An award-winning journalist for more than 34 years and author of three nonfiction books, Michele Weldon is a prolific and accomplished storyteller across many platforms and genres, with the continuous thread through her work of compelling narrative. As a writer, speaker or instructor, she maintains a consistency of voice and a belief that true, authentic stories are her mission.
Her first critically acclaimed book, I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman, (Hazelden/ HCI, 1999), has had more than a dozen printings and was translated into seven languages. A 2012 ebook was released. Weldon’s second book, Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden/HCI, 2001), has been translated into four languages and is the basis of her Writing to Save Your Life Workshops given in the Chicago area and around the country. It was also re-relased in a new edition in 2012 with an updated foreword and new essays. In “Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page,” (University of Missouri, 2008), Weldon writes about the future of American journalism and the intersection of popular culture and media in modern storytelling. Weldon has also been featured as a live storyteller on The Moth and Here’s The Story in Chicago.
She has written chapters in several books, including the 2011 book, This I Believe: Fatherhood: Essays from NPR (Henry Holt). Her December 2010 reading of the essay, “A Father Is Born From Many Strangers” at an NPR “This I Believe” event in Chicago was broadcast on NPR with an interview by Bob Edwards. Weldon also contributed a chapter, “The Changing Nature of News” to the Encyclopedia of 21st Century Media (Sage, 2009). In 1989, her essay, “Making Readers Want Novels is Writer’s Hardest Job,” was published as a chapter in Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (University Press of Mississippi).
Since 1996 Weldon taught journalism at the graduate and undergraduate levels at her alma mater, Northwestern University’s Medill School. As assistant professor in journalism, Weldon led the redesign of the freshmen undergraduate curriculum with groundbreaking instruction in Reporting & Writing and Multimedia Storytelling. She also taught courses in 21st century media, enterprise reporting and journalism methods, and served as the writing coach for the graduate students. She retired in June 2013 as assistant professor emerita in service and launched MedillThink, an initiative to increase the visibility of new ideas about journalism from faculty and the Medill community. Weldon also serves as an editorial consultant to University Relations at Northwestern.
As a staff writer, editor or freelance contributor, Weldon has written for newspapers, websites, magazines and radio such as ADWEEK, Alternet.org, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, Dallas City, Dallas Times Herald, Dial, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, New York Times, North Shore, Parenting, Seventeen, Slate, Spirit, Writer’s Digest, West Suburban Living, Woman’s Day, womensenews.org and hundreds more.
She is a senior leader with The OpEd Project and is director of the Northwestern Public Voices Fellowship. Weldon co-directed the Public Voices Fellowships at Stanford and Princeton universities and leads core seminars for The OpEd Project in Chicago and around the country.
A popular public speaker, Weldon has delivered more than 200 keynotes across the country and Canada, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows in the United States, Europe and Canada including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Jenny Jones,” “Milt Rosenberg Show,” “The Sunday Papers,” “NBC’s Later Today,” “ABC Sunday Morning,” “CBS Morning Show,” and BBC-TV. She also serves as an editorial consultant to media outlets around the country.
She is a member of the advisory board of Global Girl Media, former member of the board of directors of Journalism & Women Symposium where she is an active member, and is a member of the Association for Women Journalists and Children’s Memorial Guild. She is on the board of advisors for Between Friends and is the mother of three sons, Weldon, Brendan and Colin.