2018 Conference Presenters

Presenters

The Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference presenters are journalists, authors, agents, and editors—leaders in the field of creative nonfiction. But they're also professional teachers of the craft.

Best of all, they are down-to-earth, friendly, and approachable; they'll tell you what they really think. The Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference features more than just classroom learning; this event also provides plenty of opportunities for informal interactions.

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Conference Presenters

Jenn Baker

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional, creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and a contributing editor to Electric Literature. In 2017, she was awarded a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship & Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant (as well as their award for Artistic Excellence) for Nonfiction Literature. Jennifer is the editor of the short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life with Atria Books publishing in August 2018. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and appeared in Poets & Writers, The Offing, Newtown Literary, Boston Literary Magazine, Eclectic Flash, The Other Stories podcast, Kweli Journal, and The Female Complaint anthology from Shade Mountain Press. She has also contributed to Forbes.com, LitHub, The Billfold, School Library Journal, and Bustle, among other online publications. Learn more.

Robyn Coggins

Robyn K. Coggins is a writer and editor living in Pittsburgh. She gained most of her fact-checking experience while working for Pitt Med magazine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's quarterly publication. Currently, she works for the University of Pittsburgh as a senior editor. Her work has appeared in Slate, Wilson Quarterly, Pacific Standard magazine, and elsewhere. Learn more

Andrew Conte

Andrew Conte serves as the founding director of Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation. He is also a contributing writer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a best-selling nonfiction author. Andrew’s latest book, All About Roberto Clemente, tells the story of the Pirates outfielder and Puerto Rican native for advanced elementary and middle school readers. He is also the author of The Color of Sundays, which explores the role of race in the National Football League and how the Pittsburgh Steelers used the league’s prejudice to the team’s advantage, and of the best-selling Breakaway, which was re-released in paperback in fall 2016 with a new chapter on the Penguins hockey team’s latest Stanley Cup championship. Andrew is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Dickinson College. Learn more

Hattie Fletcher

Hattie Fletcher has been the managing editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine since 2005. Essays she has edited have been reprinted in The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing and have been awarded the Pushcart Prize. She has also worked on books covering such topics as end-of-life care, personalized medicine, education, mental health, and parenting. She was a coordinating editor for the Best Creative Nonfiction series, published by W.W. Norton, and is co-editor, with Lee Gutkind, of True Stories, Well Told … from the first 20 years of Creative Nonfiction magazine (In Fact Books, 2014).

Lise Funderburg

Award-winning writer Lise Funderburg is the author of the bestselling memoir Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home, a contemplation of life, death, race, and barbecue. She also spearheaded the groundbreaking oral history Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity, recently re-released in a 20th anniversary edition. Lise's essays have appeared in the New York Times, Chattahoochee Review, Cleaver, National Geographic, TIME, and Brevity, among other publications. She teaches creative nonfiction at The University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University, and leads writing workshops in Philadelphia, Tokyo, and Paris. Lise is currently curating a collection of new writing from 25 American authors, to be published in 2019 by University of Nebraska Press. Learn more.  

Chris Girman

Chris Girman is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at Point Park University.  His books include the ethnographic memoir Mucho Macho and the semi-autobiographical novel The Chili Papers. He formerly practiced immigration law along the south Texas border, an experience he credits with introducing him to the importance of voice and characterization in nonfiction writing. His work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, Gender & Society, and the recent anthology What I Didn’t Know: True Stories of Becoming a Teacher. He is currently working on a series of stories about his time as an attorney and part-time Uber driver.

Lee Gutkind

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction and a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. Even before he was spotlighted in Vanity Fair in 1997 as “the Godfather behind creative nonfiction,” he was the genre's most active advocate and practitioner. He has written and edited nonfiction books about subjects as varied as motorcycle subculture, child and adolescent mental illness, baseball umpires, robots, and organ transplantation and has appeared on many national radio and television shows, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central), Good Morning America,Talk of the Nation,  All Things Considered, and BBC World. His book  You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction, From Memoir to Literary Journalism to Everything in Between is “reminiscent of Stephen King’s fiction handbook On Writing,” according to Kirkus Reviews—"an accessible, indispensable nonfiction guidebook from an authority who knows his subject from cover to cover.”

Jessica Handler

Jessica Handler is the author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss. Her nonfiction has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, The Bitter Southerner, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and More Magazine. A founding member of the Decatur Writers Studio in Decatur, Georgia, she teaches creative writing and coordinates the Minor in Writing at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and lectures internationally on writing well about trauma. Learn more.

Stephen Knezovich

Stephen Knezovich has worked for Creative Nonfiction in numerous capacities since 2008 and is currently the director of publicity and marketing. He earned an MFA in fiction from the creative writing program at Eastern Washington University; while there, he served as assistant managing editor of Willow Springs. In addition to his work at CNF, he is a writer and collage artist. Learn more.

