Wed, Feb 4



Dr. Michelle McClellan
Patricia Krider

First Ladies Library Executive Director Patricia Krider will profile Mary Todd Lincoln (1861-1865), Florence Mabel Harding (1921-1923) and Nancy Reagan (1981-1989) who wrote about, or dabbled in, the occult. “We will also explore media reaction to their interests”. Krider said.

        America’s First Ladies Nancy Reagan (1981-1989), Mary Todd Lincoln (1861-1865) and Florence Mabel Harding (1921-1923) who wrote about or dabbled in the occult, will be profiled by Patricia Krider, Executive Director of the National First Ladies Library in Canton, Ohio. Krider will provide visuals with her presentation.
        “Occult” is derived from the Latin word occultus meaning secret, hidden or clandestine. It is further defined as knowledge of the paranormal: the study of a deeper spiritual reality extending beyond pure reason and physical sciences. .
        “The lives of the three first ladies from very different time periods, are intertwined with unique circumstances: they all experienced tragic deaths or near deaths of their spouse, drawing them to spiritualism in a variety of ways”, Krider said.
        Mary Todd Lincoln, a product of finishing school and a wealthy Kentucky family, was shattered by the deaths of three sons, and the assassination of her husband Abraham. “Yet the press still vilified her. So she turned to mediums and seances in her desperate attempt to reconnect with her loved ones,” Krider said.
        Nancy Reagan, (1981-1989) made national headlines when it was revealed that she regularly consulted astrologer Joan Quigley and other mediums. She said she relied on astrology only regarding her husband’s scheduling, to protect him after a 1981 assassination attempt.
        Florence Mabel King Harding (1921-1923) whose husband nicknamed her “the Duchess”, had a long interest in the occult. She favored astronoger Madame Marcia Champfey, who forecast that President Warren Harding would die in office, which he did.
        “First Ladies are intrigued by popular trends as any of us are, which sometimes causes controversy”, Krider added.
        Lucinda Frailly, Director of Education, and Michelle Gullion, Archives Director of the First Ladies Library, will accompany Krider.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Utah, Vermont, Virginia and the Virgin Islands.

Wed, Apr 8



Dr. Michelle McClellan
Tara Marie Vold
Dr. Michelle McClellan
James Paul Williamson

Intellectual property attorneys Tara Marie Vold, copyright expert; and James Paul Williamson, trademark expert, will share legal strategies for protecting your creative work and enforcing your legal rights in that work.

        So you’ve written an exciting new song or book or you have outlined a plan for a new social media program on the internet.
        How do you ensure that someone isn’t going to steal it? Or, if they do, what is the procedure for making them stop? or compensating you for the misuse of your creative work? .
        Intellectual property attorneys Tara Marie Vold, copyright expert, and James Paul Williamson, patent and trademark expert will share insights and strategies for how to protect your creative work and enforce your legal rights.
        There will be a longer-than-usual Question and Answer time and opportunity accorded after each speaker.
        Williamson worked as a Trademark Examining attorney for the U.s. Patent and Trademark Office, then served as Trademark Petitions and Special Projects Attorney for the U.S. Assistant Commissioner of Trademarks.
        An expert on unfair competition issues, Williamson is involved with international and domestic trademark prosecution and enforcement cases. His clients include computer hardware and software, semiconductor, publications, pharmaceutical and financial services entities.
        He holds a B.A. degree in aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University and a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois School of Law.
        Vold represents clients in domain name and copyright disputes, advertising, and consumer protection issues, as well as drafting and negotiating licensing agreements and intellectual property aspects of corporate transactions.
        Her expertise also includes registration and enforcement of copyrights, and endorsements and publicity rights.
        She received a B.A. degree cum laude from Dartmouth College, and a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Wed, June 3



Amy Ellis Nutt
Amy Ellis Nutt

Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Ellis Nutt will share her tips and notes on her experience of winning a 2011 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

        Amy Ellis Nutt began as a Sports Illustrated fact checker in 1988. Twenty two years of hard work later, she won a Pultizer Prize for feature writing, and was a Pulitzer nominee in a prior year.
        Nutt, now a health and science writer for the Washington Post, will share her experience in winning American journalism’s highest and most prestigious honor. Her winning Newark Star Leger feature entry chronicled, in a 20 page special supplement, the mysterious 2009 sinking of a fishing boat off the coast of New Jersey. Her series “The Accidental Artist” won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and was a Pulitizer finalist in 2010.
        “At SI, I eventually rose to the rank of writer-reporter while I received my masters degree in journalism from Columbia University”. Then Nutt spent 16 years at the Ledger, eventually becoming a projects writer. In 2004-2005 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She joined the WaPo in 2014 where she concentrates her focus on the human brain.
        Ms. Nutt is a graduate of Smith College, and has a degree in philosophy from MIT. She is a part time instructor at Columbia Graduate Journalism School.
        She is the author of four nonfiction books, the most recent, with a working title “Becoming Nicole” to be published in June by Random House. It is about a transgender identical twin teenager.
        In 2016 the Pulitzer Prize foundation will launch “Campfires Initiative” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the awards. It is a $1.5 million national project “to ignite broad engagement with the journalistic, literary and artistic values (campfires) represent”, according to an announcement.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas.

