Writer and editor



Kate Spade's suicide: Another example of how the media fails people with mental health issues | Perspective

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The Eagles Parade: A Love Letter to Philly

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Jewish Filmmaker Turns Camera onto Her Own Personal Tragedy

That was the headline on last week, just three days before the autobiographical film The Tale, made by Jewish Philadelphia native Jennifer Fox, made its HBO debut on May 26. Though the headline sounds like clickbait, it’s not a spurious question, as The Tale engages with a controversial theme — childhood sexual abuse — in an extremely direct way.
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It's About Time Birds Got a Little Respect

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For Rape Victims, the #MeToo Movement Can Cut Both Ways

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Separation Agreement: What It Means to Be Living Together Apart

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Is this how people see me? What happened when I visited Pennhurst's Haunted Asylum | Liz Spikol

When the Eastern Pennsylvania Institution for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic was founded in 1908 in Spring City, Chester County, it was ostensibly for people with seizure disorders and intellectual disabilities. But almost from the start, it suffered from overcrowding due to the influx of people without those conditions: the mentally ill, the blind, immigrants, so-called juvenile delinquents, even orphans.
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Tear down the Frank Rizzo statue now | Opinion

Over the weekend, Charlottesville, Va., saw the largest public gathering of white nationalists in at least 10 years. The ostensible motivation for their march was to protest the recent decision to remove from a public park the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. a decision in line with other Southern states that have endeavored to chip away at the public luster attached to the racist pro-slavery Confederate agenda.
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What Would You Do If You Found a Bag of Human Ashes?

*The names of this person and those related to him as well as identifying details of his death have been changed. The day I found Charles started out pretty much like any other — well, except that I was doing a park cleanup and I never do park cleanups. It’s not that I don’t care about parks. But I don’t have the social acumen for group activities that compel small talk, especially when that small talk might be about recycling.
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Love in the Time of Dog DNA Testing

This is my third Chihuahua. That’s what I used to say about my dog, Birdie, until this summer, when I got her DNA tested. I paid nearly a hundred dollars to ship some glorified Q-tips to a laboratory in Lincoln, Nebraska, so that Science could tell me who my dog really is, deep down in her soul.
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Why Are So Many Children on Antipsychotic Drugs?

I had my first hallucination at 17, when I was studying Spanish in the Dominican Republic. I was walking down the street, about a half-block behind an old lady with a cart, when I saw someone attack her with a piece of wood, cracking her skull open so her brains leaked onto the pavement. I can still remember the way it looked — the bone and blood and wet gray matter.
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Is Jim Kenney the Face of New Philadelphia?

I thought there would be glad-handing. I thought there would be exuberant, sweaty-palmed high fives. I thought there would be clusters of well-wishers leaning in for brush-with-fame selfies. I had visions of Jim Kenney, 56, the mayoral candidate and former city councilman, in a slightly too tight Neumann-Goretti sweatshirt, smiling as he greeted supporters tromping up the metal rafters in Philadelphia University’s gymnasium.
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Liz Spikol is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism, from digital startups to legacy print publications. An award-winning writer who has been profiled in The New York Times, among other outlets, she is a seasoned newsroom manager who also specializes in conceiving and launching new online products. Reporting beats include mental health, politics, Jewish community, sexual assault, cities and the built environment.

Spikol is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and for media outlets. She also does storytelling performance and was one of the featured subjects in the documentary film "Of Two Minds." She is the editorial director of Maryland-based Mid-Atlantic Media, a columnist for Philadelphia magazine and a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's opinion section.

Spikol received a B.A. in creative writing from Oberlin College, and an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Philadelphia.