Judith Valente

  • Author, Journalist, Poet. 
  • TV & Radio Producer.
  • Speaker & Retreat Leader. 
  • Benedictine Lay Associate.
  • Environmentalist.

List of Awards

In April 2018, Ms. Valente received a Best Reporter Award from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.

In April 2017, she won two
Associated Press of Illinois,
1st Place Awards, in 
Best Newswriter and 
Best Series or Documentary.


In 2015, Ms. Valente won two
Edward R. Murrow Awards for her 
investigative series "Police and
Race."

Ms. Valente and Associated Press President, Will Stevenson.


2018 Illinois News Broadcasters Association "Best Reporter" Award

2017 Three Illinois Press Association Awards, including "Best Investigative Series," for "What's In Your Water?

2016 McLean County YWCA Woman of Distinction Award

2016 Association of Women in Communications Award

2015 Edward R. Murrow Award, Best Investigative Series, Radio, for "Police and Race in the Twin Cities"

Five 2015 Illinois Press Association Awards

2015 Jesuit Honor Society Induction

2014 Religion Newswriters Association, Second Place, Non-Fiction Religion Book of the Year, for Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith

2014 Catholic Press Association First Place Award, "Best Spirituality Book in Paperback" for Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, A Spiritual Home and a Living Faith.

2014 Catholic Press Association Award, Second Place, "Best Spirituality Book in Paperback," for "The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed.

2008, Muriel Craft Bailey Finalist:
"Mother of God Monastery, Watertown, South Dakota." (Poem).


2008 Eric Hoffer Award (Poetry Book) First Runner Up: Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul.

2005  Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Award: "Body & Soul" (Poem).

Best Catholic Writing of 2004 (Essay) "The 5:30 Irregulars"


​2004 National Aldrich Poetry Prize:
Inventing an Alphabet (Book), awarded by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Mary Oliver.



Ms. Valente and National Public Radio host Ray Suarez at an Illinois Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet in 2016.

​​2004 Unity Award in Media: “Misericordia” (Feature Film).

2003 Illinois Arts Council Poetry Award: "Green" (poem).

2002 Certificate for Creative Excellence: “Deaf Mass.” (Televised Report).

 2001 Silver Screen Award: “Rural Churches“ (Televised Report).

Finalist, 2004 Emily Dickinson Prize


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Ms. Valente interviewing noted spirituality writer, Sister Joan Chittister in Erie, PA.  Ms. Valente is a columnist for Sister Joan's Monasteries Of The Heart website.

Left, receiving Best Reporter Award from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association in April 2018.  
Above, talking with Brother Paul Quenon, her co-author on The Art of Pausing, at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.

Leadership Roles, Organizations & Affiliations

  • Board member, International Thomas Merton Society.
  • Board Member, McLean County League of Women Voters.
  • President-elect, Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists.
  • Planning Commitee Member, International Oblate Congress for 2021.
  • US Delegate, International Oblate Congress, Rome 2017.
  • Oblate (Lay associate), Mount St. Scholastica Monastery, Atchison, KS.
  • Inductee, Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society