I’m Etelka Lehoczky, a freelance writer in Chicago.

I’ve written about business, books, the arts and all sorts of other topics. My bylines include NPR, Inc., the Los Angeles Times, Money, The New York Times and Self. Here you can learn more about me and check out samples of my work.

To get in touch, email me at el@etelkawrites.com.

About me

“The main obligation is to amuse yourself.” – S. J. Perelman

books-colorsquareThere are a couple of reasons I’m kicking off my bio with this quote by S. J. Perelman. For one, I just love the guy. He’s not that well known today, but from the ’30s to the ’70s he wrote humorous essays, short stories, plays, screenplays – you name it. He even wrote for the Marx Brothers! Without him, Monkey Business wouldn’t exist – or, at least, it wouldn’t be as great as it is.

The other reason is, simply, that Perelman is talking about being true to yourself. There are only so many ways to express that fundamental idea – so familiar and yet so necessary – and I really like this one. (more…)

Elastic Lines For An Elastic Life In ‘Fire!!’

hurstonCritics who write about Zora Neale Hurston always seem to write about her contradictions — and no wonder. The extremes she embodied were manifest in her history, her lifestyle, her work and even her legacy. Born in 1891 — though she habitually subtracted years from her age — she grew up in tiny Eatonville, Fla., receiving no encouragement to develop intellectual pursuits. Yet she became a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, publishing seven books and dozens of articles, short stories, essays and plays. She crisscrossed the country and journeyed solo to Jamaica, Haiti and Honduras, researching folklore. But she was often bankrolled by wealthy white benefactors. She wrote tales of small-town Southern life like 1937’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (a book with its own complicated history: Dismissed as lightweight by contemporaries like Richard Wright, it’s Hurston’s best-known work today). She was also drawn to retell the sweeping Biblical myths of Moses and Herod.


3 Simple Strategies for Motivating Your Tech Team

rciIn a tight job market, these tactics can make your tech workers want to stay.

When Anastasia Leng quit Google to start Hatch.co, a shopping site for handmade goods, in 2012, one of the skills she’d developed at the tech giant proved crucial. Managing some of the world’s best IT talent gave the marketing specialist deep insight into how their values and priorities are different from those of other business people. “I was like a fish out of water my first six months,” she recalls. “I needed to earn the engineers’ respect by understanding the things they were saying at a philosophical and logical level.”