With more than a decade of journalism experience, I've learned many lessons on what makes a good story. Today, I spend about half of my time writing narrative non-fiction for magazines, newspapers and websites. The other half is spent working with corporate clients so share their stories with a broader audience through marketing, public relations and social media. In both worlds, the goal is the same: to get to the heart of the story.

Note: I do my best to update the clips below with my favorites. To see a greater variety of my work, please visit my portfolio on Contently.

A line to buy heroin in the 3700 block of West Grenshawl. Photo in Federal Complaint.

Be the Death of Me

Chicago Health Magazine

Heroin deaths are rising as state-funded treatment falls in Illinois

***This story was awarded Honorable Mention by the Associations of Journalists and Authors for 2015 writing in the Health category***


Read it in Chicago Health Magazine

Photo by Andrew Malone


Is there a doctor on board? Managing medical emergencies at 30,000 feet

Washington Post

It happens more than you think. But 3 times out of 4, a trained professional is there to help out.

Read the story in the Washington Post

Photo by Marcel André Briefs


Carrying a ‘throwaway’ wallet and other tips in avoiding travel scams

Washington Post

9 travel scams to look out for when you're on the road.

Read it in the Washington Post

The World’s Largest Rooftop Farm, on Top of a Chicago Soap Factory

Billy Magazine, Toronto's Billy Bishop Airport

Gotham Greens grows lettuce atop Method's eco-friendly soap facility on the South Side

Read it in Billy Magazine

Courtesy freefoodphotos.com

The Drinker's Guide to Stocking Your Windowsill


Beyond basil and thyme: five hard-to-find but delicious herbs to upgrade your drinks that you can grow yourself

Read it in Saveur

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Up Close and Personal in Puerto Vallarta

Washington Post

Exploring the hidden and not-so-hidden streets of Puerto Vallarta, we fell in love with the food, culture, sunsets and people in this coastal Mexican city.

Read it in the Washington Post

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6 Tips for Walking 26.2 Miles: The DIY Marathon

Men's Health

Think the idea of 26.2 miles is extreme? Try walking it. We spent 11 hours and 59 minutes exploring the ins and outs of Chicago. Here are some tips if you want to roll your own marathon.

Read it in Men's Health

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For Laura Caldwell, Fact and Fiction and Intertwined

Crain's Chicago Business

Laura Caldwell started out as an attorney who loved to write fiction. When one of her pro bono clients opened her eyes to issues surrounding the wrongfully imprisoned and wrongfully convicted, her legal and writing worlds collided, changing her career forever.

Read it in Crain's Chicago Business

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Photography by Tyler Stableford

How Mya Saved Jacob

Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

After the war, Jacob thought he had put the worst behind him. Then the panic attacks and depression began. Just when he had nearly given up hope, he found an extraordinary soul who ended the nightmares.

Read the story here

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Pie-eyed for Pizza: A Love Story

Washington Post

The first thing I learn about Neil, even before meeting him, is that he loves pizza. His quirk turns out to be an obsession, but one that we end up exploring together, across the world, one slice at a time.

Read it in the Washington Post

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Chicago to Canada or Bust

Travel Mindset

Intense heat threatens to turn a dream cycling trip into a nightmare, as we ride our bikes from Chicago to Canada--with an unexpected side trip to the ER.

Read it on Travel Mindset

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Searching for Bull Meat in Pamplona, Spain

Washington Post

If not for the shiny lobe of bull liver on the butcher’s stand in front of me, I could be in just about any indoor farmers market in the world. I’m surrounded by stall after stall of fresh fruits and vegetables — oranges, garlic, berries, lettuce — along with shops selling local cheeses, smoked meats and freshly baked breads. And then there’s this, the bull liver.

Read it in the Washington Post

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Hot Dog! Chicago Sausages Worth the Wait

Washington Post

Encased-meat aficionados know that sausage shacks have evolved beyond celery salt and tomato slices to a gourmet level that, we Midwesterners dream, will one day be fit for a Michelin star. We can thank Hot Doug's for that.

Read it in the Washington Post

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O, Evergleam Aluminum Christmas Tree


How the bright, sparkly, pink, blue, green and gold metallic Christmas tree is a part of my family tree.

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Photography by Neil Ballentine

Indy Goes Artsy

Chicago Tribune

From its impressive art museum (on of the country's largest) to its bike-friendly cultural trails and delectable fried pork-wiches, Indianapolis is full of surprises during a weekend escape.

Read it in Chicago Tribune

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The Texas Whiskey Rush


The Lone Star State legalized distilling then did what it does best and went big.

Read it on Maxim

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Dynamo, Mississippi

Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

How one unstoppable woman got a city in Mississippi, aka the "Fattest State in the Nation" seven years running, to lose a collective 30,000 pounds. Hint: She hasn't stopped moving.


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Finder of the Lost Cars


Keith Ingersoll plays the role of car detective, pro bono.

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Photo by Neil Ballentine

In Budapest, Ruin Pubs, a Cat Cafe, Thermal Baths and a Nightlife that Hardly Quits

Washington Post

Hungary for adventure? This capitol city has incredible food and plenty of quirky adventures. Oh, and they really know how to party.

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A Drive Down the ET Highway


There’s adventure near Nevada’s Area 51. Maybe just a bit too much.

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Jack O'Neill: The Innovator of Surf

Men's Health Magazine

When Jack O’Neill thinks back to San Francisco in the early 1950s, he remembers the ice-cream headaches. As a surfer in his late-20s, he was drawn to the waves like fog to the Bay. With that came the teeth-chattering chill of the Pacific Ocean, often 50 degrees or colder, slapping against his bare skin. He could only stay in there for an hour before his body and mind slowed from the cold and that headache set in.

Read it at MensHealth.com

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Elves on Ice: A Christmas Journey to Iceland

Luxury Las Vegas Magazine

In Iceland, the holidays are the best time to spot the elfin population. The ‘Hidden Worlds’ tour gives insight into these little people, who do far more than bake cookies and help Santa.

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Photography by Adam Vorhees

Turning Pink

Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

How a year embedded in Mary Kay Cosmetics turned this shy writer into a gutsy moneymaker. Hint: It wasn't the lipstick.

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Photography by Peter Yang

True Story.

Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

A story can change your life. Even if you are the one telling it. For the formerly wayward like O.T. Powell, a storytelling nonprofit known as The Moth has led to confession—and redemption.

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More Clips

Tea Hits Trend Status, GM's Drive the District, May, 2015.

The Secret to Mastering Work-Life Balance, American Express Open Forum, May, 2015.

Commemorating Lincoln's Death in the City Where He Spent Most of His Life, Washington Post, April, 2015.

Taking Plus-Size Fashion Mainstream, American Express Open Forum, March, 2015.

Stressed Out, Chicago Health Magazine, cover story, winter, 2015.

Don't Mess with the Boss Lady, American Cowboy, September, 2012.

What I Learned from My Son Nearly Dying, Men's Health, June 2012.

Banking on Mother's Milk, Parents.com, June, 2011.

Battery Power, University of Chicago Magazine, March 2011



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Do you need a writer who

gets to the heart of the story?

Kate Silver specializes in travel, feature, food, wine and health writing for newspapers, magazines and digital media.

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