Stephanie Schorow: Writer, journalist, author, teacher

About Stephanie Schorow

An experienced freelance writer, journalist, author, teacher, clay artist, avid gardener and cat lover, I have lived in Boston since 1989.

I am the author, co-author or editor of eight nonfiction books, including: Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston's Most Notorious Neighborhood, and Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits, published by Union Park Press , and, with co-author Beverly Ford, The Boston Mob Guide: Hit Men, Hoodlums & Hideouts, published by the History Press.

I have also written books on the Boston Harbor Islands, Boston's fire history, the tragic Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire and the infamous Brink's robbery. For more on my books, see Works.

My book on the Brink's robbery is under option and currently being developed as a TV series.

I freelance on a variety of topics, from technology to lifestyle and travel to health to general features. I write a Dining Out Column for the Boston Globe North section and "ghost blog" for professors in MIT's Sloan School. I have worked as a copy editor for ZOLL Medical Corporation. I coordinate a Citizens Journalism program for Malden Access. For samples of my recent freelance work, see RECENT ARTICLES on the rightTelevision.

I currently teach courses in writing and editing at Lasell College in Newton. I have taught writing and public relations at Regis College in Weston, journalism and public speaking at Lesley University and journalism and public relations at Newbury College. I have taught web feature writing at Emerson College and I also teach community education courses on freelance writing.

See for more details see: Biography.

HOT OFF THE PRESS! READ ALL ABOUT IT! More news, interviews and material about me.
Recent news


What should marijuana opponents do when their cause fails? A lesson from Prohibition

SOME DAY SOON, even as sweet, skunky smoke drifts in from the streets outside, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other staunch opponents of marijuana may draw inspiration from a true believer named Morris Sheppard. After the repeal of national Prohibition in 1933 and until his death in 1941, the Texas senator embraced a yearly custom. A progressive Democrat often considered “the father of Prohibition,” Sheppard would rise on the Senate floor to rail against alcohol and call for a repeal of Repeal.

“It was a ritual,” Daniel Okrent, author of the 2010 book “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” explained in an interview. “Clearly he didn’t expect anything was going to happen. It was paying homage to his cause.”
......

From my story on the front of the Idea section of the Globe on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
See here.

Vamping it up for Books on the T
I was privileged to have Inside the Combat Zone chosen to be a Book on the T. This is a great program that encourages reading on the go -- what we used to do before mobile phones! I had a great time dressing up a bit for this and dropping off a copy of the book.

Here are the details from the web site: http://booksonthet.com/about

About Books on the T

Books on the T launched in the spring of 2017 to engage the community in promoting literacy and encourage excitement about reading across the Boston metro area. By sharing new titles for adults and youth on the MBTA, Books on the T will create a traveling library that introduces books to the Greater Boston community.

Many of the titles will have connections to the Boston area: Books on the T features authors who have a connection to the Boston area, titles with topics of interest to local readers, and local settings and/or subjects. Books on the T will introduce books to a diverse audience, covering every MBTA location, and involving the community along the way. Greater Boston area “guest” fairies representing community leaders, business, non-profit organizations, educational and other institutions will be asked to collaborate by designating volunteer book fairies.

Books on the T is part of the Books on the Move global movement. We look forward to making Books on the T a success in Greater Boston as it has been in other cities around in the United States and around the world.

I was one of the "experts" on this project, writing about Louisa May Alcott, who has has always been a personal heroine to me.

The Curiosity Desk: The Brink's Heist

How many parking garages are there in the Boston area? Hundreds? Thousands? Only one was the scene of the (very nearly) "perfect crime."

The North Terminal Garage in the North End, explains Stephanie Schorow, author of "The Crime of the Century: How the Brink's Robbers Stole Millions and the Hearts of Boston," looks largely today as it did in 1950, with one important exception.

"This was once the headquarters of the Brink's armored car company in Boston—their Boston office," she explained. "And this is where the money was processed. Money came in, money went out."

It was the money that caught small-time crook and master lock pick Tony Pino’s eye. For more that a year, he meticulously studied the layout of the building, the timing of the truck deliveries and the behavior of the employees.

