Wednesday, April 24, 2019

If Democrats Want to Win in 2020, We Need a Black Woman on the Ticket

If Democrats Want to Win in 2020, We Need a Black Woman on the Ticket

To land in the run-off of Chicago's recent mayoral election, two African-American women jumped ahead of a field of 14 candidates that included a member of the powerful Daley family. This initial outcome, and then the triumph of a gay woman pushing ahead to burst through the ribbon at the finish, should serve as a playbook for 2020.

And while 20 black women were elected to Congress in the midterms, I consider Chicago to be a tougher road because of our record of housing discrimination, segregation, and racial injustice.  So if Lori Lightfoot can win the top spot in this challenging city, her achievement could illuminate the presidential election path.

Fortunately, Kamala Harris has already thrown her hat in the ring, and I'll bet that Stacey Abrams will be pitching hers in, too. And if Oprah, or any other qualified African-American woman who has toppled white male patriarchy and decades of unacknowledged racial history to become a powerhouse, I welcome her.

I have a few reasons why I believe a black woman must be on the 2020 ticket to beat the bully that is our current president:

- In a November 9, 2017, Washington Post column, Eugene Scott noted, "According to exit polls, more than 90 percent of black women voted for Clinton. It continues the trend that few demographic groups are as faithful to the Democratic Party as African American women.... With the support of black women being a key piece of the Democratic Party's Election Day successes, the question now is: Will the Democratic Party show its support for them?"  What better way to return the favor of this allegiance than for the Democratic Party to assure a black woman is on the ticket?
-Sales for Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” make it the highest in memoir purchases. On its first day, it sold 725,000 and within 15 days, 2 million in North America. And stops on her book tour were sold out by the end of announcement day. I don't know the number, but I'm certain that a hefty percentage of those sales and ticket buyers were white women. I'm not suggesting that Mrs. Obama join the Democratic contest; her family has been through enough. But, I do believe the success of her memoir demonstrates openness to African-American women.

-Watch the third episode of “Finding Justice” on the BET network and you'll be enraged by voter suppression in Atlanta, GA and moved by the efforts of those fighting it.  Roadblocks were on every path, but the good people of Georgia never tossed in the towel. Instead, disgusted by the tricks and crimes perpetrated by the followers of the incumbent governor, the activists and voters refused to be discouraged. It's that stamina and passion that we need to rouse the populace who put Barack Obama in office for two terms.

-Because the last presidential race was corrupted by Russian interference, and other
criminal tactics, the vote demands protection. To triumph in 2020, we need the experience of the African-American community in Georgia; their tenacity to get voter rolls corrected, transport people to the polls, demand repairs of equipment, and beat other challenges, plus the investment of all other voters who fight for social justice and against the sickness of Trump and the Republicans,.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

FINDING MY BADASS SELF: A Year of Truths and Dares

 Author Event to Celebrate Doing What You Think You Cannot Do – At Any Age

Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, author of  Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares, will bring her fearlessness and humor to Conrad Sulzer Regional Library on Thursday, Oct. 19 with a free-to-the-public book event, with doors opening at 5:30, and the program slated from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 

Stanfa-Stanley will read from Finding My Badass Self and discuss her adventures with Chicago author Elaine Soloway, herself the author of four books and the inspiration for television’s Emmy-award-winning series Transparent, produced and written by Soloway’s daughters, Jill and Faith Soloway.

At age 52, facing later life and an empty nest, Stanfa-Stanley decided to kick off her “52/52 Project”—to do one thing she was afraid of every week for a year. The happy result is Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares, a collection of essays on Stanfa-Stanley’s deliberate forays into places far, far outside her comfort zone. Her adventures included visiting a nude beach with her seventy-five-year-old mother, crashing a wedding (she caught the bouquet), and joining a vice squad SWAT team as it went on a raid. Through it all, says Stanfa-Stanley, she gained a perspective that makes it easier in this new stage of her life to confront fears and laugh at herself.

“Especially as we get older,” Stanfa-Stanley says, “our comfort zone gets narrower and narrower. I learned that it’s never too late to change your life, and that facing your fears is a good way to do it. It’s also a good way of becoming and embracing who you’ve always been.”

The event will be hosted by The Village Chicago, a non-profit membership community focused on helping members navigate the new longevity by connecting them to each other and to trusted resources that support vibrant, secure later lives.

Books by both authors will be available for purchase and signing. Light snacks will be served. Doors open to the public at 5:30 p.m. and the program will be from  6-7:30 p.m.

While admission is free, advance registration is required. To register, go to The Village Chicago website at phone the Village offices at (773) 248-8700.

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Friday, March 3, 2017


Blue Rider Press, and Lincoln Park Village and its Life 3.0 Committee present:


Authors Meredith Maran and Elaine Soloway 
in conversation with Alison Cuddy
at Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 60625.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., event 6:00-7:30 p.m.


At the age of 61, Meredith Maran’s life fell apart: her long, happy marriage ended, her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her best friend died of ovarian cancer, and she lost her life savings to a Madoff-type broker. She briefly considered spending her remaining years under the covers, but instead she moved to Los Angeles and re-started her life from scratch—in Hollywood, of all places. Meredith’s brand-new memoir, 
The New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention, is her story of coming apart and putting herself back together again, with some unexpectedly delightful results.

