Christine Wolf on Why the Chicago Headline Club Matters

Christine Wolf, photographed by E. Jason Wambsgans

The #WeAreTheHeadlineClub campaign⁠—designed by photographer E. Jason Wambsgans⁠—is an effort to give our brand and our members more exposure. You’ll see these photos and questions across social media over the next few months, anchored to pages like these.

Our spotlight this month is on Christine Wolf, a freelance journalist, biographer, memoir coach, and owner of Writers’ Haven Evanston. The former ad exec and educator began her professional writing career while raising three kids and blogging about her foray into children’s publishing.

It was then that a digital editor noticed Wolf’s work and invited her to report on the local news, effectively launching her career as an “accidental opinion columnist.” Wolf’s weekly opinion column has appeared in digital and print, beginning with, then the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. 

In 2012, Wolf interviewed President Barack Obama in the first Google+ Hangout from the White House. Wolf’s award-winning writing focuses on emotional bravery and can be found in publications such as MediumChicagoNow, and Runner’s World.

1) Why is journalism important?
Wolf: What we document today impacts the future, so it’s essential to uphold and defend this critical work while empowering newer journalists with confidence to voice the truth. 

2) Why join the Chicago Headline Club?
Wolf: As a relatively “newer” journalist — and particularly as a freelancer — I value the Chicago Headline Club’s vast and approachable human support system. As a member, I’m connected not only to local and national journalists, but also to incredible resources, job opportunities, and professional development programming. Experienced and emerging journalists alike benefit from the Chicago Headline Club’s ongoing efforts to reignite your skills and remind you why your work matters. It’s a community I can’t imagine living without in these unbelievable times.  

Support. Protect. Connect.
The Chicago Headline Club is the largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in the nation. We provide training, scholarships, awards and community for our members.

Our year-round programs include FOIAfest, the Lisagor Awards and tech workshops. Our professional members also provide mentorship, feedback and networking opportunities for student journalists and freelancers.

Since 1921, we’ve administered grants and scholarships to investigative and student journalists—$115,000 in the last five years alone.

Journalism is the only profession named in the Bill of Rights. We continue to protect the First Amendment through our lobbying and outreach efforts, holding those in power accountable. 

Each year, we celebrate the achievements of more than 300 Chicago journalists at our annual Lisagor Awards.

Join today.

Cost: $95 ($75 SPJ, $20 Headline Club)

Support. Protect. Connect.

Read other columns for this feature

Brandis Griffith Friedman, from WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight”
Robert K. Elder, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Maria Zamudio, from Chicago Public Media / WBEZ