Wed, Oct 7


Distinguished Giant: Edna Ferber

Julie Gilbert
Julie Gilbert

Pulitzer Prize winner (1924) and American woman literary icon Edna Ferber will be the 3-part discussion focus of her Grand Niece Julie Gilbert. Ferber (1885-1968) was a playwright, journalist, short story writer and novelist whose work was adapted into films and Broadway musicals.

        Julie Gilbert, Grand Niece of American literary giant Edna Ferber (1885-1968), will present a 3-part program, focusing on:

  • The journey Ferber’s novel “So Big” took toward winning the 1925 Pulitzer Prize. “It is a little known and surprising tale”, Gilbert notes.
  • The influence Ferber’s novels and her work in general had on a “youthful America”, contrasted with those changed values today.
  • Ferber’s personal relationships with Gilbert and her family and their impact on the family.

        Although Ferber, born in Kalamazoo Michigan, is most well known for the musical “Show Boat” and the 1952 movie Giant, adapted from her novel, and starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, she also was a talented playwright and journalist. The 1929 film Cimarron, adapted from her work, won a 1931 Academy Award for Best Picture. In 1929 Ferber collaborated with producer George S. Kaufman on three successful Broadway plays. Composers Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II turned Ferber’s novel “Show Boat” into flashy Broadway musical.
        In 2002 Ferber was honored with a U.S. postage stamp in the Distinguished Americans series.
        Ferber never married and had no children. She was one of two sisters: daughters of American-born Julia Neumann and Hungarian-born Jacob Ferber, a proprietor of a dry goods store.
        Gilbert’s grandmother Fannie, who was married to Jack Fox, was Ferber’s older sister.
        Janet Fox, Julie Gilbert’s mother, was the daughter of Fannie and Jack, who also had a daughter named Mina Fox Klein. Janet Fox, an actress, was married to Henry Goldsmith, a German émigré who worked for U.S. Army Intelligence and later served as vice president of Greystone Publishing.
        Mina was Julie Gilbert’s Aunt. Edna Ferber was Julie Gilbert’s great Aunt.
        Mina’s two children Peter and Kathy, are Julie Gilbert’s first cousins. Julie, Peter and Kathy are heirs to Ferber’s estate of which Julie is trustee.
        Julie Gilbert, an only child, has no children. She is Ferber’s Grand Niece.
        Gilbert is herself a writer. At age 25, Random House published her first novel “Umbrella Steps”. She followed with a biography of Ferber. She is also a playwright who has taught at New York University, Florida Atlantic University and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
        “My writing career threads back to Great Aunt Edna Ferber, who taught me the art and craft of imagination growing from observation”, Gilbert said.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine.

Fri, Nov 20


John Norris
John Norris

John Norris will profile American woman journalist Mary McCrory (1918-2004) who won a 1975 Pulitzer Prize for her Commentary on the Watergate scandal. Norris is the author of a just-released biography First Queen of Journalism, about McCrory, who was the first female Pulitzer winner in that category.

        John Norris, author of the just -released biography Mary McCrory: The First Queen of Journalism, will discuss the role pioneer women journalists developed in the turbulent waters of reporting national politics. His presentation is part of AWWNM’s mission to honor categories of premier American women writers, historical and contemporary.
        McCrory (1910-2004) won a 1974 Pulitzer Prize for her commentary on the Watergate Scandal which involved President Richard Nixon and his political operatives. She was the first female Pulitzer winner in the Commentary category.
        She began her journalism career reporting the infamous 1950s hearings chaired by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, and continued public opining through the George W. Bush administration.
        Both admired and feared by politicos, who were wary of McCrory’s writing, she was friends with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, and his brother Robert Kennedy, and lived the D.C. party circuit with enthusiasm.
        McCrory, in one of those what –goes- around –comes -around trajectories, became a journalism’s “victim” herself when she was falsely accused in print by a fellow journalist, of predicting a George McGovern presidential victory. McGovern lost in a landslide. Even in a non-Internet age, she could never shake the untruth.
        Ironically, AWWNM’s November 20 noon event will be held in the McLendon Room named after one of McCrory’s female contemporaries: political reporter Sarah McLendon (1910-2003).
        Presenter Norris is Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of Disaster Gypsies, a book detailing his emergency relief work. Norris has a graduate degree in Public Administration, and has written articles for major national publications.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota.

American Women Writers National Museum
National Press Club Building
529 14th Street NW, Suite 960-C
Washington, D.C. 20045

[Home] [Events/Calendar] [In the media] [State-Meant 50 4 U] [Book Faces] [News & Updates] [Invites] [AWWNM's awesome speakers] [Contribute/Fundraising] [Asking the experts] [Readers & Friends] [Who are they?] [Contact]