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Della Leavitt seeks publication of Vivian In Decision  (80,000 words), a multigenerational family saga.

In 1956, Vivian Linnson Jacobson, an overwhelmed mother, is distraught to be pregnant again. She begs her obstetrician for an abortion. He won't risk his license and sends her to a illegal practitioner. She panics and leaves the storefront with the warning she must return in one week, else it would be too late. Vivian learns family secrets including how her immigrant mother sought an abortion when pregnant with her. When she reads Nobel Prizewinner Gwendolyn Brooks' poem "The Mother," Vivian realizes how women have shared her crisis and makes her decision.


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

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


2021. Newberry Library. Short-term fellowship. 

2020. 2nd Place. "Penicillin," in the Off Campus Writers' Workshop flash fiction contest judged by author,and poet Kathleen Rooney who wrote: "The density of information in this piece of historical fiction is balanced beautifully by the intimate characterization of the unlikely hero showing us how fate and timing have their way with us all."


Della Leavitt's unpublished novel, The Measure of a Teacher  is the story of  a white high school teacher who struggles unsuccessfully to advocate for a Black student who is pushed out before graduation.



Leavitt, Della (June, 2024). "Hannah's Pledge." In Feisty Deeds: Daring Women across Six Centuries.


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, prose 

"That was the Week that Was" p.99

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One-Sentence Story from "Repeal!" the Turning Points anthology
"No one could tell me what to do, then or now."

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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 earning a PhD in 2010 from the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Education.

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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