bio

Costa Rica 2006 - PM-27Linda K. Wertheimer often has to explain that she is a journalist, but that she’s not the Other Linda, the one of NPR’s All Things Considered fame. This Linda, the one with the K., started writing professionally at age 16 when she penned a silly feature about foreign students visiting the zoo for her hometown daily in Findlay, Ohio. Now a freelance writer and part-time journalism professor, she has signed with Beacon Press to write FAITH ED, Teaching Religion in an Age of Intolerance, a book about public schools’ efforts to teach about the world’s religions. The book stems from a Boston Globe Magazine cover story she wrote about Wellesley Middle School’s challenges after it faced controversy for taking children on a field trip to a mosque. The book, yet to be titled, is slated to come out sometime in 2015.  The book will draw as well on her own experiences as one of the only Jews in her rural school system in Ohio. Her expertise includes writing about parenting, education, and religion. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Career Highlights:

  • The Boston Globe. Education editor, staff writer from 2004-2009.
  • The Dallas Morning News. Staff writer, covering Dallas city schools, then higher education from 1997-2003.
  • The Orlando Sentinel. Staff writer, covering Orange County schools, from 1994-1997.
  • The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY. Staff writer, K-12 education issues. 1990-1994.
  • Freelance writer. Have written personal essays, travel stories, and features for various publications, including The Writer Magazine, the Boston Globe’s Sunday Magazine, the Jewish Forward, The New York Times Motherlode blog, and the Chicago Tribune. 1995-present.

Awards, Fellowships:

 

  • Finalist, 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, Creative Nonfiction/Fiction category. For excerpt from FAITH ED.
  • Second place, national Education Writers Association 2011 reporting contest. For Boston Globe magazine cover story, Test of Faith. (Winners announced in Spring 2012.)
  • Third place, Moment magazine’s 2010 memoir contest. For excerpt, “Concerto of Words: Ostracism, Music, and Faith,” from her memoir. (Winners announced in fall 2011.)
  • Honorable mention, Tiferet journal’s 2011 writing contest, nonfiction category. For excerpt, “Jew Girl,” from my memoir.
  • Best of Gannett specialty reporting award for series on an inner-city high school teacher and his chemistry class. Chronicled the ups and downs for a teacher and his students in a failing Rochester, NY high school.
  • Runner-up, achievement by an individual, Gannett newspaper chain, for series on the high school teacher.
  • Honorable mention, feature writing, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors contest, for Dallas Morning News three-part series on a girl’s freshman year.
  • Fellowship for journalists, Wesleyan Writers Conference.
  • Two-week residency, One Writer’s Place, a retreat run by novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Speaking, Other Media Experience

Guest on The Emily Rooney Show on WGBH, Boston talk radio, NECN’s and Fox 25′s morning news shows, and public access television. Part-time professor of journalism at Boston University and instructor at Grub Street, a Boston writers’ group. Moderator of college admissions panel before 800 people in Lexington’s Town Hall.

 

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