West Seattle 101 was Seattle’s first neighborhood guidebook. A collection of 101 stories on fun things to do in this eclectic Seattle neighborhood, the title sold enough copies to put 1 book in the household of every 4 residents who lived in West Seattle at the time of publication. It quickly became a coffee table classic for locals and a hot ticket item for realtors marketing this up-and-coming area.
Design by Allison Kline, Photography by Mike Hipple, Illustration by Damon Brown
Hinton envisioned writing a book about West Seattle with short stories that would highlight local icons, outdoor activities, dining, arts & entertainment and area history—revealing interesting tidbits that would surprise even long-time residents. But writing a book is a monumental task.
The freelance writer figured if she could write one story per week for two years, she would have a hundred articles to repurpose in a collection and publish as a guidebook. She pitched the West Seattle Herald the idea of writing a column called “101 Things to Do in West Seattle.” At first, the editor was skeptical, wondering if there really were that many things to do in West Seattle, and if Hinton would have the persistence and follow through to make it to 101. The next day she presented her first 50 ideas to the paper and her column was born.
The weekly column quickly took off and began attracting followers. By the time she had reached 101 stories, her loyal audience was ready for “the book.” They felt as if the book was about them and their neighbors and were proud to be a part of it. The first printing sold out in three months and the second printing followed shortly thereafter. Hinton continued to write her column for nearly a decade, compiling a whole lot more than “101 things to do.” Lori has been asked again and again if she will do a sequel, as the neighborhood is changing and growing faster than ever. So stay tuned…
Got a great story? Take the road less traveled. Your story is unique. The way you tell it should be too. Contact Lori Hinton to find out how.