Biography

Biography

 

The Woodsy recently profiled my path as a writer and journalist. To learn more about my literary fiction, please listen to this podcast or read this excerpt of my novel Subduction, a modern love story between an anthropologist and a hoarder’s son.

Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze is a 2017 New York Times New & Notable book to which I contributed a very personal essay, with thanks to editors Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon.

I freelance from the Pacific Northwest for the Guardian and the New York Times, and soon, the Washington Post. Of late, I have merged the personal and the political in pieces such as this Guardian essay about automation, education and social justice.

Though I had been writing for the Guardian for years, I was floored when Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner commissioned me to investigate the disappearance of Blackfeet actress Misty Upham. My 5,000 word narrative about Misty’s life and death was recognized for Diversity in Digital Features by the Society for Features Journalism in 2016.

As researcher, I was the only non-staffer on the New York Times team that produced Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. With support from the multimedia crew at the New York Times and editor Jason Stallman, author John Branch crafted a complex narrative for a digital age. Together, we helped make journalistic history.

The Team: John Branch, Ruth Fremson, Catherine Spangler, Hannah Fairfield, Xaquín G.V., Jon Huang, Wayne Kamidoi, Sam Manchester, Alan McLean, Jacky Myint, Graham Roberts, Joe Ward, Jeremy White, Josh Williams, Eric Miller, Shane Wilder, Kristen Millares Young

Awards

 

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Pulitzer Prize for feature writing

Peabody

Peabody Award

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Pictures of the Year International
Best E-Project

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American Society of Newspaper Editors
Punch Sulzberger Award for Online Storytelling

 

I learned reporting on the job at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I joined the business desk as a retail reporter covering corporate behemoths in 2004, later moving to metro to write about government shenanigans on the waterfront. I wrote 700 stories during my five years on staff, but as a beat reporter, I was lucky to work with editors Chris Grygiel, Don Smith and David McCumber, who supported my penchant for investigations.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers awarded my and others’ work with 2007 Best in Business, General Excellence award (medium circulation). In recognizing the Seattle P-I business staff, judges highlighted my April 2007 story about an ex-port chief’s illicit retirement package, which spurred a state Supreme Court-sanctioned recall effort of the commissioner who rubber stamped the deal.

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Pacific Northwest Chapter awarded my port coverage with 2007 Second Place for Comprehensive Coverage and, in collaboration with my colleague Ruth Teichroeb, 2006 First Place for Best Government Reporting and Best Online Business Adaptation for a series to which I contributed a succinct analysis of the publicly-funded port’s gift of profits to cruise industry partners.

Education

 

Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and GO-MAP fellow, University of Washington
Multimedia reporting fellow, Knight Digital Media Center, University of California at Berkeley
A.B. magna cum laude in History and Literature of Latin America, citations in Latin American Studies and Spanish, Harvard University
One semester at the University of Havana in Cuba, where Harvard College later funded my honors thesis research about sex workers

Journalism

 

Freelance Journalist and Essayist, the Guardian, the New York Times and Crosscut
Co-founder and Board Chair, InvestigateWest, a non-profit newsroom
Program Venture Fund grant recipient, KUOW-94.9, National Public Radio station
Staff Political and Business Reporter, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer