Evanston author launches publishing company, gives storytellers a platform to share their stories


Illustration by Anna Souter

Anne Beall has authored two books that research the hidden messages about gender in fairy tales.

Kristen Axtman, Reporter

Evanston resident Anne Beall started a consulting firm in 2003. Within five years, the firm had an office space in downtown Chicago, and it “was more successful than (she) ever imagined.” Then, the 2008 recession hit and “everything folded.”

“The phone stopped ringing, the emails stopped coming, people stopped returning my outreach, so I thought what am I going to do,” Beall said.

In a moment of uncertainty, Beall authored her first book in 2008, called “Strategic Market Research: A Guide to Conducting Research that Drives Businesses.” After publishing the book, her business started to recover.

Since then, Beall, 56, has published nine more books and co-founded Chicago Story Press, all while continuing to run her original consulting firm –– Beall Research. She writes about everything from the hidden messages in fairy tales to the impact feral cats have on a community. 

“Every book had something that was really burning at me that needed to be explored,” she said.

“Stop the Steal,” a movement that supported former president Donald Trump’s claim that the election was stolen, inspired Beall’s most recent book, “Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life.”

“I remember thinking, ‘Doesn’t it feel like there’s some groups that feel like they don’t have to follow the rules?’” Beall said.

In fairy tales, Beall said men are rewarded for breaking rules while women are often severely punished. She said she wished she had more female role models –– like her undergraduate adviser — who encouraged her to not doubt her abilities. Beall, who majored in social psychology, worked with her undergraduate adviser to research why people don’t listen to women in groups and how nonverbal communications cause women to undermine one another. 

Beall said she lets research guide her endeavors. After interviewing thousands of individuals, she believes everyone has an interesting story to tell.

Beall and Judi Goshen, a friend from her writers group, started a publishing company in 2020. Goshen, 63, said she wanted to partner with Beall as soon as she came up with the idea in 2019. 

“Anne is a go-getter and is very motivated,” Goshen said. “She has so much energy. She gets more done in an hour than some people get done in a week.”

Their publishing company allows storytellers to convert spoken stories into written form. Beall and Goshen don’t just publish finished works, but also compile stories. Their most recent book, “Storytellers’ True Stories about Love,” contains 33 submitted works about different kinds of love.

Michael Tuck, Beall’s husband, said he admires his wife’s intelligence, work ethic and passion for finding new hobbies. 

She has been a great presence in his and his sons’ lives, he said. Having a Ph.D. in social psychology from Yale University makes her knowledgeable about emotions and behavior. 

“She’s very good about feelings, asking me about feelings and so on,” Tuck said. “I as an almost 60-year-old (man) … wasn’t raised talking about feelings.”

Now, Beall is continuing to pursue new passions. At an Evanston writers workshop, she works on her fiction writing.

She is also expanding her medium. She practices photography and has some of her photos framed in her house. 

“I just kind of follow my heart,” Beall said. “Actually, that’s pretty much the best advice I could really give to anyone is to be true to yourself, be true to who you are, and just follow your heart.” 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: KristenAxtman1

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