Participants & Speakers

Joshuah BearmanBearman

Joshuah Bearman has written for Rolling Stone, Wired, the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and McSweeney’s and contributes to This American Life.  He has written about CIA missions, jewel thieves, deranged private investigators, rival Santa Clauses, and the metaphysical implications of being the world’s greatest Pac Man player. Bearman blew the lid off the story of the great rodent disaster of 2003, when giant gerbils ate China. Not all of it. The movie “Argo” was adapted from Bearman’s 2007 Wired article, “The Great Escape.” Last year, Bearman co-founded Epic, a digital publication for narrative nonfiction, and a film and television production company. Bearman is working on a book for Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.  @joshbearman


Gray Beltran

Gray Beltran is a designer, photographer, and journalist who has written about film and music for newspapers in Southern California. He is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School and the Literary Journalism Program at the University of California, Irvine. He is currently the design director for The Atavist, a digital magazine of longform journalism, and the community editor for Creatavist, a platform for storytellers. @graybeltran 

Carol BurkeBurke

Carol Burke  is a professor of English who combines her ethnographic skills as a folklorist with her interest in literary journalism. Her publications include Camp All-American, Hanoi Jane, and the High-and-Tight, a study of military culture; Women’s Visions, a book that explores accounts of the supernatural and the uncanny exchanged by women in prison; The Creative Process (coauthored with Molly Tinsley), a creative writing text; Plain Talk and Back in Those Days, collections of family folklore—the latter coauthored with Martin Light; and Close Quarters, a collection of poems. She has written for The Nation and The New Republic as well as scholarly journals and collections. Before joining the faculty at UCI in 2004, Professor Burke taught courses in literary journalism at Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins Universities.

Miles CorwinCorwin 

Miles Corwin, a former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, is the author of three nonfiction books: The Killing Season, a national bestseller; And Still We Rise, the winner of the PEN West award for nonfiction and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; and Homicide Special, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He has published two novels, Kind of Blue and Midnight Alley. Miles is a professor of English in the UC Irvine Literary Journalism program.

Jia Rui Chong CookCook

Jia-Rui Chong Cook is national and science editor for Zocalo Public Square , a nonprofit ideas exchange that blends humanities journalism and live events. Zocalo publishes personal essays and news analyses that end up on the websites and op-ed pages of over 100 syndicate partners (including 30 newspapers in California, Time and USA Today). Prior to Zocalo Public Square, Jia-Rui was a reporter in the science and local news sections of the Los Angeles Times and a science writer and media relations specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. @jahree

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 12.10.35 PM

Amy Depaul

Amy DePaul is an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared on numerous websites and in major metropolitan newspapers, including the Washington Post. She covers public health for and runs a blog on interviewing, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and master’s degree in English literature from UC Irvine, where she teaches reporting classes.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 11.07.28 AMSamuel G. Freedman

Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of the seven acclaimed books, most recently Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights (2013). His previous books are Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School (1990); Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church (1993); The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan and Beyond (1996); Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (2000); Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005); and Letters to a Young Journalist (2006). A tenured professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Freedman was named the nation’s outstanding journalism educator in 1997 by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he received Columbia University’s coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Freedman’s class in book-writing has developed more than 65 authors, editors, and agents, and it has been featured in Publishers Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor.

McKenzie FunkFunk

McKenzie Funk grew up in Oregon and studied philosophy, literature, and foreign languages at Swarthmore College. Since 2000, his reporting has taken him all over the United States and to dozens of countries on six continents. A National Magazine Award finalist and former Knight-Wallace Fellow, he won the Oakes Prize for Environmental Journalism for a story about the melting Arctic and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for his interview in Tajikistan with one of the first prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay. His writing has appeared in Harper’s, National Geographic, Outside, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The New York Times. Mac is a founding member of the journalism collective Deca.  Windfall is his first book. @McKenzieFunk 

Jim GilesGiles

Jim Giles is the co-founder and editor of Matter, and an editor at Medium. He has written about the interface between science, technology and society for The Atlantic, the New York Times, Nature, New Scientist, the Guardian and many other outlets.

Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 1.14.54 PMMegan Garvey

As deputy managing editor for digital, Megan Garvey has broad responsibility for the Los Angeles Times digital report, including breaking news on the web, the home page, the data team and the presentation of online projects. Garvey has worked at The Times since 1998. In 2000, she covered the presidential election, moving to the Washington Bureau after the recount to write on a range of topics including the intersection of politics and entertainment, Congress and the Food and Drug Administration. In late 2002, she came back to California to work as senior general assignment reporter in Metro. She covered crime, train crashes, the gubernatorial recall and was part of the team that won the 2004 breaking news Pulitzer for coverage of the wildfires. In 2007, Garvey became the morning assignment editor for local news and worked to reshape the desk to cover breaking news on the Web and simultaneously launch stories for print. The following year, she took on a new dual role as the assigning editor for health and county government and the editor for online data projects. She has managed a series of innovative online projects, including Mapping L.A.Crime L.A., the Homicide Report and the Los Angeles Times Teacher Ratings database. In 2012, she was named to the masthead-level position of assistant managing editor for digital after leading the entertainment section’s Web strategy and serving as home page editor.

