Nebraska Authors

Frances Maule

AKA: Francis Maule Björkman

Born 1879 Fairmont, NE (USA)

After beginning her career as a newspaper reporter in Denver and Chicago, Francis Maule became an influential copywriter and editor of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in New York.

Her father was John Penrose Maule, prosecuting attorney of Fillmore County, Nebraska. When Frances was around eight years old, the Family came to Lincoln, where Mr. Maule successively became city attorney and judge. Francis was familiar with Chancellor Canfield and Lt. John Pershing while attending the University. After settling in New York City Francis wrote the scripts for the vocational guidance programs of Columbia's School of Air (15 minute dramatic sketches on radio), and lectured on vocational problems before schools, colleges, women's clubs and organizations. She edited the National American Woman Suffrage Association's so-called Blue Book, also known as The Woman Suffrage Yearbook (eg., 1917). She is credited as script writer and for playing herself in the 1912 film short "Votes for Women." Francis worked as a copy writer for the J. Walter Thompson company, an iconic advertising agency, from 1920 to 1929. In 1929-1930 she worked as a script writer for the Judson Radio Program, a precursor of CBS.

She and her husband joined the Helicon Home Colony, an experimental utopian community founded by writer Upton Sinclair, in 1907 and lived there for four months until a fire destroyed the Colony and all their possessions.

Francis was long separated from her husband, Swedish-American literary critic, Edwin Bjorkman (1866-1951). Edwin Bjorkman was director of the North Carolina Federal Writers Project in the 1930s, and his papers are at the University of North Carolina. Francis was married to him from 1906 through about 1920, and some of her letters are found in his papers. Digitized versions of those letters are available from the U-NC archives.

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Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
New York, NY
Woodstock, NY

Author Of

  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction
  • Play/Screenplay

Keywords

Woman Suffrage; Newspaper Journalism; Sociology; Social Commentary; Script Writer

Education

Public Schools in Lincoln, NE
St. Mary's Academy, Notre Dame, IN
BA, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Occupation

Feature writer and journalist
Script writer (Radio)
Lecturer
Copy writer

Places Worked

Denver Post
Chicago American
J. Walter Thompson Co.
Judson Radio Program Corporation

Associations

Protege and Assistant of Winifred Black, famous feature writer of the Denver Post
Sibling of influential Western Americana editor Harry E. Maule

Bibliography

Woman Suffrage: History, Arguments, and Results: A Collection of Six Popular Booklets Covering Practically the Entire Field of Suffrage Claims and Evidence: Designed Especially for the Convenience of Suffrage Speakers and Writers and for the Use of Debaters and Libraries. 1916. (with Annie Gertrude Webb Porritt. Earlier versions of this publication, 1913 and 1915, have slight title variations)
She Strives to Conquer.
Men Wanted.
The Road to Adventure.
Your Next Job.
Selling: A Job That's Always Open.
The Girl With a Pay Check. 1946.

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