Chicagoan Elaine Soloway, 78, has published four books, and aspects of her life have been immortalized on the Emmy Award Winning “Transparent,” produced and written by her daughters, Jill and Faith Soloway.​ ​ A lifelong Chicagoan, Elaine writes about moving to the West Coast — and discovering she was happier back in her hometown. In her new book, Bad Grandma and Other Chapters in a Life Lived Out Loud, Elaine ​​tackles the ageism that pervades our society, the stress of caregiving, her passion for city living — all with her signature warmth and wicked sense of humor.
Alison Cuddy, is the Associate Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Before coming to the Festival, Alison spent more than 10 years at WBEZ 91.5 FM, the NPR affiliate in Chicago. There she helped launched Odyssey, a nationally syndicated talk show of arts and ideas, hosted the morning newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight and reported on arts and culture.

Lincoln Park Village is a leader in the nationwide Village movement. An innovative, nonprofit organization leveraging the talents, wisdom and skills of its members to enhance the quality of life and the wellbeing of individuals as they live longer, so that they remain integral, vibrant and contributing members of our communities.

The Life 3.0 Committee aims to foster good transitions by identifying the needs and interests of people who have either recently retired or are thinking about retiring and helping them explore what they want next in life.

Copies of both books will be available for signing. Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

This event is free, but please register in advance. You can register by visiting the Lincoln Park Village web site at or by phoning the Village office at (773) 248-8700.”

For more information about Penguin Random House, contact: Marian Brown, Executive Publicistblue rider press and PLUME | 375 Hudson Street, NYC 10014,

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chicago and L.A. Book Launches Scheduled!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Two of the country's most treasured independent book stores are welcoming me and my upcoming memoir, GREEN NAILS AND OTHER ACTS OF REBELLION: LIFE AFTER LOSS for a Chicago and L.A. launch and reading.
I'm providing the details early enough so you can mark your calendars, alert friends, and hopefully be on hand to fill the stores. Not only am I anxious to build a crowd for my book, but I'm also eager to bring potential customers to these Indies who need ongoing support. If my book isn't already due as a Kickstarter reward, please consider purchasing the paperback at one of these readings where I can sign your copy. And, if you'll already have the book, perhaps there'll be a holiday gift book of my memoir, or any other book from the stores' shelves.
Dates and Locations:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 7 p.m., Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL.,  60640, 773-769-9299

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA. 90027, 323-719-0465

I look forward to seeing you at one or both of these events!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rookie Blogs-to-Book Update: To comma, or not to comma

The book cover image for my newest memoir is complete! After I submitted five covers of best sellers that I admired -- so the designers could get my preferences -- I received five options from my publisher for my own design. The one, I -- and a few advisors -- selected, is to the left. I'm very happy with it.
But, a few days ago, one of my advisors (Jill Soloway) said there should be no comma in the title. Earlier, a trusted friend (Lisa Holton) had said the same. So, I broached it with my publisher, Brooke Warner,  and she agreed that since AND is on a separate line of the cover, the comma should go. So, here, to the lower right, is the final cover sans comma.

This change came just in time because I am now reviewing "First Pages." This is my proofread manuscript formatted as to how it will appear in the actual book. I'm pleased to say I also like the interior design very much. One page is headed by my name, Elaine Soloway, and the other, Green Nails, And Other Acts of Rebellion. So now, as I'm catching any errors (only one so far that was caused by me when I changed something in the proofread copy), I am listing all of the page headings where Green Nails, And Other Acts of Rebellion should read Green Nails and Other Acts of Rebellion. (By the way, the subtitle: Life After Loss, does not appear on interior pages. This is standard.)
Recently, I participated in a monthly Author Call with about a dozen other Fall 2014 writers. We talked about submitting our Advanced Reader Copies to reviewers and the difficulty of actually getting reviews by the main publications, like "Publishers Weekly." Hiring an outside publicist helps, but there's no guarantee they will have success. So, like  my other memoir publishing endeavor, I'll tackle that on my own. (Once my new book is published in September of this year, I'd appreciate any suggestions for book groups, synagogue or church readings, health care groups, senior groups, etc.)
As of today, we have 17 days left to goal. So far, we're at 71% with $3,909 contributed. I'm confident we'll reach our $5,500 target before the bell rings, but  if you have ideas on how to assure that,  don't hesitate to let me know. 
By the way, my Kickstarter funders receive these updates first. If you want to be in that special group, please click on Elaine Soloway's Kickstarter Campaign and join  us!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

College Essay Coaching

When high school students set their sights on attending college, they're likely looking forward to meeting new friends, living in a dorm, and taking courses that lead to a successful career.

But they may not be excited about a necessary step to that anticipated life: writing the college essay that will help them gain admission to their top choice school. That project may be weighted with stress, parents' expectations, and an assumption that the student -- lacking a strong background in writing -- may not be up to the challenge.

That's where I come in. As an essay coach, I'll partner with students to explore a topic that complies with the prompts of the Common Application or of their targeted colleges and universities. 

We'll initially meet in a one-to-one session, and depending upon students' schedules, will manage subsequent drafts via e-mail attachments of Word documents, or additional face-to-face meetings.

Our goal will be for the student to write and submit a flawless essay in his or her own voice that will stand out from the crowd. The piece will succeed if it impresses admission decision-makers and persuade them of a student's uniqueness, accomplishments, and strengths.

And, the process will be conducted in an enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging atmosphere, which will boost students' self-esteem and add skills that will remain throughout their college years.

All one-on-one sessions will be held in a Wi-Fi-equipped setting in the River North area, or at a local library.

For more information about hourly fees, available dates, or other questions, please call 773-320-5681, or send an email to References are available on request.

About Me

I'm president of Elaine Soloway Public Relations and author of the memoir, "The Division Street Princess" (Syren Book Company, 2006), which was named a 2006 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year, and the e-novel, "She's Not The Type" (Publish Green, 2011). I write several blogs, including "The Rookie Widow," "The Rookie Caregiver," and "Never Too Old to Talk Tech," which are then linked on Social Media sites, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.