Sept. 8, 2017 — Randy Richardson of Evanston, Ill., has received the 2017 Communicator of Achievement Award from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW). He is the first male winner in the 60 years the award has been given.
He received the award during the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Birmingham, Alabama. NFPW, celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017, is a nationwide organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum.
The Communicator of Achievement award is the highest honor bestowed by NFPW upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their field. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates from around the country, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, as well as service to NFPW and to the community.
Richardson, a member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, is a senior attorney advisor with the Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Evanston, as well as a freelance writer, author and literary community builder.
He started his career as a newspaper journalist in California and Illinois. After switching to law, he continued writing numerous articles and essays for print and online publications on a freelance basis. He authored two highly regarded novels published by Eckhartz Press: “Lost in the Ivy,” which the online publication Gapers Block named one of the notable books of 2005, and “Cheeseland,” named by Conversation’s Book Club as one of its top 100 books of 2012.
Essays from Richardson’s blog about his experiences in publishing a book and being a new dad in his early 40s were published in Chicago Parent magazine and several anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul.” He also has written many essays about baseball and, particularly the Chicago Cubs. He was a contributor to the Lovable Losers Literary Revue and to the anthology, “Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year.” Currently, he writes regularly for the Wrigley Nation blog.
In addition to his own writing, Richardson is a founding member and president of a nonprofit writers group called The Chicago Writers Association. This group has grown to more than 500 dues-paying members and established itself as one of Chicago’s leading writing communities. The group has its own annual book awards, speakers’ bureau, online literary magazine, writing contest and book review service and also launched the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
Through this work, he has helped build a bridge to unite the city’s diverse literary groups. This has included organizing numerous literary events, including the Summer Social, a popular annual networking event with the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. Richardson has received many honors for both his legal and writing efforts, including state and national awards in the NFPW Communications Contest.
Runner up in the Communicator of Achievement competition was Elaine Hobson Miller of Ashville, Ala., past president of Alabama Media Professionals. A former journalist and current freelance writer, she has written for 60 publications and authored two books.