Stephen Wilbers is a keynote speaker, speech coach, and
author. He has offered training seminars in effective writing to more than
10,000 creative, business, technical, legal, and academic writers.
clients include Mayo
Clinic, Medtronic, 3M, Xcel, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the
Metropolitan Council, U.S. Bank, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Cargill,
Mortenson, Ryan Companies, Thomson Reuters, the Wilder Foundation, the Bush
Foundation, Fredrikson & Byron, Dorsey & Whitney, the Minnesota State Bar
Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and the Oregon State Bar
His 1,000 columns on effective writing have appeared in
newspapers and magazines
across the country, including
Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Since 1998 he has
taught written and oral presentation skills in the
University of Minnesota's
Technological Leadership Institute (formerly the Center for the
Development of Technological Leadership). He has also taught in the
University's Carlson School
of Management’s M.B.A. Program, the Program in American Studies, and the
Program in Creative and Professional Writing. In 1995 he won an Outstanding
Faculty Award in Hamline University’s Graduate Public Administration
His books include
Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write with Clarity, Emphasis, and
Style, a compilation of 52
writing techniques drawn from his
free monthly writing tips. His earlier book on
Keys to Great Writing: Mastering the Elements of Composition and
Revision, has been described as "a
writing class in a book." His revised and expanded edition of
Keys to Great Writing
features an introduction by Faith Sullivan and new writing exercises.
His doctoral dissertation, a
history of the Iowa Writers' Workshop,
was published by the University of Iowa Press. In addition, he has
published two collections of columns,
Writing for Business
(winner of a 1994 Minnesota Book Award) and
Writing by Wilbers.
He has also written three books about northern Minnesota's
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
This Northern Nonsense:
Ernest Oberholtzer and Mallard Island,
published by Red Dragonfly Press, is a chapbook of poems about the legacy of
the preservationist who helped save the Boundary Waters from development.
Boundary Waters History: Canoeing across Time
depicts efforts to preserve a remarkable wilderness on Minnesota’s northern
border while telling the story of canoeing for nearly 30 years with his
Canoeing the Boundary Waters Wilderness: A Sawbill Log
continues the story of the challenges, dangers, and rewards of wilderness
His current writing projects include Managerial
Communication for Technological Leaders: Persuasive Writing and
Speaking (a textbook); The
Columnist Who Wouldn't Go Away (selections from 1,000
These Northern Waters (poems about Ernest Oberholtzer and the
wilderness experience); and
Who Knows Where the Redbird Sleeps: A Grammatical Affair!?
wildly romantic love story that offers reflections on writing and
language in the
form of a novel);
as well as
"Lake Street Runner" (a story to
be published this summer
in a collection
by Flexible Press).
Dr. Wilbers earned his B.A. at Vanderbilt University and his M.A.
and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He
spent his junior year abroad in Aix-en-Provence, and he was a Visiting Fulbright
Fellow at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. He directed
the University of Iowa’s first campus-wide advising program, which
he helped plan and establish. At the
University of Minnesota he directed student academic support services in the
College of Liberal Arts, where he led the effort to recognize
American Sign Language
as “a complete and natural language”
that is grammatically and culturally
distinct from English.
also served both as associate
director and as acting director of the Program in Creative and
An avid reader,
canoeist, cyclist, Nordic ski racer, opera lover, pianist, and two-time skydiver,
he was born in Cincinnati. He lives in Minneapolis, where he served on the
Loft Literary Center’s
directors from 2003 to 2009 and as board chair from 2007 to 2009. He and
wife Debbie have two children and two grandchildren.
For additional information, see
Books by Stephen Wilbers
Contact Stephen Wilbers at