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Anne Driscoll


Anne Driscoll
...PEOPLE Magazine reporter, author, adjunct college professor, former public relations executive and social worker.

Anne's Life Story

Anne Driscoll grew up in a working class town (Weymouth, MA) the oldest child in her family and the first to go to college although her parents would have preferred her to be a flight attendant, so they could get free flights.

As a child, she loved to write, but feared she couldn’t support herself that way. So she chose social work instead because she was always interested in what made people tick. She realized after three years of working with juvenile delinquent girls, that she wasn't doing a great job earning a living as a social worker, either, so she left to pursue what she really loved: writing.

In the interim, Anne quit social work and became a waitress. She knew no writers and didn't know anything about writing as a career but answered an ad in the North Shore Sunday, a free weekly; they were looking for someone to cover sports. With no experience, she submitted a profile of herself as if she had interviewed herself. Amazingly, they said yes.

In 1999 and 2000, drawing on her experience working with girls, she wrote a series of self-help books for tween-aged girls called Girl to Girl. The books were unusual because she surveyed girls in the US and English-speaking countries and included their words, making them the experts of their lives. Girls are all about their relationships that's what drives them so with these books, she did two things:

  1. validate their experience and the importance of relationships in their lives and
  2. by quoting them directly, put girls in connection with each other. Anne has continued to do research on gender and relationships and has a different take on the way girls and boys relate based on her research.

Anne has lectured here and abroad on this topic. However, sadly, the three books are out of print but a fourth is in progress.

In 1998, Anne started freelancing for PEOPLE Magazine and has written thousands of stories for them covering murder scenes (Christa Worthington) to movie premieres (Perfect Storm) to disasters (Rhode Island Station fire) to hero stories (i.e. Steve McGarva, the savior rescuing dogs on Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico). She has also written for The Boston Globe (wrote an opinion column for the North Weekly section for 10 years), The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Jacksonville Times-Union, Lawrence Eagle Tribune, UPI, Cosmo Girl, Real Simple, Health, Parenting Magazine and Sesame Street Magazine.

She has also been managing editor of New England Bride Magazine and has ghostwritten several books: one with Laurie Cabot, the official witch of Salem and two for Enid Hoffman on parapsychology, Hands: A Guide to Palmistry and Expanding Your Psychic Skills.

In addition, over the years, Anne has also dabbled in public relations (V.P. for Teak Media Communications and wrongful conviction cases (Shuster Institute for Investigative Journalism Innocence Project).

Anne has been an Adjunct Journalism Professor in Journalism and Creative Writing at North Shore Community College (Salem, MA) since 1986.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Salem State College and is still a Massachusetts Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) and a member of PEN New England.

Anne Driscoll is the mother of three children, and resides in the Boston area.

The Uniqueness of Anne Driscoll, reporter:

Anne's approach to reporting has been different. She loves what she does and feels a huge sense of responsibility and privilege to be allowed into people's lives. Anne's training as a social worker has given her an enormous advantage. She is always astounded by what people are willing to share whether it's Matt Damon or a bereaved parent. But she never takes advantage of her subjects.

Suggested Speech Topics


The Social Worker Who Brought
a Heart to Journalism.

Anne Driscoll first learned the power of words in 6th grade when she wrote a first-person fictional piece about her baby brother dying in a fire that made her classmates cry. She has been awed by the power of the word ever since, but she soon realized that some writers abuse that power. The press has been accused of everything from being smug to self-righteous; invasive and insensitive; alarmist and inaccurate; unfair and sensational; liars; leftists; pariahs; paparazzi; elitist; extremist. But, Anne thinks you can do good by reporting well.

Initially, she began her career as a social worker, a practical choice to appease her Irish-Catholic, working class parents, but since being a do-gooder wasn't all that lucrative, she instead pursued her dreams of writing. As a PEOPLE Magazine reporter, she has covered murder scenes, deadly fires, and red carpet premieres, always with the same skills, sensitivities and sensibilities she learned as a social worker. Hear about all the things celebrities and non-celebrities alike have told her and how she is trying to make a difference one story at a time.

 

The Ten P's of Being a Repppppppppporter

Anne Driscoll cites her experience as a PEOPLE Magazine reporter and gives ten important tips on how to be a reporter and have fun doing it.

1. Persistence Find out how Anne Driscoll tracked down Geena Davis for a cover story as well as the five organ recipients of a breakthrough transplant surgery from a single donor from Bermuda.

2. Patience The insider story of her 15-hour interview with the purported mastermind of the largest art heist in history, as well as her share of reporting for the Sexiest Man Alive.

3. Persuasiveness How she convinced a court clerk to confirm information by phone so she could meet a deadline on a story about Jack Welch and Suzy Wetlaufer she had eight hours to report.

4. Pluck Being bold is sometimes successful but often necessary. Hear how Anne looked for alien-believing Raelians on a snow-covered camping ground two hours outside Montreal and also how she met an unknown steroid-using 19-year-old in a New Jersey hotel room.

