How to Deal with a Medical Crisis, this month’s cover story, draws from the personal experience of the writer, Graham Meyer. “My wife had Hodgkin’s disease back when we were dating,” Meyer says. “I filled the role of the ‘companion’ that’s mentioned in the article.” An assistant editor at Chicago, Meyer collected advice from health-care experts and organized it into a series of questions and answers that new patients might find useful. “A lot of the advice in the article either reflects what we discovered back then or wished we had known,” he says. His wife, Tacy, has been cancer-free for five years.

Edward McClelland has written several stories from the legal world, including dispatches from the R. Kelly trial for Blender magazine. “If you’re [observing] in court, it’s sort of like being a sportswriter,” he says. With litigation still pending, this month’s Law column on angry condo associations’ accusations of financial wrongdoing against a management company, “Left Adrift,” took more digging. “There were a lot of stone walls,” he says. He did come away with a lesson, though: “Be careful who you trust with your money,” he says. McClelland’s work appears frequently on Salon, and now at his blog on northern culture,

A frequent contributor to Chicagoist and Centerstage Chicago, Karl Klockars interviews chefs this month in Table’s “Guilty Pleasures,” revealing their lowbrow-food indulgences. The idea for the piece was born from a curiosity about the general antipathy toward taking one’s work home. Specifically, he wondered about top chefs, “Do they get out of work at two o’clock in the morning and poach foie gras?” No, it turns out. “They’re humans just like us,” Klockars says. Klockars’s own guilty pleasures include Doritos and Taco Bell.

The illustrator for this month’s How to Deal with a Medical Crisis, Harry Campbell creates by reducing information—rather than expanding on it—and producing straightforward line drawings with a limited color palette. “I’m doing the opposite of what the writer’s doing. I’m just trying to distill it,” he says. An article full of technical detail then, counter-intuitively, can hamper creativity. “It can stifle what you’re thinking,” he says. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and Mother Jones.              

Suggestions poured in from local fashionistas on how to improve Fashion Focus when Beth Wilson, the Chicago correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily, interviewed them for “Haute Pursuit,” in Arena. “It was definitely something that people had a lot to say about,” she says. The best ideas seem viable and smart—from her perspective. “Easy for us to say when we’re not the organizers,” she says. Wilson’s features have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Marie Claire, and the Daily Herald.

Photography: (Meyer) Kim Thornton, (McClelland) Joseph L. Block, (Wilson) Cindy Bromelmeier