Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
In observance of the Presidents Day holiday, The Herald-News newspaper will not be published February 17. Breaking news and information will be updated on
A & E

LocalLit spotlight: Kathy Whitgrove of Joliet

A piece about local one-room school house by Kathy Whitgrove of Joliet will be featured in this Tuesday's LocalLit newsletter. A photo on Facebook inspired her to write it.
A piece about local one-room school house by Kathy Whitgrove of Joliet will be featured in this Tuesday's LocalLit newsletter. A photo on Facebook inspired her to write it.

LocalLit is a free newsletter that connects local authors with local readers.

Tuesday's newsletter will feature a piece about local history by Kathy Whitgrove of Joliet.

Recently Whitgrove spoke with Herald-News feature editor Denise M. Baran-Unland about her writing and what inspired her the work she wants to share.

Baran-Unland: Tell us a bit about your writing background.

Whitgrove: I started writing poetry when I went back to college in 1996. I was 48. After being terrified by the thought of writing papers, etc. I found that I really liked it and that I was pretty good at it.

Because I was taking mostly English classes I was putting a lot of really good writing into my brain and one day it just came out in the form of a poem. I wrote a lot of poetry. I have written some short stories, too.

Baran-Unland: What types of stories do you like to write?

Whitgrove: I usually write something that has been inspired by a true incident and then let my imagination take over. Most of my stories are character-driven and about every day people.

Baran-Unland: Give a one-line summary about your featured short story.

Whitgrove: This piece recounts how I was inspired by a picture on Facebook to search for my Dad’s teacher from the one-room schoolhouse that he graduated from in 1932. 

Baran-Unland: Tell us about your current work-in-progress and/or future works.

Whitgrove: I’m currently thinking of writing a piece that takes up where that left off. My husband and I went in search of Almeda’s grave and we had quite an afternoon. 

I really don’t have much of a publishing history. During the time I attended USF I had several poems and a short story published in Loquitor, the literary magazine at USF, and in 2001 I won the poetry award.

I was published in a couple small poetry journals also.

Baran-Unland: What else would you like to share?

Whitgrove: I’ve lived in Joliet all my life within about a two-mile radius. I’m married and we had two sons. Our oldest son, Tommy, died in 2018 at the age of 46. Patrick and his wife and son live in San Francisco.


Each week LocalLit will deliver an original short and family-friendly story, or a book review, by a local author to the newsletter's subscribers.

Authors with a connection to our readership area may submit. Submission does not guarantee acceptance. Stories should be edited and between 1,000 words and 7,500 words.

To submit a short story for possible publication or a book for possible review, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or

Sign up for the free LocalLit newsletter at Whitgrove's selection will appear this Tuesday.

Loading more