About the Team

Shannon Rapp, Co-Organizer

After enough trips around the tournament circuit, hearing "so when is someone going to host a midwest tournament!?" enough times and eventually realizing that someone had to be me, here we are! 

I'm so excited to bring to life the first annual Midwest Crossword Tournament in Chicago in the fall of 2024. We have such a depth of crossword talent in the Midwest that I can't wait to showcase in a tournament setting for your solving pleasure.  

I couldn't even begin to do this alone; so happy to have a fantastic team of Midwest-based puzzlemakers on board with me! 

Sally Hoelscher, Co-Organizer

Sally Hoelscher is a crossword constructor (for various publications), editor (Lil AVC X), and blogger (Sally's Take on the USA Today Crossword). When not crosswording, she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, playing board games, and snuggling with her cat. Sally has lived in the Midwest since she was eight months old, first in Missouri, and now in the crossword-friendly state of Iowa.  

Christina Iverson, Editor

Christina is a crossword constructor and associate puzzle editor for the New York Times, currently living in Ames, Iowa. She grew up outside of Duluth, Minnesota, and after living on both coasts, she is happy to be back in the Midwest. She has two young kids, and loves playing games and doing puzzles with them. In her limited free time, she enjoys reading, hiking and cycling. 

Tracy Bennett, Editor

Tracy Bennett is a puzzle editor for the New York Times and a co-founding editor for Inkubator, a publisher of puzzles by women and nonbinary creators.  Before changing careers in 2020, Tracy spent decades as a managing copy editor at Mathematical Reviews/MathSciNet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she still resides.  

Kelsey Dixon, Graphic Designer

Kelsey Dixon is a crossword constructor and editor from Chicago. She learned how to use photoshop in 2003 to decorate her Neopets account. She started making crosswords in 2021 because she needed an even weirder hobby. 

and more to come!