Linda Carpenter-Leavitt’s writing skills and her creativity were evident early. In 1954, when Carpenter-Leavitt was in third grade, the Greenacres Star, a small, local newspaper, ran a writing contest. She won first prize for her story about “Isabell the Alley Cat.” Four years later she captured the grand prize in Scarsdale’s window painting contest.
After her years at Scarsdale High School, Carpenter-Leavitt attended Connecticut College for Women and then transferred to Sarah Lawrence, where in 1974 she earned her B.A. in English.
After graduation, she worked as a freelance writer, taught English to Japanese women in Hartsdale, had fiction published in “Redbook Magazine,” and struggled with a still unpublished children’s novel, she refers to “as my ‘Gerbil Saga.’”
In the early 1980’s, Carpenter-Leavitt’s prose first began to appear in the Scarsdale Inquirer. She shared a column called “In Print” that reviewed newly published books.
In 1984, she became Associate Editor of the Inquirer, and in that year she and Carpenter-Leavitt’s predecessor David Kirkwood won first place media award from the New York State Bar Association for their coverage of the creche case. In 1990,Carpenter-Leavitt was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Inquirer.
In the sixteen years that Carpenter-Leavitt has led the Scarsdale Inquirer, she and other staff writers have garnered a number of awards. Indeed in 2005 and in two other recent years the Inquirer won more awards than any other newspaper. The New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest has repeatedly honored the Inquirer for its overall excellence, its editorials and its editorial pages. In 2001, The Town and Village Civic Club gave the paper its rarely given public service award.
Linda Carpenter Leavitt and her leadership of the Scarsdale Inquirer are living proof that small-town journalism not only isn’t dead, it is at the core of community life.