Wednesday, July 01, 2015

SPOW Elects New President

Maureen O'Donnell, award-winning obituary reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, has been elected president of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW).

SPOW is a professional organization for folks who write about the dead for a living. Since 2007, the society has provided professional training and resources to help writers develop reporting, interviewing, writing and new media skills for creating outstanding obituaries.

O'Donnell became the newspaper's obituary writer in 2009 after 20 years as a general assignment reporter, during which she wrote about crumbling conditions in Chicago schools, Mississippi River flooding, the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the Jeffrey Dahmer slayings. Before joining the Sun-Times, she was a reporter and editor at the City News Bureau of Chicago; a criminal courts reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, and an associate editor at Adweek magazine.

A Chicago native and graduate of Loyola University's Mundelein College, her journalism awards include the Chicago Headline Club's Anne Keegan Award, SPOW awards for obituary-writing, the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association public service reporting award, the Illinois Gold Bell Award from the Mental Health Association in Illinois and a Lisagor award. She believes obituaries have some of the best writing in newspapers and online, and that they’re both send-offs and storytelling from eyewitnesses to history.

1 comment:

Kay Powell said...

An excellent award-winning reporter and obit writer who will provide excellent leadership for the international Society of Professional Obituary Writers. The future of SPOW is in very capable hands. Congratulations Maureen!