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Amy Dickinson
Amy Dickinson
Columnist, "Ask Amy"
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Amy Dickinson
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For more than a decade, advice columnist Amy Dickinson's “Ask Amy: Advice for the Real World” has appeared in over 150 newspapers and been read by over 22 million readers daily. Amy has turned the homespun advice collected from her years as a single mother living in both urban and small-town America into sage wisdom for her legion of fans. A regular voice on NPR, Dickinson is a panelist on the popular NPR quiz show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me  and broadcasts her radio stories on All Things Considered

Succeeding legendary advice columnist Ann Landers, Amy Dickinson offers straight-forward, yet traditional answers to modern-day dilemmas. Under her stewardship, "Ask Amy” has come-of-age, tackling issues from online gambling and cyberbullying to custody disputes over the family pet. A profile of Dickinson published in The Atlantic Monthly suggested that if Jesus wore a t-shirt, it would say, “What Would Amy Do?”

Growing up in the small town of Freeville, New York, population 505, Dickinson was heavily influenced by the stories and life-lessons passed down by her large extended family. Always interested in people and their stories, Dickinson feels that “one of the pleasures of being an advice columnist is that I'm granted little glimpses into the human condition.”

Amy left her Chicago home in 2007 to return to Freeville to care for her elderly mother, a trip that revitalized her own life. It was there that she reconnected with a high school friend, whom she would marry, and got a new full-time job: stepmother to her husband’s girls. The memoir based on her return to Freeville, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things, was released in March 2017. “Funny, generous, thoughtful, and wonderfully crisp,” wrote Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, “Dickinson’s memoir is one of those tales that make you proud to be a human–with all our hopes, failures, and graces intact.”

A monthly hostess on The Moth in Chicago, she has been published in EsquireO magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and has been a guest on The Today Show and CNN's American Morning. 

Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter and the People Who Raised Them, earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Full Bio >
  • Amy Dickinson: "Strangers Tend To Tell Me Things" (2017)
  • Amy Dickinson: The Mighty Queens of Freeville
  • Amy Dickinson at Grand Rapids Community College

  • Starting Over
  • Amy Dickinson's A Book for Every Bed

  • My Thoughts on the Work of Dear Abby

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Speaking Topics
Starting Fresh: The Fine Art of the Do-Over

“I make the mistakes so you don’t have to” has been Amy Dickinson’s motto since she began her advice column almost 14 years ago. Now, at the tail of midlife, Dickinson pulls back the curtain on the life behind the advice she gives to others. Abandoning city life in Chicago for her tiny home-town of Freeville, NY, population 505, Amy did not expect to find – in the town she left behind, renewed faith, a new love, a new family, or a new home. But she found them all.

As she finally let go and accepted the awkwardness of middle-age, from blind dating and shopping for birth control, to menopause remedies and disordered eating, Dickinson learned how, through adversity, we learn lessons and stumble into experiences that we can rarely anticipate.

In Second Chances, Dickinson reveals the motivation behind her calling, sharing her journeys through romance, death, parenting and spiritual awakening. Her touching and heartfelt homage speaks to all who have faced challenges in the wake of life’s twists and turns. From finding love in middle-age to her sometimes tense experiences as a step-parent and the final moments spent with her ailing mother, Dickinson’s trademark candor, wisdom, and wit will empower, entertain, and inspire.


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Ask Amy...Get All the Answers

Amy Dickinson earned her Master’s degree in Human Experience. Taking the backroads and learning as she went, Dickinson worked her way through the news world before taking over for Ann Landers. Life experience in hand, Dickinson has amassed a following of 22 million readers, all with questions that beg for answers. Carefully considering the lessons each question poses, Dickinson talks about finding the answers to life’s biggest questions and unlocking happiness and success.

In this 60 to 90-minute presentation, Amy Dickinson brings her wealth of advice to your audience. Your community sends in questions, and Amy answers them on stage. Be a part of a what could be a life-changing event with “Ask Amy…Get All the Answers.”

For over a decade, advice columnist Amy Dickinson’s “Ask Amy: Advice for the Real World” appears in over 200 newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and The Washington Post.

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The Writing Life
Why Community Matters: Big Lessons from a Small Place

If Amy Dickinson’s “Ask Amy” column has one common thread, it’s that we all need help sometimes. And what better place to look than in your own community? Even though we don’t all always see eye to eye, our neighbors and acquaintances can sometimes be the best support system. But community only begins to develop when we reach out and help others. 

In Why Community Matters, Amy Dickinson makes a case for working together and treating others with respect. Drawing from her own life as well as from her experiences as an advice columnist, she will show your audiences how to take the first steps in building a strong community, inside and out, one person at a time.

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Books & Other Works
  • Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things
  • The Mighty Queens of Freeville
“Amy Dickinson was fantastic! She was a delight to have on campus and her presentation was very well received. She gave hope to people in the audience by sharing her own story of the relationships that have sustained and nurtured her through the years, told with insight and humor.”
Viterbo University
“All three of our audiences loved Amy Dickinson. She had everyone laughing and enjoying their time with us. She was a delight to be with. It felt like I was talking to a younger sister. She graciously went to lunch with 8 of our board members on Wednesday and they all enjoyed getting to know her outside of the venue.”
Montgomery Women's Club, Inc.
“The crowd raved about Amy. Many people told us she would be very hard to top next year. Our director called the event a "smashing success," and said, "Amy Dickinson was incredible with her talk--even the men had tears in their eyes!!"... People stood in line for an hour afterward to have her sign her book.”
SIU Foundation
“One of the best. She did get a standing ovation. She was lovely, funny, had researched our community so really connected with the audience. It was a magical evening... and a great way to end the series. I highly recommend Amy Dickinson.”
“Amy was delightful and everyone thoroughly enjoyed her -- we got so many positive comments. She was warm, genuine, and related so well to our audience. We had a full house and all tables full for lunch. Amy was so spontaneous at the luncheon with the onslaught of questions. So many people came up to her to let her know who much she touched them.”
Town Hall of Fargo, North Dakota
“Amy was off the charts amazing! The audience...cried and cheered as Amy shared her story. Guests embraced her down-to-earth witty style and she generously visited with everyone who wanted to meet and thank her after the presentation. You won’t experience many speakers as enjoyable as Amy Dickinson.”
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