Michele Weldon headshots by Elizabeth McQuern August 2017 - 3


Author, journalist, project leader, editorial director, content manager and instructor able to create content and curriculum, produce messaging and execute strategic plans in editorial, media, non-profit, business, corporate and academic settings. 

Editorial skills include idea generation, writing, coordination, design and delivery of messaging for multiple audiences across platforms and social media.

Public speaking and instruction abilities as a keynoter and live storyteller for hundreds of groups of audiences up to 1,000. Ability to collaborate with multiple partners and secure funding for best possible outcomes. Proficient in text, audio, video and photo content creation and editing, effective social media networking and messaging, SEO, digital branding, Word, Excel, PowerPoint,  Adobe Creative Suite 6, database  and complex Internet research.



2/2016- present: Editorial Director, Take The Lead Women

  • Produce award-winning original weekly editorial content for international women’s leadership organization
  • Produce weekly newsletter on issues of women in leadership for 20,000 subscribers

9/2013- 3/2015:   Director, Youth Narrating Our World for The OpEd Project, Chicago

  • Created four-month program of weekend seminars for students in six Chicago public high schools in thought leadership funded by McCormick Foundation for $50,000 per year
  • Mentored students to produce more than 70 opeds, speeches and videos on critical issues in their communities and schools

11/2012-12/2020:  Director, Public Voices Fellowship, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

  • Mentored 160 faculty fellows for elite diverse faculty development leadership program through Office of The Provost
  • Lead four yearly convenings, plus weekly mentorship in editing and advising
  • 140 fellows produced more than 920 opeds, keynotes, talks, expert commentaries, reviews, videos and books in seven years

1/2011- Present:  Senior Seminar Leader, The OpEd Project,  U.S., Canada, U.K., Africa

  • Contribute to curriculum creation and instruction for more than 1,000 individuals on thought leadership around the U.S. in public seminars 8-10 times per year
  • Co-leader University of Texas-Austin, 2022-2023
  • Co-leader University of Indianapolis Public Voices Fellowship 2021-2022
  • Co-leader Boone Family Foundation Public Voices Fellowship, 2018, 2020- 2023
  • Co-leader Rush University Medical Public Voices Fellowship Greenhouse, 2017-2023
  • Co-leader DePaul University  Public Voices Fellowship 2019-2023
  • Co-leader, 4-day workshop, Urgent Action Fund Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
  • Leader, Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellowship 2016
  • Leader, 1.5 day seminar, Wellesley College, Mass.; University of Cincinnati, Whiting Foundation, SUNY-Geneseo; University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, York University, St. Norbert College, University of Kentucky
  • Co-lead for Loyola University, 2016-2017
  • Co-lead for Brown University, 2016-2017
  • Leader, Center for Global Policy Solutions, Washington, D.C, Summer 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Co-lead for Gates Scholars, Cambridge University Public Voices Greenhouse, UK, 2013
  • Co-lead for Princeton University Public Voices Fellowship 9/2011-8/2012
  • Co-lead for Stanford University Public Voices Fellowship, 1/2011-6/2011

6/1996-9/2014:   Journalism Faculty at Medill School, Northwestern University   Evanston, IL

  • Advanced from adjunct to lecturer to senior lecturer to assistant professor to present title of emerita faculty, the highest honor at the university signifying leadership contributions
  • Created fundamental courses in undergraduate curriculum in reporting, multimedia journalism
  • Award-winning instruction of more than 5,000 undergrad and graduate students in journalism, narrative and multimedia storytelling over 18 years.
  • Served as first writing coach for graduate students
  • Initiated faculty conference, Medill Talks, April 2014
  • Directed TEDxNorthwesternU 2014: selected, edited and trained 12 faculty, alums and students to deliver TEDx talks, and managed all web production of event.

1999 to present: Columnist, Last Word, West Suburban Living Magazine

9/1999- Present:  Author of seven nonfiction books, chapters in three additional books

  • I Closed My Eyes (1999), Hazelden Publishing.  Award-winning, reprinted in 2012; Translations: French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch, Russian
  • Writing To Save Your Life (2001), Hazelden Publishing. Reached #5 on 2002; reprinted in 2012; Translations: French, German, Japanese, Spanish
  •  Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page (2008), University of Missouri Press; used as seminal source in journalism through 2015
  • Just Me and My Three Sons  (2014), SheBooks excerpt.  Made into an audio book 2015.
  • Escape Points: A Memoir (2015), Chicago Review Press.
  • Act Like You’re Having A Good Time: Essays (2020), Northwestern University Press
  • The Time We Have: Essays on Pandemic Living (2024), Northwestern University Press 
  • “A Father Is Born From Many Strangers,” chapter in NPR’s This I Believe on Fatherhood (2012) Henry M. Holt.
  •  “The Changing Nature of News,” chapter in 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook (2009) Sage Publications.
  •  “Making Readers Want Novels is Writer’s Hardest Job,” chapter in Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (1989) University of Mississippi Press

1995- Present: Columnist, Last Word,  West Surburban Living.

