Tag Archives: Chicago



We are busy preparing for our 7th summer of summer writing camps for students grades 4th – 7th.  Last year our Screenplay Writing track was such a success with performances held at The Catlow that we are bringing it back this year.  We’ve also extended each class by one hour to give students a little more writing time.  Each class is now 3 hours.   Please join our mailing list so you don’t miss the registration period.  Read through the class summaries and then take a look at the class schedule.  Ready to select now?  REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

What happens in summer camp?

Hear what our kids have to say about the summer writing camps at TT Patton.



Employee Gifts: Good for the Employee and Your Business

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Staff turnover is one of the most non-productive business expenses” (White, 2014). But today, more than ever in our recent history, employees are doing more with fewer resources and balancing other life expenses. This creates the perfect storm for stressed out workers who may start to look elsewhere for a new job. The market is starting to pick up in some industries and good employees are one of a company’s greatest assets.

So how do you keep your employees happy even under the above conditions? Expressing appreciation is crucial to employee and team morale, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Cash isn’t always the answer, especially during special team retreats or for project milestones. A special gift valued at $50 or $100 can be the perfect solution. The most important element is ensuring it’s personalized and of good quality.


Graphic Image Leather Passports and Luggage Tags

Have a team that travels a lot? For under $100 you can order a calfskin leather passport and luggage tag set by Graphic Image with an engraved monogram, in a color of your choice, which arrives in a beautiful cloth bag and box. For under $50 you can order an executive assistant a set of personalized, raised ink stationery with their name or initials in script, with different font and color choices. Whatever you order, we’ll even wrap it for you!

Apart from making you and your employee feel great, you get a return on your investment. Appreciation leads to an uptick in productivity. Forbes reports “the recognition further perpetuates their desire to go above and beyond for your clients” (Conner, 2014). Employee gifts are a win-win, and who doesn’t want that for their business?

by Soula Siegfried
Master’s degree candidate in Literature and Professional Writing
Northern Illinois University


Diane Sawyer, Kathy Brock, and index cards?

Today I attended the Chicago Network’s 22nd Annual Women in the Forefront Luncheon (WIFL) where ABC7 Chicago anchorwoman Kathy Brock interviewed Diane Sawyer.  In a room filled with over 1300 professional women (and a few men) Kathy entered the room in a very nice black dress along side the fantastic Diane Sawyer in at least 5 inch heals with red soles.  I decided after attending this luncheon that it’s time to go shopping.

But as I scanned the room for tips on style and fashion, I noticed some women taking notes and jotting memorable quotes from Sawyer.  I must say, while I need to go shopping for clothing, some in the room should consider new writing instruments!

But what surprised me most, but not really, were the tools that Kathy Brock used during her interview; a stack of index cards (with red notes) held together by a black binder clip.  Yep, in the height of the digital revolution and in a room filled with over 1300 female powerhouses, Kathy relied on handwritten notes on 3X5, lined, white index cards and a black clip.  Well, Kathy, just in case you stumble on this blog, the jotter (shown in turquoise in the photo) comes in 8 colors of leather and holds 3×5 cards for only $40!  And the orange envelope comes in just as many colors and will also hold your 3×5 cards.  You can get one to match every outfit.

Other than that, the luncheon was fantastic!  I learned firsthand that Chicago is filled with talented and accomplished women.  I have to remember to thank my host for the invitation….in a handwritten note of course.