Writing Lite

Beginnings: The IWPA/ NFPW Heritage – IWPA

Beginnings: The IWPA/ NFPW Heritage – IWPA

The story of the National Federation of Press Women began more than 80 years ago when Helen Miller Malloch had a vision for a national organization of professional newspaperwomen and writers in 1935, similar to the vision Marion MacBride from the Boston Post had in 1884, as the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial took place …

Source: www.iwpa.org/beginnings-the-iwpa-nfpw-heritage/

Fanny Met Mary and Made Chicago History – IWPA

Fanny Met Mary and Made Chicago History – IWPA

Fanny Butcher turned to the “News of the Women’s Clubs” page of the Chicago Tribune. There she found listings for a wealth of meeting and event announcements. The year was 1912 and the Chicago woman’s club movement was thriving and in full swing. Notes from the Illinois Woman’s Press Association archives highlight just such an …

Source: www.iwpa.org/fanny-met-mary-and-made-chicago-history/

A Beauty Who Never Grew Old – IWPA

A Beauty Who Never Grew Old – IWPA

Lillian Russell was flamboyant, talented and the unmistakable beauty of her generation. Her voice and appearance led her to a celebrated career and lifestyle unmatched in the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. She performed as a leading singer of operettas and musical theatre throughout the United States and from 1906 until …

Source: www.iwpa.org/a-beauty-who-never-grew-old/

Spinning Magic Was Her Specialty – IWPA

Spinning Magic Was Her Specialty – IWPA

The “Chicago Story Lady” had a remarkable knack for telling a good fairy tale. Born the tenth child in a family of eleven children, Chicago native, Georgene Faulkner realized she had a gift for writing and performing enchanting stories. Dressed in costumes appropriate for her tales, Georgene spun her talent into a career entertaining children, …

Source: www.iwpa.org/spinning-magic-was-her-specialty/

Kathryn Winslow: Extraordinary Friendships Led to Her Remarkable Life – IWPA

Kathryn Winslow: Extraordinary Friendships Led to Her Remarkable Life – IWPA

Her name was Kathryn Winslow. She was a novelist, businesswoman, a publicist for a World’s Fair, and a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. She was also the first woman honored by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association as its “Woman of Achievement.” The author of three books, the first Big Pan Out: The Story …

Source: www.iwpa.org/kathryn-winslow-extraordinary-friendships-led-to-her-remarkable-life/

The Era of the Book Bazaar – IWPA

The Era of the Book Bazaar – IWPA

During the 1920s, Chicago newspapers often featured the activities of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association in their “Women’s Club Page.” Two such events during this time hosted by IWPA’s active membership included an Easter “Charity Bazaar” which was held at the Blackstone Hotel. The Association collected autographed books from Illinois authors for sale at the …

Source: www.iwpa.org/the-era-of-the-book-bazaar/

Devoting Her Life to the Welfare of Humanity – IWPA

Devoting Her Life to the Welfare of Humanity – IWPA

Jessie A. Ackerman was featured in Prominent Women of Illinois published in 1932 by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. She was often referred to throughout her life as the most traveled woman in the world by her peers. From those travels she worked as a social reformer, authored books, was a journalist and lectured advocating …

Source: www.iwpa.org/devoting-her-life-to-the-welfare-of-humanity/

A Sister Who Served – IWPA

A Sister Who Served – IWPA

There are 2,853.03 miles between Chicago, Illinois and Anchorage, Alaska. It is a journey Cornelia Templeton Jewett Hatcher would make at least nine times during her life beginning in 1909. That year Cornelia, then known as Cornelia Templeton Jewett, was the managing editor of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union’s weekly publication, The Union Signal and …

Source: www.iwpa.org/a-sister-who-served/

The Novel Achievement of Clara Louise Burnham – IWPA

The Novel Achievement of Clara Louise Burnham – IWPA

Clara Louise Burnham was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on May 26, 1854. She was one of six children of music educator and composer Dr. George F. Root, (Sheffield Berkshire County, Massachusetts) and his wife, Mary Woodman (Boston, Massachusetts). Early in Clara’s childhood Dr. Root moved his family from Newton to Chicago, Illinois. Clara, a Christian …

Source: www.iwpa.org/11931-2/

Ever the Advocate: Kate F. O’Connor – IWPA

Ever the Advocate: Kate F. O’Connor – IWPA

One thousand pine trees were planted across an acre of the Mason state forest in celebration of Kate F. O’Connor’s life.  She had died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, following a heart attack during the spring of 1945 and the members of the 12th district of the Illinois Federation of Women’s clubs wished for …

Source: www.iwpa.org/ever-the-advocate-kate-f-oconnor/

A Woman of Insight & Integrity – IWPA

A Woman of Insight & Integrity – IWPA

Helen Ekin Starrett was exactly the type of woman who lived her life to the fullest. In constant motion as a wife and mother, she also took on the roles of author, editor, publisher, inventor, educator, reporter, respected business woman, Temperance member, volunteer and mentor. A long-time suffragist, she was one of two delegates in …

Source: www.iwpa.org/a-woman-of-insight-integrity/

So We All May Be Heard… Achieving Lifetime Status – IWPA

So We All May Be Heard… Achieving Lifetime Status – IWPA

As the historian and archivist of IWPA, I enjoy researching, discovering and writing about the women who have made contributions to the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. Writing about those who have long passed away and left us a trail of historical facts often provides me with imprints of their personalities and vision. It is not …

