Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Connecting curious minds with uncommon, undeniably Northwest reads

Writing the Northwest

A Reporter Looks Back

Hill Williams

Foreword by Jim Kershner


Award-winning, amiable journalist Hill Williams spent decades reporting Northwest news. Now, in his distinctly regional and most personal book, he transforms his stories into inviting, candid narratives about Hanford, Celilo Falls, whale-hunters, salmon researchers, growing up on the dry side of Washington, and more.


Gift Wrap Design

Gift wrap ($5.00)

SKU: 978-0-87422-345-3 Categories: , , Tags: ,


Pasco, Washington native Hill Williams reported Northwest news for decades. Now, in his memoir, he transforms his favorite and most memorable stories into inviting, candid narratives that bestow a remarkable gift—a window into the heart of this affable and seasoned regional journalist.

Employing a genuine, homespun style with a hint of nostalgia, he reminisces about unforgettable people, places, and events he covered, natural and human history, and a vanished time in his chosen profession. He writes about Hanford and a Coast Guard officer’s heroism. He captures what it was like to grow up on the dry side of Washington during the 1930s and 1940s and work before computers became ubiquitous. He shares his own eyewitness accounts–the flooding of Celilo Falls, the first water flowing from the Columbia Irrigation Project, a 1952 nuclear test in Nevada, and a giant displaced rock in the middle of the scablands.

Hill Williams received his BA in journalism and his MA in communications, both from the University of Washington. He began his journalism career at the Kennewick Courier-Reporter in 1948, and subsequently worked as a writer and reporter in the Seattle area. From 1967 until he retired in 1991, he was the science writer for the Seattle Times. His book, The Restless Northwest: A Geological Story, won the Washington State Book Award in 2003. Writing the Northwest is his third–and most personal–title with Washington State University Press.

Illustrations / index / 186 pages (2017)


“[Hill Williams’ stories] evoke the tenor and mood of the era better than facts and figures could…I don’t know of any books that cover so much of Washington’s history and natural history, from Tatoosh Island to Pasco. The breadth of subject matterfrom basalt to linotype machines to atomic bombs to radiator baby-bottle holdersis one of the things I loved most.”Jim Kershner, award-winning journalist and senior correspondent for The Spokesman Review. His recent book is Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life

“Hill Williams has traveled so broadly for so many years that he can report captivating aspects of two worlds–the wonders of our globe and the intriguing details of the fascinating Northwest that he so plainly loves.”Bill Hall, former humor columnist and editorial page editor for the Lewiston Morning Tribune. He is the author of several books, including Frank Church, D.C., and Me

“Being at the right place at the right time seems to be a theme in this homey memoir of Hill Williams, veteran Northwest reporter…Williams’ style is clear, simple and straightforward—befitting a journalist of his years and experience.”—Key Peninsula News

Read the full review

When Williams retired from The Seattle Times in 1991, he was one of the finest science writers in America…From Hanford to Hiroshima, Celilo Falls to Tiananmen Square, this memoir is a moveable feast.“—Columbia Magazine


Additional information

Dimensions 6 x 9 in