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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 200 newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and The Washington Post, to over 22 million readers. She has turned the homespun advice she collected from her years as a journalist and a resident of small-town America into sage wisdom for her legion of fans.

Succeeding legendary advice columnist Ann Landers, Dickinson offers straight-forward, yet traditional answers to modern dilemmas in her column “Ask Amy.” Under her stewardship, the column has come-of-age, tackling issues from online gambling and porn addiction 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 upstate town of Freeville, New York, 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.”

She returned to Freeville in 2007 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 three girls. A memoir based on her return to Freeville,  Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things, will be released in March 2017.

A regular voice on NPR, Dickinson is a frequent panelist on the popular NPR quiz show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and broadcasts her radio stories on All Things Considered. She is also monthly hostess on The Moth in Chicago. She has been published in Esquire, O 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 and author Laura Zigman called it "Great American storytelling at its best."


Full Bio >
  • Amy Dickinson at Grand Rapids Community College
  • Starting Over (2011)
  • Amy Dickinson's A Book for Every Bed
  • My Thoughts on the Work of Dear Abby
Speaking Topics
Second Chances, Fresh Starts, and New Beginnings: Embracing the Fine Art of the Do-Over

The economy is tanking, your parents are aging, and your life’s plan just took took a severe left turn. What do you do? Amy Dickinson offers an inspiring talk for anyone who has ever wondered, “What now?”

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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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Tackling the Tough Stuff: How to Flourish and Rise Above

Life’s challenges come without warning. As we jump into new projects in work, family, or love, one thing begets another and unforeseen obstacles can overwhelm us. We cannot prepare for the road ahead, but recognizing that there will be bumps no matter what we do allows for an easier ride.  
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson re-married five years ago. After a blissful courtship, Amy thought wedding bells would ring in the “happily ever after,” but new anxieties emerged. Life with a blended family presented an unexpected set of complications. 
Tackling the tough stuff requires accepting these challenges. Whether they arise in your professional or personal life, Amy Dickinson reminds audiences that time brings clarity. In this talk, Amy explains how we can rise above the difficult times and adapt to whatever life throws at us.

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Aging in the Sandwich Generation: Living with the Personal Side of Healthcare

In mid-life, advice columnist Amy Dickinson faced a dilemma familiar to millions of Americans: How to care for an elderly relative?  This issue became very real for Dickinson when, at age 47, she returned to her hometown to help take care of her mother. Once there Dickinson faced the reality of this daily challenge — and its heartbreak and occasional (and surprising) joy.

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The Writing Life

Dickinson reflects on her career as a writer, discussing technique, pitching, story development, where to find the best ideas and how to work with editors. Ideal for university students or anyone interested in trying to tell and market their own stories.

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Lessons From The Herd
Why Community Matters
Big Softie: Staying Soft in a Hard World
Books & Other Works
  • The Mighty Queens of Freeville
  • Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things
““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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