Source: www.iwpa.org/so-we-all-may-be-heard-achieving-lifetime-status/

Annie and Charles: The Sergels of Chicago – IWPA

Annie and Charles: The Sergels of Chicago – IWPA

Annie Myers Sergel’s spirit of harmony and cooperation garnered her respect and sincere affection within the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. On many occasions, Annie, along with her husband Charles, delighted in hosting soirees and dinner parties for IWPA events in their Chicago home. Such was the reputation of the Sergel’s as entertainers that invitations to …

Source: www.iwpa.org/annie-and-charles-the-sergels-of-chicago/

The Lively Optimist – IWPA

The Lively Optimist – IWPA

Her lively wit, wide sympathies and quick banter made Ethel Colson a popular lecturer and earned her numerous friends in the many social clubs of her era. She had the ability to identify with her audiences and that appeal was present throughout her writings, lectures and leadership. She understood the problems women faced and taught …

Source: www.iwpa.org/the-lively-optimist/

Journey of Conviction – IWPA

Journey of Conviction – IWPA

She was an American activist for women’s rights, a key temperance reformer, journalist and a woman of great moral conviction. She spent most of her early life campaigning for a woman’s right to vote. Her experience as a national newspaper woman helped her advance the cause during her travels across the country. To many, Cornelia …

Source: www.iwpa.org/journey-of-conviction/

Emerging Influence: The History of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association – Part I: The Founding – IWPA

Emerging Influence: The History of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association – Part I: The Founding – IWPA

They were trailblazers. Some were press women from the city, some new arrivals in Chicago; many of them were editors who wrote using their own name though countless others wrote under genderless nom-de-plumes; most of them were active in the temperance and equal suffrage movements. They were the first generation of women focused on advancements …

Source: www.iwpa.org/emerging-influence-the-history-of-the-illinois-womans-press-association-part-i-the-founding/

A Spirit of Happiness – IWPA

A Spirit of Happiness – IWPA

Throughout her life, Mary Augusta Dickerson had a youthful imagination. Born in New York City, New York in September of 1876, she was the daughter of Alfred James Dickerson and Nancy Augusta (Higgins). Mary would graduate as the valedictorian of her class at St. Mary’s School in New York City. Her talent led her first to …

Source: www.iwpa.org/a-spirit-of-happiness/

Her World Travels Inspired Stories for Children – IWPA

Her World Travels Inspired Stories for Children – IWPA

Bernadine Freeman Bailey, journalist, photographer, lecturer, American short story writer, and notable author of books for children served as the “war-time” president of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association from 1941-1945. Born in Mattoon, Illinois, on the 12th of November 1901, Bernadine’s parents were Thomas Oscar Freeman, a prominent physician and surgeon and Nellie Voigt, homemaker …

Source: www.iwpa.org/her-world-travels-inspired-stories-for-children/

She Was the Golden Penny – IWPA

She Was the Golden Penny – IWPA

Leona Alford Krag Malek, pioneer journalist, nationally recognized home economist, radio personality, actress and clubwoman, was also known as Jean Prescott Adams, an authority of domestic economy and to thousands of newspaper readers as “Prudence Penny.” Malek served as the nineteenth president of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association from 1929 to 1935. Born in Illinois …

Source: www.iwpa.org/she-was-the-golden-penny/

Past President Was “Golden Age” Celebrity Interviewer – IWPA

Past President Was “Golden Age” Celebrity Interviewer – IWPA

So We All Can Be Heard – Winter 2014 By Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, IWPA Historian During Chicago’s “Golden Age of Radio,” Helen Stevens Fisher was a radio personality. Her best known character “The Little Lady of the House” was a feature on The National Farm and Home Hour, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture describes as …

Source: www.iwpa.org/past-president-was-golden-age-celebrity-interviewer-2/

High School Contest Flashback – IWPA

High School Contest Flashback – IWPA

So We All Can Be Heard – Summer 2013 By Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, IWPA Historian In the beginning it was known as the “Editorial Writing Contest for High School Girls.” Earliest mention of the contest appeared in the September, 1972 edition of the IWPA newsletter, PenPoints. Back in the day, young ladies were presented with a sterling …

Source: www.iwpa.org/high-school-contest-flashbak/

Now There Are Four – IWPA

Now There Are Four – IWPA

So We All Can Be Heard – Fall 2013 by Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas Now there are four: Gladys Erickson – 1967, Joanne Zerkel – 1986, Olga Carlile – 1992, and myself, Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas – 2013. The histories of IWPA and NFPW will forever regard us on the impressive list of national winners of the highly respected Communicator …

Source: www.iwpa.org/now-there-are-four-of-them/

Mary Moncure Parker – IWPA

Mary Moncure Parker – IWPA

So We All Can Be Heard  By Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas Mary Moncure Parker was a born entertainer. With a gift for writing humorist monologues she knew how to impersonate characters and read her stories with dramatic flair. In the multitude of show reviews written about Mary, the Chicago Tribune said, “She would make a great actress.” …

Source: www.iwpa.org/mary-moncure-parker/

Still Making a Difference… – IWPA

Still Making a Difference… – IWPA

So We All Can Be Heard – Summer 2014 By Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas In 1986, Joanne Zerkel was honored by both the Illinois Woman’s Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women as their “Woman of Achievement” (now known as Communicator of Achievement). In response to her award Zerkel told attendees at the 1986 national …

Source: www.iwpa.org/still-making-a-difference/

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