Writer Carrie Steinweg receives awards for articles and children’s book

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Waffle Likes Falafel among the pieces awarded, with Lansing Journal article

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 15, 2020) – Author, reporter, blogger, and photographer Carrie Steinweg is now a multiple-award-winning writer, recently netting awards for her work in the Northwest Indiana Times, The Lansing Journal, and for her most recent children’s book Waffle Likes Falafel.

Award-winning pieces

Steinweg is proudest for the award she won for Waffle Likes Falafel. 

Steinweg submitted her recent batch of work to the Illinois Woman’s Press Association Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest. She was awarded for each of the five pieces she submitted. Steinweg wrote three of the pieces for the NWI Times; a travel article “Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum highlights past luxury” won second place, a news article “Stanley Cup winner works to educate, raise self-esteem for those with dyslexia” won first place, and a third travel article about Nashville won another award. The award for the Nashville piece was shipped to the wrong address so Steinweg is not yet sure where she placed.

She also won second place for her Lansing Journal article “White Sox organization hosts birthday party for Lansing’s CP Crawford,” which was used by multiple larger news outlets, including ABC 7 Chicago and People.

Her third place award for her children’s book Waffle Likes Falafel is the award Steinweg is proudest of, however. “I was really excited to get one for the children’s book,” she said.

Waffle‘s inspiration and process

Waffle Steinweg is the real-life dog that inspired the one found in the pages of Waffle Likes Falafel (Photo: Carrie Steinweg)

Waffle Likes Falafel is the third children’s book Steinweg has written, and it tells the story of a dog named Waffle—the name of Steinweg’s own dog—who is hesitant to try new foods until he encounters falafel, a food that sounds so close to his name that he’s willing to try it. It turns out he likes falafel and his life and palate becomes more adventurous as a result.

Having started a food blog with her sister in 2011, Steinweg calls herself a foodie and loves trying new foods, a trait she failed to see in one of her sons as he grew up.

“At one point I could count, almost just on one hand, the things he would eat,” she said.

She also has a young niece and nephew that she babysits regularly who are picky eaters.

“They’re the ones that were the inspiration for the book,” Steinweg said, “I’d be there feeding them lunch and dinner and it was just so hard to figure out what to feed them because there were just so few foods they would eat.”

She hoped after reading Waffle Likes Falafel her niece and nephew would be more receptive to new foods. “We’re still working on that,” she said. “We’re trying to turn them into little foodies.”

Author Carrie Steinweg read Waffle Likes Falafel to the kindergarten classes at Burnham School. They were the first group to hear the new book and got a preview before it was released. (Photo provided)

Steinweg said the writing process for Waffle Likes Falafel took about 20 minutes. “It’s really just sitting down and almost like writing a poem and then after the fact doing all the other stuff and adding the illustrations and everything,” she said.

The illustrations for Waffle Likes Falafel were done by Nicolas Peruzzo, a Uruguayan artist that the publishing company provided. “I sent him pictures of my dog and he did a real good job on that,” Steinweg said.

Spreading the word

Since the book’s publishing, Steinweg has made visits to schools, libraries, and other venues to read Waffle Likes Falafel and her other books to kids. “That’s what I really love,” she said, “I love to go read to the kids and see them get excited—especially Into the Night—it’s a rhyming book and it’s repetitive so after they hear the first couple pages they know what’s coming and they read it with me and get all excited.”

Into the Night was Steinweg’s second children’s book that was published in 2014. Her first was Old 104 Rides Again, which was published in 2011.

Steinweg reads to the first grade class at Oak Glen School in Lansing—an annual tradition of hers. (Photo provided)

In February, Steinweg visited the Simple Greek restaurant in Munster to promote her book. “That was fun because they gave out falafel samples so the kids could come in try falafel, and get the book,” she said. “I had quite a few more things scheduled but because of the pandemic, they all got cancelled.”

Next steps

Although Steinweg does not have any more children’s books immediately queued up for publishing, she has lots of ideas and has even finished the text for another book.

In the meantime, she plans to continue to write for The Lansing Journal, the Northwest Indiana Times, and multiple other publications. She also plans to continue with her food blog.

To view Steinweg’s work for The Lansing Journal, click here. Each of her children’s books have their own Facebook page, and her food blog Chicago Foodie Sisters is available to follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In addition to Chicago Foodie Sisters, she also manages the blogs Midwest Family Traveler, and Adventures in Motherhood.

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Lansing’s Carrie Steinweg to hold book-signing at The Simple Greek in Munster

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