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Melanie Warner Spencer is an award-winning lifestyle journalist, blogger, photographer, etiquette expert and photo stylist. She is the founder of Drink Fit Club, a sober curious community committed to alcohol awareness and helping people navigate booze breaks. Currently, Spencer is the editor of the award-winning magazines New Orleans Bride Magazine, and New Orleans Homes Magazine, managing editor of the International Regional Magazine Association award-winning magazines, Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life, as well as editor of “Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails” (publishes November 2022), “The Essential Louisiana Cookbook” and “The Essential Louisiana Seafood Cookbook“). She is also a contributing author of “Cherchez la Femme: New Orleans Women,” a photographic exploration of how New Orleans women have shaped the city by Cheryl Gerber published by University Press of Mississippi and Renaissance Publishing’s 2016 release, “Essential New Orleans: 15 Places We Love.” Spencer also is a contributor to Biz New Orleans Magazine penning its Great Workspaces design feature and the former business etiquette columnist, as well as a regular guest expert on WWL-TV/WUPL, New Orleans’ CBS Affiliate. Her weekly blog at MyNewOrleans.Com, Bon Vivant, explores living the good life in New Orleans and beyond and she co-blogs and is the editor of Let Them Eat Cake, the official daily blog of New Orleans Bride Magazine. Spencer also is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and a certified ayurvedic nutrition counselor. As a certified sabreur through the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or [Brotherhood of the Golden Saber], Spencer can open a bottle of champagne with one swift stroke of a saber.

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For more than 17 years, Spencer’s work has appeared in various print and online daily newspapers, such as The Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, The Houston Chronicle and The Austin American-Statesman, as well as magazines and online publications around the globe, including Reuters in Australia, the United Kingdom and India. She was a staff features reporter and columnist at The Austin American-Statesman and a senior reporter at The Houston Chronicle. The former speechwriter for Texas first lady Anita Perry and the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, Spencer also is an accomplished speechwriter and public speaker and often gives presentations on wedding trends and tips, social and business etiquette, design, style, journalism and social media at universities and for businesses. She also has served multiple times as a moderator at the Texas Book Festival.

Originally from Kentucky, Spencer is a fine art and editorial photographer who has won awards for juried exhibitions and editorial work. She has been honored with awards from the Texas Press Association, Press Club of New Orleans and the International and Regional Magazine Association for her editorial photography.

Spencer is based in New Orleans and is a board member and former president of the Press Club of New Orleans, founder of Louisiana Media Literacy Now and a former board member of the Society of Professional Journalists Louisiana Pro chapter. For editorial, speech and scriptwriting, photography and photo styling or speaking engagements email penfemme@gmail.com.

(Portrait by Theresa Cassagne for New Orleans Homes.)