An independent writer in many different media, Barbara Trainin Blank brings a clear and lively writing style, love of words, sensitivity, passion, and intellectual curiosity to every project.
She also offers versatility in an age of specialization. Highlights of Trainin Blank’s diverse writing and editing career include:
An experienced journalist and feature writer who began her career at Cosmopolitan magazine, she has been a regular contributor or contributing writer at such national publications as: The Forward, Health, Hadassah, Emergency Medicine and Transition magazines, Bride, JOFA, and The New Social Worker, and to web sites including: citytowninfo.com, addiction.com, and humanthology.com.
Trainin Blank has contributed to the digital and print editions of local and regional publications such as: The Beacon, Washington Jewish Week, B’nai B’rith magazine, The Burg, Business2Business, Business Woman and B magazines of On-Line Publishing, The Patriot-News (PennLive), The Carlisle Sentinel, Harrisburg, Central Penn Business Journal, and the web site, Maryland Theatre Guide.
Specifically, she has previewed and reviewed theater and other performing arts for The Patriot-News, as a columnist for The Carlisle Sentinel, and now as a regular contributor to Maryland Theatre Guide.
Trainin Blank is the author of two non-fiction books, both from Sunbury Press (see Publications page):
What to Do about Mama: A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members (with Barbara G. Matthews), 2013, and Mary Sachs: Merchant Princess (a biography of an extraordinary Harrisburg-based entrepreneur/philanthropist), 2015.
She is at work on two works of fiction–one created as part of the 2015 National Novel Contributed essays to two anthologies: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor (Bear House Publishing, 2015) and Reclaiming Our Voices: Benefitting Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (Community Arts Ink, 2015).
She researched and penned the entry about Harrisburg, Pa., in The Encyclopedia Judaica edition released in December 2006.
Contributed to the Hadassah Magazine Jewish Parenting Book, 1989.
Trainin Blank’s editorial and writing collaborations have involved such firms as Editorial Enterprises, Inc., Sand Associates, and PR Works, Inc., in Harrisburg, Pa.
She has written promotional materials such as press releases, brochures, and newsletters for such nonprofits as Hershey Medical Center, UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg, Nonprofit Coordinating Committee, and Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
Trainin Blank has brainstormed needs, researched funding opportunities, and written grant proposals for nonprofits seeking funding.
As part-time grant writer, she helped solicit a $1,000,000 grant from Baltimore’s Weinberg Foundation for the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg to renovate the JCC on its campus.
Other clients for whom Trainin Blank has obtained funding include: Silver Academy, for a Science Lab (from Whitaker Foundation); Harrisburg Academy, for its Science Lab; Londonderry School for its hands-on math and science program; and Jewish Family Service (for a Children’s Play Room and for Mynd Works, serving children with learning disorders). She also completed the paperwork for a federal grant for the National Civil War Museum.
Since 2009, Trainin Blank has edited or proofread several academic studies annually for the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. In addition, she copyedited George C. Marshall: Rubrics of Leadership, Stewart Husted (Army War College Foundation Press).
Trainin Blank edited several books for Mary V. Knackstedt, interior designer (currently, for Wiley and Sons, Inc.), including The Interior Design Handbook and Marketing and Client Relations for Interior Designers, and informational and marketing materials.
She also edited several books for UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies about communal issues and Laura Starke’s Being the Change, about grass-roots leadership.
Copyedited Michael Sand, nonprofit consultant’s, Managing Religious Organizations.
Trainin Blank is the winner of two Rockower Awards for journalism, a literary award for non-fiction, and an “Addy” for a special newspaper section (about drug addiction) she created for the Montgomery Advertiser-Alabama Journal (a daily newspaper).
She has taken writing courses at Columbia University, the New School for Social Research, and Penn Writers and in playwriting with her mentor, Clair Myers.
Several of Trainin Blank’s short plays have been workshopped or given staged readings at local and regional theaters, including: Theatre Ariel, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Theatre Harrisburg, Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg, Hershey Area Playhouse, Cicada Festival, Lebanon Valley College, Association of Jewish Theatre annual conference, Carlisle Theatre, Jewish Women’s Theatre, Jewish Writer’s Roundtable, and Theatre Ariel.
She created, with composer Lindy Mack, two full-length children’s musicals for Gretna Theatre, a professional venue, in 2011 and 2012. Her How to Marry the Rabbi saw two staged readings and was published in Art Age Senior Theatre Catalog, 2015. She received Honorable mention in the New Works for Merit competition (2015) in New York City for her Stolen Vows.
Trainin Blank is collaborating with another playwright on a Holocaust-era play and will be participating in a play festival entitled “Will’s Women,” focusing on Shakespeare’s female characters, at Gamut Theatre, a professional venue.
She is a member (and former board member-at-large) of the Association of Jewish Theatre; Official Playwrights of Facebook; and honorary member of Playwrights Alliance of Pennsylvania. She is also a member of The Writer’s Center (Bethesda, Md.), Freelancers Union and several Linkedin professional groups.