Served as president of Midwest Travel Writers Association and on the Society of American Travel Writers’ board, and was the first woman chair of Michigan Outdoor Writers.
“I knew growing up I was a writer, but I didn’t know how to become one,” she said. “I wasn’t afraid. I just did it.”
Transplanted Texan Dixie Franklin’s contributions to Michigan’s archive of travel literature and to the state’s tourism industry have earned praise from editors and fellow travel writers who laud her integrity, warmth, storytelling talent and a freelance career spanning four decades.
Franklin discovered her adopted state in 1960 when, as a military wife with two daughters, the family moved to the air base near Marquette.
While working for a Marquette dentist, Franklin sold her first article to a trade magazine. She successfully pitched an idea to the editor of The Mining Journal for a weekly newspaper column about local personalities. She became a stringer for the Milwaukee Journal. Soon the former dental assistant was traveling the world and contributing travel and outdoor articles to numerous magazines and newspapers. Franklin specialized in stories about Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula. Her byline appeared on thousands of articles, including a monthly column for Michigan Out-of-Doors (1977-1984). Books followed and awards rolled in.
Franklin freely shared her knowledge with students and other writers, and applied her Michigan expertise to tourism public relations. She worked with the Travel Journalists Guild on protecting writers’ rights, served as president of Midwest Travel Writers Association and on the Society of American Travel Writers’ board, and was the first woman chair of Michigan Outdoor Writers.
At 88 years old, Dixie is working on a collection of never-before-told-tales.