Talk & Signing with Tracey O'Shaughnessy, Carrie MacMillan, Jacqueline Smith, and James Smith - Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits

The Hickory Stick Bookshop will host a discussion and signing on Saturday, March 23rd at 3pm with Connecticut journalists Tracey O’Shaughnessy (Waterbury Republican-American), Carrie MacMillan (Waterbury Republican-American), and Jacqueline Smith (News-Times Danbury, Record-Journal Meriden), all of whom are contributors to the new collection Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits (Elm Grove, $18.95) edited by James Herbert Smith.

Newspaper columns by women journalists published in Connecticut newspapers from the 1950s to the present day (including a flashback to 1828) cover a spectrum of topics, including art, fashion, nature, open government, politics, health care, sports and high society events. Each is a singular voice. Collectively, the voices glimmer with facets of recent history, revealed with clarity, honesty, humor and vision.

“In Opinionated Women, James Herbert Smith transforms dozens of lone, female voices into an impressive ensemble of work. Although opinion writing was long dominated by men, Smith enhances our appreciation of the art by turning his attention to the contributions of women. In this volume we hear the lyricism, earthiness, strength, wisdom, heartbreak, complexity, and wit of their collective voice.” –Professor Maureen Croteau, Department Head, Journalism Department, University of Connecticut

“Opinionated Women is part tribute, part history book. It melds the voices of many inspirational women journalists, spanning from the 1950s to present day, (with one intriguing flashback to 1828!) and covering a spectrum of topics du jour, including: art, fashion, nature, open government, politics, sports, and high society events. Each singular voice from Opinionated Women is a gem. Collectively, the voices are a treasure trove, glimmering with facets of recent history, all revealed with clarity, honesty, humor, and vision.” –Collen M. Murphy, Executive Director and General Counsel to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission

Tracey O’Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist, art critic, and associate features editor for the Waterbury Republican-American. A sought-after speaker and journalist, she writes about society, culture, religion, and women. A two-time recipient of the national Society of Professional Journalists award for her columns, she also speaks widely to corporations, civic, and religious groups. Her column has won praise from the American Society of Newspapers Editors, the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors. Her art criticism has won her four first-place awards from the Society for Features Journalists. A native of Massachusetts, O’Shaughnessy is a graduate of Wesleyan and American universities and has taken additional classes at Georgetown University and Yale Divinity School. She has been at the Republican-American since 1994.

A lifelong Connecticut resident, Carrie MacMillan wrote feature stories and columns for the Republican-American in Waterbury, CT, for 11 years. Her work, which spanned health, general news, personality profiles, arts & entertainment, and ruminations on marathon running, marriage, friendship, and parenting, garnered more than a dozen awards from local and national news organizations. Carrie now writes for Yale School of Medicine’s website, where she enjoys continuously learning and reporting on fascinating doctors, patients, and medical advances. She lives with her husband, two sons, and a crazy dog atop a steep driveway in Oxford. Carrie graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and tries to find time to write the occasional freelance piece.

Jacqueline Smith, Hearts Connecticut Media editorial page editor of The News-Times in Danbury and The Norwalk Hour, began her journalism career as a part-time Hartford Courant correspondent with a high school education. Mid-career she earned a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University, summa cum laude; and a master’s degree in writing with honors from Wesleyan University. She has taught Journalism at the University of Hartford and SCSU. Her first full-time reporting position was with The Day of New London, where she won first place in the New England AO News Executive Association for her investigations into wrongdoing in the management of the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp. in Groton. Jacky was a business writer and columnist for the New Haven Register. As a reporter at the Record-Journal in Meriden, her investigation into the dearth of minority teachers in Wallingford School District outlining how officials skipped over black and Latino candidates, earned her first place in the National Education Writers annual competition. She also served as city editor and assistant managing editor at the Record-Spectrum. Her columns and editorials have won several first, second, and third place awards from CT SPJ and from New England journalism organizations. She and her husband, James (the editor of this book), have four daughters.

James Herbert Smith spent nearly 50 years as a newspaper reporter and editor in Connecticut; in Hartford, Bridgeport, Danbury, Meriden, and other cities. This is his fifth book. He lives in Bethel, CT with his wife Jacqueline Smith, also a journalist whose columns appear in this volume.

This event is free and open to the public.  If you are unable to attend this event, you may reserve a signed copy of Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits by calling The Hickory Stick Bookshop at (860) 868 0525. For further information about this event please visit or email


Event date: 
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
2 Green Hill Road
Washington Depot, CT 06794
Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits Cover Image
By James Herbert Smith (Editor)
ISBN: 9781940863108
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ELM Grove Press - December 2018