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One-Sentence Story project: "Repeal!" the Turning Points anthology


Della Leavitt seeks representation for Beyond Maxwell Street.

 her debut upmarket historical novel (77,000 words).


Research and revision for this manuscript won both a fellowship from the Newberry Library and a grant from the  City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

In 1958, an overwhelmed mother of four grapples with whether to follow through with an illegal abortion.  During her agonizing decision, she learns  family secrets including when her Jewish immigrant mother sought an abortion when pregnant with her.


2022. Semi-Finalist. Soon to Be Famous Manuscript project, Illinois Librarians. Beyond Maxwell Street.


2021-2022 Fellowship from Chicago's Newberry Library. Beyond Maxwell Street (1911-1956).


2021 Individual Artist Program grant from Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Beyond Maxwell Street.


Second Place. "Penicillin," in the Off Campus Writers' Workshop flash fiction contest judged by author, poet,  DePaul professor, and Rose Metal Press co-founder, Kathleen Rooney: "The density of information in this piece of historical fiction is balanced beautifully by the intimate characterization of the unlikely hero, Sol, showing us how fate and timing have their way with us all."

Della Leavitt's unpublished novel, The Measure of a Teacher  is upmarket, contemporary women's fiction that tells the story of a white teacher's struggles after leaving a successful tech career to teach math at an urban high school that is resisting an inevitable racial transformation.



Leavitt, Della (April, 2023). "On Squirrels & Other Interlopers" (pp. 95-103). In Meaningful Conflicts: The Art of Friction. Windy City Publishers.


Leavitt, Della (2023). "Chicago's writing community: Nurturing new voices." About Write


Leavitt, Della. (May, 2022). "The Necklace" in FreeFlashFiction


Leavitt, Della. (2021). "Repeal!" (pp. 99-107). In Turning Points: An Anthology from Members of the Off Campus Writers’ Workshop. Windy City Publishers.

Leavitt, Della. (October, 2020). Chicago Literary Hall of Fame guest blogger.

Leavitt, Della  (August, 2020).  GameChangers documentary film. Personal essay contest winner.
"Remembering the Marshall vs. New Trier match-ups."

Leavitt, Della. (2019). "The Week That Was" (pp. 100-105). In J. Rehak (ed.) A Reason to Be Here. A collaborative novel from the Off Campus Writers'

Workshop. Windy City Publishers.


Leavitt, D.R. (2017). "Where I am from," Vitae Scholasticae: The Journal of Educational Biography. Special Issue: Family Methodology. 34(2), 28-31. 

Leavitt, Della. (2017). Honorable Mention. Prose. "The Return of the 17-Year Locusts," InWord of Art 3: InPrint Writers, Rockford, IL.

Leavitt, D.R., Palius, M.F., Babst, R.D, Donegan, R., Lampkin, J.L, Smith, M., & Whitford, P.A. (2013).

Teachers create a Professional Learning Community to be a place of their own. Mid-Atlantic Education Review, 1(1)3-16. 

Leavitt, D. R. & Washington, E. N. (2013). “I teach like you are all gifted:" Leading lowest-track students to become confident mathematics learners. In A. Cohan & A. Honigsfeld (Eds.), Breaking the mold of education: Innovative and successful practices for student

engagement, empowerment, and motivation (4th in a series) pp. 171-178. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

​Leavitt, D. R. (2010). Inquiry as Stance: Practitioner Research for the Next Generation, Book review. i.e: inquiry in education, 1(2), Article 7. Retrieved from:

Leavitt, D.R. (2010). (Unpublished dissertation). "Meek, but Not Weak!" A Resilient Black Female Mathematics Teacher Composes a Purposeful Life.

University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. Proquest, UMI-3417385.

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"Return of the 17-year Locusts"
awarded Honorable Mention 
by John Martin, author and Northern Illinois University professor

"That was the Week that Was" p.99

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Della had a lengthy tech career with IBM and Motorola and earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School before becoming a high school math teacher and pursuing a PhD in educational research.

She lives in Chicago with her longtime spouse Roy and fearless feline Vic, named for Sara Paretsky's detectiv
e. Their son Morrie and his courageous spouse Lilla, a surgical nurse, live closeby with frisky kitten, Mika.


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