how to be a good critical thinker and I learned how to read and write. At the time, I don’t think I thought, ‘Oh. This is going to make me a great writer someday.’ But I’m really glad that it did,” he said.

Chrisinger’s next book, The Soldier’s Truthwill be published in the spring. In it, Chrisinger retraces the steps of journalist Ernie Pyle during WWII.

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