Christopher GoffardGoffard

A Los Angeles native with an English degree from Cornell University, he started at The St. Petersburg Times in 1998, where he covered cops, city hall, and courts. His work on the Tampa courts beat gave rise to “The $40 Lawyer,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.  Since January 2006, he has been a general assignment reporter at the LA Times, writing about everything from border warriors  and prison gangs to the legacy of Watergate. Goffard’s two-part series about an innocent man accused of rape gave rise to the Los Angeles Times’s first ebook, A Nightmare Made Real.  In 2013, he wrote a five-part series, “The Manhunt,” about the search for ex-cop Christopher Dorner, and a three-part series called “Private Wars,” profiling soldiers who fought in Iraq. He was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team that chronicled the Bell scandal  in 2010, coverage which also won the newspaper a George Polk Award for local reporting.  His first book, a literary crime novel called Snitch Jacket, was published by Random House in the United Kingdom and by Rookery Press in the United States. It was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2008. Goffard’s second book, a nonfiction work entitled You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya, was published by W.W. Norton in 2011.

Evan Hansen

evan.hansenEvan Hansen is a senior editor at Medium a new online publishing platform that’s changing the way people write and read online. He is formerly the editor in chief of, which he led for eight years, building record readership of more than 18 million unique visitors monthly and winning numerous awards for journalistic excellence, including a National Magazine Award for digital reporting. @evanatmedium

 Erika Hayasaki


Erika Hayasaki is an assistant professor in the Literary Journalism  Program at the University of California, Irvine, where she teaches workshops in narrative nonfiction writing, as well as classes in digital narrative storytelling. She is the author of The Death Class: A True Story About Life, released this year from Simon & Schuster. She is also a contributing health and science writer for The Atlantic and Newsweek, and the Los Angeles editor for Narratively, a digital publication devoted to in-depth feature stories. Erika spent nearly a decade as a reporter covering breaking news and writing feature stories for the Los Angeles Times, where she was a staff metro reporter, education writer, and New York-based national correspondent. She has published more than 900 articles for the Times and various other publications including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles magazine and The Big Roundtable.  Her Kindle Single,  Dead or Alive, was an Amazon bestseller. @erikahayasaki

Anna Hiatt

Hiatt Anna Hiatt is the publisher of The Big Roundtable, a longform publishing start-up. As a research fellow for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism she published “All The Space In The World” about the longform revolution. Additionally, she freelances for the Washington Post and is currently shooting digital shorts for the documentary project The Truth About Trees. Her work has appeared in Reuters, Vice, The Guardian, and The New York Times, among others. @ahiatt 

Steve Kandell

Steve Kandell

Steve Kandell has been the features director at BuzzFeed since November, 2012, where he launched the site’s longform vertical and foray into publishing extensive long-lead feature stories on a regular basis. Before that, he was at SPIN magazine for six and a half years overseeing features as well as the magazine’s redesign and restructuring into a bi-monthly edition (RIP.) He previously worked at Blender (also RIP) and Maxim (not yet), and has freelanced for many places, but currently existing and otherwise. He received his MFA in writing from CalArts. He lives in Brooklyn, for now. @SteveKandell


Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 10.27.45 PMElizabeth Kaye

Elizabeth Kaye is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles. She is the author of five books, two of which are e-books written for, the leading publisher of “e-shorts.” Her most recent e-book, Lifeboat No.8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss and Surviving the Titanic, reached #1 on the New York Times e-book bestseller list and was #1 on Amazon Singles.  Her other books are Ain’t No Tomorrow: Kobe, Shaq and the Making of a Laker’s Dynasty; American Ballet Theatre: A 25 Year Retrospective, and two memoirs: Mid-life: Notes from the Halfway Mark and the Byliner e-book Sleeping with Famous Men: Memories of an Unconventional Love Life. She has written about men’s tennis for sbnation/ and has been a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, Esquire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, John Kennedy’s George magazine, California Magazine, Los Angeles magazine. Her articles have been collected in many books, among them The Pop, Rock and Soul Reader and The Best American Sports Writing. Much of her magazine work can be read at at Byliner.

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 10.15.15 PMPatrick Lee

Patrick Lee is the Managing Editor, Digital, for KPCC and Southern California Public Radio. He oversees KPCC’s website,, and its mobile and social media presence. Before joining KPCC, Lee was a regional editor of Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal community news initiative. He launched and managed more than a dozen Patch news websites in the San Gabriel Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. In 2012, the sites won first place in the online news category of the Los Angeles Press Club’s Journalism Awards for their coverage of the devastating windstorms the year before. Earlier, Lee helped launch and edit SCI FI Wire, the popular daily entertainment news and information website of the Syfy Channel. Lee has also worked as an award-winning editor and reporter for daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Milwaukee Journal. @ripleycal

tessTess Lynch

Tess Lynch is a writer in Los Angeles. She has written for Salon, The Morning News, n+1, Granta Online, The Awl and GOOD. She currently writes for Grantland’s Hollywood Prospectus.  @PhloxLombardi

Douglas McGrayMcCray

Douglas McGray is Editor-in-Chief of The California Sunday Magazine, launching later this year on the web, apps, and in print, distributed with Sunday editions of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Pop-Up Magazine, the live magazine. His features have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine and he has made radio stories for This American Life.

