Megan Cottrell

Megan Cottrell

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My Stats

Contributor since:October 2009

About Me

I'm a journalist living in Chicago writing about poverty and public housing. I don't come from the streets - I grew up on a farm. But I'm passionate about urban issues and getting to know people who are completely different from me. I'm quirky, funny and friendly.

I have this idea about journalism - that it should be approachable and less "newsy." I want my stories to make you laugh, cry and draw you in to neighborhoods and situations you don't deal with every day. I hate the broadcaster voice. I hate TV news. I hate the inverted pyramid. I love surprise. I love humor. I love people and telling their stories.

In addition to being a journalist, I also teach dance for the Chicago Public Schools. I don't just do it for the money. I love children and love arts education. I'm also on the board of a new nonprofit dedicated to helping the underserved find jobs called Employing Hope. I write fiction, keep house, and am generally a renaissance woman.

Follow me on twitter @mmcottrell.



My Current Project

making journalism the way it makes sense to me to do it and hoping someone listens.

My Greatest Achievement

helping a Rogers Park family stay in their Section 8 apartment after their grandmother died.

My Biggest Regret

I didn't end up being an astronaut, and odds are, I will never get the chance to leave Earth.

I Truly Respect

people who do things that make sense to them, despite what's expected of them.

How I Pay For This Wardrobe

My husband's student loans. Moonlighting as a restaurant hostess and dance teacher.

Things That Really Happened

I have a gold tooth.


What I'm Currently Addicted To...


This Is Annoying Me...

people who honk their horns in traffic

This Is Making Me Worry...

the growing rift between political ideologies in America (nerdy, I know...)

This Is Bringing Me Joy...

my students.

This Is Helping Me Create...


This Is Making Me Think - Hard...

"Blueprint for Disaster" by Brad Hunt

This Makes My Teeth Itch

medical drawings. I am deeply disturbed by medical drawings.

Can't Do Without

other people

Favorite Voices

Ira Glass, Sarah Vowles, Marian Wang

Topics Megan follows

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