Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy
Cheryl first saw her name in print in 4th grade, when the Ames Daily Tribune published her account of her scout troop’s outing to a pumpkin farm. A few years later, she sold her second article, coincidentally about a pumpkin-tossing festival, to The Des Moines Register. She’s been fixated on writing—but not pumpkins--ever since.
Today Cheryl freelances for The Wall Street Journal as well as the Chicago Tribune, a 21st-century media company that distributes her work to sister papers including the Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, and more. Through the Tribune’s wire service, her bylined articles run in dozens of websites and newspapers around the country, such as The Seattle Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She freelanced for years as a book editor and critic for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
On assignment for newspapers and other publications, she’s traveled to Turkey, Wales, Hawaii, and Scotland. Her book “USA to the UK: The Easy Way,” a lighthearted look at moving to the United Kingdom, was published by British Petroleum’s London headquarters for an international readership. She lived in London for seven years, writing for a corporation’s global magazines.
She holds an MBA from City University in London and a bachelor's in journalism from Iowa State University.
Cheryl grew up among many siblings in an old Victorian house in the college town of Ames, Iowa. Perhaps thinking their own nine kids weren’t enough, her father, a professor, and mother, an organizational genius disguised as a homemaker, for 30 years took in college student boarders to live with the family. This imbued Cheryl and her sibs with a rather trusting worldview; after all, their whole lives, strangers had been moving into their home and becoming like brothers and sisters. The rotating cast of boarders included a host of international students, notably John Lin from Taiwan, who once tried to roast a whole chicken in the oven without a pan.
She writes about it all in her laugh-out-loud memoir Many Hands Make Light Work.
Cheryl’s growing-up years--and the memoir--included a babysitting stint for a local family that kept a lion as a pet. A real lion. Uncaged. In the house. She used a flyswatter to defend herself, but would’ve preferred to toss a pumpkin at it.
Cheryl, with her husband and (now grown) three daughters, has moved a dozen times and traveled extensively. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.