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Wacky Southerner

Cheré Dastugue Coen is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written or edited for several newspapers, magazines and websites, including Variety magazine in Hollywood, the Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Gambit Weekly in New Orleans, the Gannett newspapers of Louisiana, The Californian, and many others. 


She currently writes freelance for a variety of

publications, including AAA Southern Explorer;

New Orleans magazine, Louisiana Life

and Acadiana Profile of the Renaissance magazine

group of New Orleans; TravelAgeWest magazine;

Louisiana Country; Florida Currents;

South Carolina Currents; and many others.

Cheré also writes nonfiction books, plus novels

under the pen name of Cherie Claire

Chere's Nonfiction Includes:

"Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History," 

"Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana," 

"Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana"  (The History Press)

The cookbook travelogue “Cooking in Cajun Country” with "Cajun" Karl Breaux (2009, Gibbs Smith Publishing)

“Magic's in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets” (2010, Llewellyn) with Jude Bradley.


Cherie Claire's Novels Include:

The Viola Valentine paranormal mystery series

The Cajun Series of historical romances

The Cajun Embassy, a contemporary romance series. 

Cheré has sat on the Louisiana boards of the Lafayette Public Library Foundation of Lafayette, the Festival of Words literary festival of Grand Coteau, the Writers Guild of Acadiana, and the Heart of Louisiana Romance Writers of America of Baton Rouge. She has appeared numerous times at the Louisiana Book Festival, Romance Writers of America's national convention, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, the Louisiana Library Association conference, and many other literary events.


Contact her for speaking engagements and workshops here.

​You can read more about Cheré and her publications here.

Blog Posts:

Cheré contributes to:


California Tours

The Travel 100

Travel the South Bloggers (defunct)

Lafayette Travel blog


Finalist, environmental reporting, Louisiana Life magazine, New Orleans Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards, 2022


International Regional Magazine Association

Bronze, travel package, "Luxe La," Louisiana Life, 2022

Gold, food feature, "Best Boudin" Acadiana Profile, 2017

Gold, food feature, "Best New Restaurants," Acadiana Profile, 2018

Gold, art direction of a single story, "Best New Restaurants," Acadiana Profile, 2018

Silver, recreation feature, "Best Bars," Acadiana Profile, 2020

Silver, art and culture feature, "Cracklins," Acadiana Profile, 2020

Bronze, food feature, "Cracklins," Acadiana Profile, 2020

Bronze, reader service article, "Game On," Acadiana Profile, 2018

Bronze, portrait series, "Best Chefs," Acadiana Profile, 2018

ArtSpark Grant, Lafayette, 2019

Robin Hardy New Student Scholarship, Writers Retreat Workshop, 2012

Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation Grant, 2007

Louisiana Press Women, First Place Entertainment Feature and Best Novel, 1999

Louisiana Press Women, First Place, Web Page Feature Story, 2000

National Federation of Press Women Award for Best Novel, 2000 (third place)

Helicon Achievement Award of Excellence, "Power and Influence: Women Who Have It and How They Use It," Gambit Weekly, 1994

Ingersol national news writing and feature finalist, 1988 and 1989

Margaret Dixon Journalism Award for LSU Outstanding Female Senior, 1982


Produced plays in 2007 and 2008 at the Hub City Theater Festival, Lafayette, LA

Screenplay “ZeZe’s Waltz” took first place in Scriptscene Contest, 2003.


Recalculating Route, 2020 “Gris, Gris, Ghosts, and Gumbo: How to Turn What You Love Into What Makes You Money” with host Christee Gabour Atwood.

Louisiana Life, Episode 1 "Louisiana Travel"

Louisiana Life: Episode 26 "Louisiana Staycations"

Louisiana Life: Episode 57 "Towns With Charm"

Discover Lafayette

It's Acadiana Out to Lunch: Writers Do the Hustle

Guest on The Extra Mile with Linda Boudreaux, 2014

Articles About Cheré Coen/Cherie Claire

American Journalism Review

SensibleTalk and click here

Louisiana Book Festival Q&A

Pauline Baird Jones Blog

Cynthia Wolf Blog

Lisa Mondello Blog

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