"The idea of the Brink's was that the guys would go in at the precise moment when all of the money had been brought into the office, but before it was locked in the safe," said Schorow.

But there was a small problem: a series of locked doors leading from the street to the Brinks office. ...


The Curiosity Desk: The Great Fire of 1872

Over the years, November has been a particularly deadly and destructive month in Boston, due to a handful of the worst fires in the city's history. Most remembered is the deadly fire at the Coconut Grove nightclub in late-November of 1942 that claimed the lives of nearly 500 people. But the others have been largely forgotten, including one in 1872 that still stands today as one of the most devastating fires in American history.

Almost 150 years later, we still don’t really know how this story begins. We do know how it ends.

"If you had been in downtown Boston November 10th or 11th of 1872 you would have looked out on a sea of absolute destruction," said Stephanie Schorow, author of Boston on Fire. " Today we would’ve looked at it and thought an atomic bomb went off. Boston was entirely in ruins."

But it wasn’t a bomb, atomic or otherwise, that reduced 65 acres – from Downtown Crossing to the wharf, Post Office Square to the Leather District – to smoldering rubble. As best as we can tell, it was simply a spark, deep in the basement of a building at the corner of Kingston and Summer Streets.

"There weren’t a lot of people living in that area but there were a lot of stores, but mostly retail and a lot of warehouses and that’s part of what caused the fire to spread is you had warehouses that were chock full of merchandise for the Christmas holiday," said Schorow.

If you're looking for a dynamic speaker for your organization, group, library or club, please consider booking Stephanie Schorow


I have a become sought-after speaker who spices her presentations with images, videos and artifacts. Here's what I can talk about:

Drinking Boston: A historical pub crawl through the taverns, speakeasies and nightclubs of Boston.
From the drama of the "Blue Blazer" to the mystery of the "Ward 8," Stephanie serves up a cocktail of pop culture, history and anecdotes. Couple this with dinner and drinks and you'll have event that will have people talking. The talk covers Boston's drinking history, beginning in the Colonial period and continuing through Prohibition and into Boston's craft cocktail scene.

The Tragedy of the Cocoanut Grove Fire
This 1942 nightclub fire killed nearly 500 people and burned through the heart of Boston. Stephanie recounts the events that led to the fire, its investigation and its enduring mysteries. New information continues to come forward and Stephanie brings the latest to life. She also leaves time for people to share their stories of the Grove, making for a moving, interactive event.

The Boston Mob Guide: Hit Men, Hoodlums and Hideouts
With partner-in-crime Beverly Ford, Stephanie takes a walk on Boston's wild side with the bady boys of the Hub. The gals trace the history of organized crime in Boston from its roots in the 1910s and 1920s to the latest on Whitey Bulger and his convictions. With compassion for victims as well as intriguing details on the mobsters, Bev and Stephanie paint an indelible portait of the murder and mayhem.

Fire! Boston Burning
Stephanie looks at the fires that have shaped Boston's history from the Colonial period to the arson rings of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Crime of the Century: The Brink's Job
In January of 1950, a band of misfit thieves broke into the Brink's armored car headquarters in Boston's North End and pulled off the largest robbery in U.S. history. The Crime of the Century went unsolved for six years and police only cracked the case when one of the robbers turned stool pigeon. Much of the money was never recovered. Stephanie uses historical images, FBI evidence, movie clips and humor to bring the story of the Brink's heist to life.

Girls Night Out -- 1891 Style
In July of 1891, four intrepid woman spent 10 days sojourning on Great Brewster Island in Boston Harbor. One kept a diary which provides a fascinating look into the lives of women in the 1890s as well as the history -- flora, fauna and bovine -- of the Harbor Islands. Stephanie plays detective, tracking elusive details from the illustrated diary and invites the audiences to be sleuths along with her.

To see videos of various presentations, go to the Works section of this Web site and click on one of the books listed. To schedule a lecture, please email me at sschorow (at) comcast (dot) net