Saturday, March 8, 2014

Writers4Higher features Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

Welcome to Writers4Higher

The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.

This issue, Writers4Higher features

Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

Hi, Elynne. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!

  1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.

I have been blessed in my life with three careers that I have loved. I am Founding General Manager of WYCC-TV/PBS/Chicago. In addition to managing the station, I was on-air spokesperson. I have had several television and radio shows for which I was executive producer and interviewer. When I left the station, I became Professor of Communication at Wright College. Teaching is one of the great passions of my life. I retired from Wright in 2007 as Distinguished Professor. When I told my husband Richard that I planned to retire, he gave me wise advice. He told me to have a plan ready for my retirement so that I would remain fulfilled and active. I asked myself what I would like to do and the answer was immediately clear. I had always loved to write and decided to write professionally. Nonfiction was a natural fit for me. I had many true stories to share with my readers with the hope that my writing would offer inspiration, laughter and empathy. As I began writing my stories, they poured out of me. I wrote non-stop for years. I made the conscious decision to submit my stories to anthologies for publication so that I could reach broader and varied audiences. I knew that publishers would market their books. I have always been an active participant in the marketing of the anthologies that house my stories. My plan has worked well. In six years my stories have been published in over 30 anthologies and several magazines including one international publication.

As a memoirist, the inspiration for many of my stories has been the adventures my husband and I have lived. I have ten stories of our travels published in Forever Travels edited by Shelagh Watkins. My family has inspired several of my memoirs. I lost my beloved grandmother in a plane crash and eleven years later, I lost my dear father and sixteen year old sister in another plane crash. They were all great loves of my life. “Her First Grandchild” is published in Grandmother, Mother & Me edited by Donna Goodrich. “Golden Hands”, a memoir about my father, is published in Grandfather, Father & Me also edited by Donna Goodrich. Happily, the covers of the books have photos of my Grandmother and my Father. I have written about my cherished sister Ivy in “The Red Pen” published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving & Recovery and in “Four Sisters In Life & Death” published in This I Believe: On Love. I have also written about my family in six stories published in Forever Families edited by Shelagh Watkins. I have written these memoirs as a legacy for my family members. I hope my readers can connect their own lives to mine in whatever ways will help them.

My memoir “More Than Life”, about my mother who is 89 years old, was nominated by Kiwi Publishing for the Pushcart Prize. This story has been reprinted in Forever Families.
“The Hat”, a story about one of my students with a secret, was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade. This story is also published in several additional books including Living Lessons edited by Lynn C. Johnston and Thin Threads: Life Changing Moments edited by Stacey K. Battat. I have written about many experiences in my life. My stories and their books are available at and are listed on my website at

My inspiration for my work in all of my careers has always included the hopes, needs and hearts of my PBS television viewers, my students and my readers.

  1. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

My story “The Hat” is being adapted into a short film. Monte LaMonte is producing and John Cates is adapting the screenplay. The film’s director will be chosen once the script is ready. I am thrilled to be part of this process and look forward to seeing others perform my work. The film will be produced in early 2014. I am also seriously considering the possibility of having all my stories published in one collection. The timing has to be right because I want to continue to support the anthologies that have published my stories.

The dreams for my writing:  I have had the honor of performing “More Than Life” in NYC at The Museum of Motherhood. The film of “The Hat” is in process. A collection of my stories is a future possibility.

  1. How do you use your talents/time to help others?

I hope that my work and devotion as a PBS General Manager, Professor and writer have touched lives and inspired others. Through my program “In Her Own Voice”, I have had the privilege of performing my stories for non-profit organizations, universities, libraries, and senior centers. Seeing my audiences’ reactions to my stories has been a priceless gift.


Would you like to find Elynne?

Check out the links to this talented author:


 Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow is a Pushcart Prize nominated author and award-winning educator and broadcaster.  She is Founding General Manager of WYCC-TV/PBS and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Wright College in Chicago.  Her adult storyteller program IN HER OWN VOICE is renowned.  Her stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies and various magazines including the international Jerusalem Post.

Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow’s performances of her stories have been broadcast on The Bob Edwards Show on NPR and Rick Kogan’s Sunday Papers on WGN radio. She performed her Pushcart Prize nominated memoir “More Than Life” in NYC at the Museum of Motherhood. Elynne has performed her stories for organizations throughout Chicago including the Printer’s Row Lit Fest. Her work has been part of the production “Dear Mother” in L.A. at The Lyric Theater.  Elynne was a featured guest artist performing her stories at the Acorn Theater in Michigan and in Ontario, Canada.


Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.

Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist

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