Steven Kurutz

Steven Kurutz is a features reporter for the New York Times whose work has been anthologized in The New York Times Book of New York, More New York Stories and elsewhere. Before joining the paper, he held staff writer positions at the Wall Street Journal and Details. In addition, he writes essays and fiction, and his work has appeared in the Southern Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Creative Nonfiction's True Story, which selected his essay "Fruitland" for its debut issue. He is the author of Like a Rolling Stone: The Strange Life of a Tribute Band (Random House, 2008). He lives with his wife in Brooklyn.

Dinty W. Moore

Dinty W. Moore is author of The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir, the memoir Between Panic & Desire, and many other books. He has published essays and stories in the Southern Review, the Georgia Review, Harper's, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Arts & Letters, and The Normal School, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes and edible dandelions.

Virginia Morell

Virginia Morell is a science journalist and author. A contributing correspondent for Science since 1990, she covers evolutionary and conservation biology and animal behavior. Her reporting keeps her in close communications with leading scientists in these fields. Morell is also a contributor to National Geographic and has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Discover, Audubon, National Wildlife, Outside and other publications. 

Morell is also the author of four celebrated books. Her most recent, Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel (Crown 2015), is a New York Times Bestseller, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, and a Kirkus Reviews “Best Book of the Year.” She lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband, writer Michael McRae, and their unemployed American Working Farm Collie, Buckaroo, and his cat pal, Scout Kitten Carson.

Meghan O'Gieblyn

Meghan O'Gieblyn's essays have appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, n+1, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, and her work was included in The Best American Essays of 2017. She has taught online writing courses with Creative Nonfiction since 2012. Her essay collection is forthcoming from Anchor Books.

Mike Rosenwald

Michael Rosenwald is a longtime staff writer at the Washington Post. He has also written for the New Yorker, Esquire, Smithsonian, GQ, BusinessWeek, Popular Science, Garden & Gun, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction, Men’s Journal, and ESPN the Magazine. A former finalist for the National Magazine Award in feature writing, Rosenwald’s story “The Flu Hunter” appears in the anthology Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007, edited by Richard Preston. He has an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the editor of an anthology of Gay Talese’s sportswriting, The Silent Season of a Hero, which was published by Bloomsbury. Rosenwald lives in Maryland and is working on a book about a submarine.

Anjali Sachdeva

Anjali Sachdeva worked as a journalist in the US and Ireland before earning her MFA from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Augustana College, and Carnegie Mellon University, and for six years she served as Director of Educational Programs at the Creative Nonfiction Foundation. Her work has appeared in Off Assignment, Creative Nonfiction, the Iowa Review, Yale Review, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, among others. She currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her debut short story collection, All the Names They Used for God, will be published in 2018 by Spiegel & Grau.

Aadam Soorma

Aadam Soorma is the founder and lead strategist at Whom Creative, a digital media agency based in Pittsburgh, PA. His creative practice guides clients through their day-to-day online storytelling, primarily via social media. He received his MS in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and his BS in magazine journalism from Ohio University. Connect with Aadam and his musings via Twitter: @asoorma.

Barrett Swanson 

Barrett Swanson was the 2016-2017 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He was the recipient of a 2015 Pushcart Prize, and his short fiction and essays have been distinguished as notable in Best American Nonrequired Reading (2014), Best American Essays (2014, 2015, and 2017), and Best American Sports Writing (2017). His work has appeared recently in the New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, New England Review, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, The Point, LA Review of Books, Dissent, and Mississippi Review, and is forthcoming in Orion, Salmagundi, Pacific Standard, the Southern Review, and Guernica.

Peter Trachtenberg

Peter Trachtenberg is the author of 7 Tattoos (Crown, 1997), The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning (Little Brown, 2008), and Another Insane Devotion (Da Capo, 2012), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in the New Yorker, Harper’s, BOMB, TriQuarterly, O: The Oprah Magazine, the New York Times Travel Magazine, A Public Space, the L.A. Review of Books, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, and StoryQuarterly. His commentaries have been broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered. Trachtenberg is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh; he also teaches at the Bennington Writers Seminars. He’s the recipient of a NYFA artist’s fellowship, the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, Whiting and Guggenheim fellowships, and residencies at Yaddo and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. The Book of Calamities was given the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.” He lives in Pittsburgh.

Becky Tuch

Becky Tuch has written nonfiction for Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review online, and Role Reboot, and was a cofounding member of the literary blog Beyond the Margins. Her fiction has been awarded prizes and fellowships from The Macdowell Colony, Briar Cliff Review, Glimmer Train, and Moment magazine and was recently chosen for Sundress Press's Best of the Net anthology. Other stories have appeared in Day One, Salt Hill, Barrelhouse, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She is the Founding Editor of the Review Review, listed in Writer's Digest as among the 101 Best Websites for Writers. Learn more

Chad Vogler

Headshot and bio coming soon. 


Agents

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