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 11.45.34 AMBrian Mockenhaupt

Brian Mockenhaupt is a contributing editor at Outside, Reader’s Digest and Esquire magazines, and the nonfiction editor at the Journal of Military Experience. He also writes regularly for The Atlantic. He won the 2013 Michael Kelly Award and was a National Magazine Award Finalist in Feature Writing for his Byliner Original, “The Living and the Dead.” He served two tours in Iraq as an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division, and since leaving the U.S. Army has written extensively on military and veteran affairs, reporting from Afghanistan and Iraq. Prior to joining the Army, he worked as a newspaper reporter in the United States and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at The Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper, and as a contributing reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review, reporting from Cambodia, Burma and South Korea.

NeelEric Neel

Eric Neel is a deputy editor for the ESPN Print & Digital Enterprise/Investigative Unit. He served as managing editor for from 2009-2014, and was a senior writer for and ESPN the Magazine before that, specializing in long form storytelling. Prior to working with ESPN he was a founding partner and managing editor of , a daily digital alternative magazine. Eric earned a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Iowa while teaching English and writing, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 12.11.54 PMPatricia Pierson

Patricia Pierson is the assistant director of the Literary Journalism program at UC Irvine. Her research interests include psychoanalysis, the contemporary novel, and nonfiction life writing, including memoir and autobiography. Patricia holds a PhD in comparative literature from UC Irvine, and is the editor of Kiosk, a magazine for literary journalism students.

Noah Rosenberg

RosenbergNoah Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Narratively, a platform devoted to untold human stories, which was named one of TIME’s “50 Best Websites of 2013.” Previously, Rosenberg was a full-time freelancer for The New York Times in print, photography, and video, and Digital Director at The Queens Courier newspaper group. He has worked for for CBS News’ documentary unit, Univision Interactive Media, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Salon and New York magazine, and was a 2012 fellow at the City University of New York’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Rosenberg has recently told stories about crowdfunding for rare diseaseshis cat-walking adventures in Brooklyn, and what it really means to be a New York Times stringer. @NoahSRosenberg 

Mike Sager

Mike Sager is a best-selling author and award-winning reporter. A former Washington Post staff writer under Watergate investigator Bob Woodward, he worked closely, during his years as a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, with gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Sager is the author of four collections of nonfiction, two novels, and one biography. He has served for more than fifteen years as a writer at large for Esquire; several of his stories have inspired films, including Boogie Nights. His fortnightly column, “Go Ask Sager,” appears across Playboy’s internet platforms; he is the editor/publisher of TheSagerGroup.Net. For more infomation, please see

Michael ShapiroIMG_9519

Michael Shapiro, a Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, is the founder of The Big Roundtable , a longform digital publishing venture that launched in June 2013. He is the author of six nonfiction books, most recently “The Last Good Season” and “Bottom of the Ninth.” His work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, GQ and Sports Illustrated.  @shapiromichael

Barry SiegelSiegel

Barry Siegel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. He directs the Literary Journalism Program  at UC Irvine where he is a professor of English. He is the author of seven books, including three novels set in the imaginary Chumash County on the central coast of California, and four volumes of narrative nonfiction — A Death in White Bear Lake, Shades of Gray, Claim of Privilege, and Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom, which is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in current interest.

Brendan SpiegelSpiegel

Brendan Spiegel is the Editorial Director and Co-Founder of Narratively. As a writer, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired and New York magazine, among other publications. @brendanspiegel 

Amy Wilentz

Amy Wilentz is a professor  of English in the UC Irvine Literary Journalism program. Wilentz is the author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier, Martyrs’ Crossing, and I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen: Coming to California in the Age of Schwarzenegger. She has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, The New Republic, Mother Jones, Harper’s, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, The San Francisco Chronicle, More, The Village Voice, The London Review of Books and many other publications. She is the former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker and a long-time contributing editor at The Nation. Her latest book, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. @amywilentz 

Tom Zoellner

ZoellnerTom Zoellner is the author of four nonfiction books, including Train: Riding the Rails that Created the Modern World, From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief.  He is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book An Ordinary Man, and his book Uranium won the 2011 Science Writing Award from The American Institute of Physics.

He is a founding member of Deca , a digital journalism collective of international correspondents. Tom has worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Arizona Republic, and as a contributing editor for Men’s Health magazine. He is now an associate professor of English at Chapman University. @tomzoellner 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.