1/1989- 2017:  Regular freelance contributor, columnist  Chicago Tribune, Chicago

  • Weekly columnist for business, women’s issues, personal essays 1989-2004
  • Syndicated through Tribune Media Services 1989-2004
  • Contributor of opinion for Perspective section, 2005-present

7/1984- 12/1988: Columnist, feature writer,  Dallas Times Herald,              Dallas, TX

  • Weekly featured columnist
  • Featured writer for Unique section, Dallas City Magazine, Style

9/1981- 7/1984:   Midwest market editor, Fairchild Publications,                Chicago

  • Wrote features and news on business of fashion, retail and manufacturing for Midwest region

3/1980 -9/1981:   Associate editor,  ADWEEK  magazine, Chicago

  • Reported and wrote on retail, food, beverage and media covering Midwest

9/1979 -3/1980:   Managing editor, North Shore magazine, Winnetka, Ill.

  • Wrote and edited for glossy city magazine covering northern suburbs
  • Supervised all freelance contributions
  • Oversaw production of print magazine


9/1979- Present:  Freelancer for major media outlets worldwide including:

AARP The Ethel; Al Jazeera English,; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Baltimore Sun, Bride’s; Chicago Magazine; Chicago Parent; Chicago Sun-Times; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor,, Considerable; Cosmopolitan, Dallas Times Herald; Dallas City; Dial; Forbes; The Guardian, Huffington Post, Journalism Education Review; Los Angeles Times; Medium;; Motto; MSNBC Opinion; Narratively; Newsday; New York Times; Next Avenue; Nieman Reports; Pacific Standard; Parenting; Personal Journaling; Quartz; Seventeen; Slate, Spirit; Talking Points Memo; Thrive Global; TIME, USA Today, U.S. Catholic, Washington Post, West Suburban Living; Woman’s Day; WomensEnews; Women in Media News blog; Writers Digest.


2023: Peter Lisagor Award, Chicago Headline Club, Chicago Journalists Association, Best Blog

2022: Gilda Radner Award, Best Humor Book, Story Circle Network

2022: National Federation of Press Women, Best Essay

2022: Illinois Press Women Awards: Best Essay, Best Blog, Best Keynote Script

2021: Independent Publisher IPPY Book Awards, Best Nonfiction Essay Book

2021: Chicago Journalists Association, Finalist, 3 categories

2020: Finalist, Peter Lisagor Awards, Chicago Headline Club, Best Independent Blog, Essays

2019: Best Independent Blog, Chicago Journalists Assoication

2016: Society of Midland Authors, Finalist for Memoir Writing

2016: Winner, Memoir, Great Midwest Book Festival

2016, Sarah’s Inn, Annual Award

2015: Editors Choice, Booklist

2015: Honorary Chair, Honoree, Bubble Ball, Between Friends, Chicago

2014: Assistant Professor Emerita, Northwestern University

2013: Author of The Decade, George Washington University Law School

2013, 2014: Judge, Best American Newspaper Writing

2012: Created  TED-Ed Lesson, “Capturing Authentic Narrative,” more than 56,000 views

2012: The Moth Grand Slam Story Finalist

2012-2014: Judge, National Federation of Press Women Nonfiction Book contest

2010: Trademark renewed by United States Patent & Trademark Office for original concept and process, “Scribotherapy” awarded in 2004

2010: Best Chicago Magazine or Newspaper Columnist, West Suburban Living

2009: National Federation of Press Women, First Place, Nonfiction book

2008: Helen Vrba Lecture Series Speaker, Denver Press Club


2007: Best magazine column, Illinois Press Women’s Association

2007: Twenty Years/Twenty Heroes Award

2006: Between Friends, Chicago, Hero Award

2005: Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy, AEJMC

2003: State of Massachusetts “Step Up and Read” One-Book Program, I Closed My Eyes

2003: Guest of The White House for domestic violence policy announcement

2003: Sarah’s Inn Visionary Award

2002: Chicago Women In Publishing, Excellence Award, Nonfiction Book

2000: International Women’s Peacepower Media Award, Nonfiction Book, Florida

2000: Bread and Roses Individual Courage Award in Publishing, Chicago

weldon 6 18 5


Presenter, NU Summer Writers Workshop, August 2019

Live Storyteller, Voicebox Stories, July 2019

Moderator, “Together We Inspire,” Sarah’s Inn, May 2019

Keynote, Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County, January 2019

Presenter, Society Midland Authors, October 2018

Keynote, University of California-Irvine, Women and Domestic Violence, February 2016

Presenter, Printers Row Book Festival, Chicago, June 2016

Presenter,Tucson Book Festival, April 2016

Presenter, Savannah Book Festival, February 2016

Presenter, Miami Book Festival, November 2015

Keynote, Summer Writers, Northwestern, August 2015, 2016, 2017

Keynote, Indiana University Northwest, Women, Gender, Justice and The Media, March 2015

Panel, Northwestern University, Alice Kaplan Institute for Humanities, February 2015

Keynote, Summer Writers Northwestern, August 2014

Keynote, Women’s Legacy Conference, May 2014

Director, MedillTalks, February 2014

Leader, Chicago Ideas Week Lab, October 2013

Keynote,  NU Summer Writers Workshop, July 2013

Keynote, Southern Utah University, March 2013

Keynote,  Council on Foundations, Chicago, February 2013

Keynote, Women in STEM Conference, University of Chicago/ Northwestern University, February 2013

Editorial Training, Louisiana Business Publications, 2013

Speaker, Associated Press Managing Editors/Suburban Newspapers of America, April 2011

Lecture, Civitas Child Law Center, Loyola University School of Law, April 2011


2004-2006: 1st Vice president, Board of Directors, Journalism & Women Symposium  

2004– 2010: Association for Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications

1999-present: Society of Midland Authors

1996 -Present: Member, Journalism & Women Symposium

1995Present:  Member, Association for Women Journalists

2018- Present: Board Member, Beat The Streets Chicago

2013- Present: Board Member, Life Matters Media

2012-Present:  Board of advisors, Global Girl Media Chicago

2002-2005: Sarah’s Inn, Advisory Council

2002-Present:  Between Friends, Advisory Council

2002– 2003: Amicus, Advisory Council to Cook County Domestic Violence Court

1999-2002: Sarah’s Inn, Board of Directors

1992-Present: Children’s Foundation


BSJ, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, December, 1978

MSJ, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, September, 1979



WGN Radio, September 2017

WGN Radio, September 2016

Interview, BBC, 2015

Interview, CNN, June 2013

Interview, WBEZ, January 2013

Interview, “Afternoon Magazine with Celeste Quinn,” Illinois Public Radio, Jan. 24, 2008

Book review and interview, Chicago Public Radio, “848,” February 2008

Interview, “The Milt Rosenberg Show,” WGN-AM Radio, March 13, 2008

Guest Interview, “Later Today Show,” 1996

Guest Interview, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” June, October, 2002; October 1993

Guest Interview, “Midmorning with Katherine Lanpher,” Minnesota Public Radio, October 1999

Guest Interview, “The Jenny Jones Show,” NBC-TV, 1991


ABC-TV; Art and Healing Network; Associated Press, ceque (France); BBC Radio, BBC TV; Bakersfield Californian;; Booklist; CBS-TV; Chicago Public Radio; Chicago Reader; Chicago Sun-Times; Chicago Tribune; Choice(American Libraries), Cleveland Plain Dealer; CNN, Columbia Journalism Review; Daily Herald; Editor & Publisher; Empower; Evanston Review; Faith, Hope & Fiction; Fargo Forum; Feline(Germany); Gulfshore Life;;Huffington Post Live;  Inside Higher Ed Chronicle, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; Kirkus Reviews; Literarische Agentur (Germany); Los Angeles Times; Milwaukee Journal; Minnesota Public Radio; National Public Radio; Naples Daily News; Newspaper Research Journal, North Shore;; Oprah Winfrey Show; Ozaukee Press; Pioneer Press; Publisher’s Weekly; Science & Spirit Magazine; Story Magazine; StoryCircle Network;  Toastmasters International; Today Show;  Washington Post; Waukegan News-Sun; WBEZ; Wharton School of Business’ Knowledge;; WGN Radio; Writer Gazette; Writers Digest; Yahoo News, Zest Magazine



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