5. Perception: What did Bill Clinton whisper on stage to the emcee after his third standing ovation when he made his first public post-presidency speech? And how do you figure out how Ben Affleck spends his time when the Red Sox game against the Yankees has been rained out?

6. Passion: A chance assignment to cover someone who gives out hugs all day becomes the opportunity to interview a living saint and Anne and her subject don't even speak the same language.

7. Pathos: What quirky entrepreneur confessed to romancing a beekeeping hermit and what famous singer's son offered to do something illegal with Anne?

8. Prepared: How did Anne Driscoll outsmart Jane Fonda?

9. Personable: She has been hugged by Sean Paul, traded stories about sons with Carly Simon and was told by Michael Stipes she has good hands

10. Playful: When she had to interview Tom McIntyre, head of the bricklayers union in Boston, for a story about the late great U.S. Congressman Joe Moakley, he told her that his son was really Joey McIntyre. She didn't believe him. "Look, I had nine children, Joey was one of them. I ought to know," Tom told her. They have since become lifelong friends and shared more than a few laughs together. And Tom introduced her to his son, Joey.

 

The Top Ten Stories Live Reported for PEOPLE Magazine

Anne Driscoll has many faults but two of them are she has a short attention span and she is nosy. Fortunately for her, as a reporter she has found a line of work in which those are considered assets. In this talk, you will find out how her nosiness and short attention span served her well as she reported her top ten stories of all time.

  1. Christa Worthington
  2. Ben Affleck aka Sexiest Man Alive, as well as George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and other good looking guys
  3. Ammachi, the living saint
  4. Raelians, Aan Alien-believing cult
  5. Finding Eligible Bachelors and Sexy Men
  6. Dead Dog Beach
  7. Helen Keller/Annie Sullivan photo
  8. Burta's Bees
  9. Quintuple Transplant
  10. Richard McDonald, founder of McDonalds

 

Anne's Achievements and Awards

  • 2007 Publicity Club of New England Bellringer Award
  • 2005 Most Distinguished Alumnus Award from Salem State College
  • 2001 The Strong, Smart and Bold Award from Girls, Inc.
  • 1997 Nominee for the Anna Quinlan Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families given by the Child Welfare League of America
  • 1997 Appreciation Award from Deana's Fund, an anti-dating violence foundation
  • 1995 Finalist for Women's Sports Foundation Journalism Award
  • 1995 Special Commendation Media Award from Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health, Eileen Elias
  • 1994 Keynote speaker and Community Service Award for sensitive media coverage and challenging editorial comment by Help for Abused Women and Children

 

Recent References

I was interviewed by Anne Driscoll both for PEOPLE Magazine and as a speaker in the Salem State Speaker Series. On both occasions, one in a private setting and the other in front of an audience of 2,000, Anne was both professional and delightful. Her self confidence and poise make her a very effective interviewer and moderator.

Jack Welch



Driscoll's interview with Jack and Suzy Welch in the Salem State College Series was right on the money. The Welches and our audience loved her. Caring, compassionate, and curious, Anne has that rare ability to get people from all walks of life to open up and speak candidly about themselves. With her background as a social worker, author, and reporter ,she brings great intelligence and poise to any situation whether it be as a facilitator, interviewer, or keynote speaker. I highly recommend her in any of these roles.

Cynthia McGurren
Vice President of Institutional Advancement Salem State College



You did it again! You had the audience in hysterics, near tears, on the edge of their seats, and mesmerized - just like you did at last years lecture. If I could trot you out every week my series would be at the top of everyone's must do list!

Jim McAllister,
Founder of Evenings at the Lyceum Lecture Series
June 11, 2008



In January 2008 the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, MA introduced a media program for Club members ages 11-15. Our first project was the production and printing of a quarterly newspaper, What's The Word. Anne Driscoll visited the Club to speak with our participants about interviewing techniques, story ideas and to share some of her more interesting experiences over the years. It is not an easy task to take a group of kids who previously never read a newspaper or magazine and make the process sound interesting to them, but Anne accomplished the task! At our end of year program wrap up, the media group selected Anne's visit and discussion the highlight of the year!

Beth O'Grady
Board Volunteer Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
April 10, 2008



Dear Anne,
Thank you so much for being a featured author and workshop presenter at our Writers' Festival March 15, 2008, held at the Jacksonville Public Library. We had nearly 400 students and adults in attendance.

Your sessions were well attended and your pleasant, friendly manner made for an excellent rapport among workshop attendees. You are the best of what a presenter should be -- both fun and inspirational. I noticed how our students lingered after each session to talk further with you, and they have brought back to school renewed energy, anxious to put into practice the ideas you've given them. Comments on the evaluation sheets were all positive. One student wrote, She rocks.

And, I really appreciate your professional and pleasant manner. You had such great enthusiasm for this project, particularly because it involved young people, I suspect. Your clear and engaging descriptions of the workshop content, and promptness with all deadlines -- makes you an exceedingly easy person to work with.

Thanks again for such a successful event. We look forward to bringing you back for another festival.

Sincerely,
Jacquelin Jones
Chair, Creative Writing Department



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