I’ve been reporting, writing and opining since fifth grade, when I started documenting my family life in a small notebook hidden in my backpack. I had my first byline at 16, an event so life-changing that I burst into my best friend’s history class to scream, “LOOK AT THIS!” while pointing at my name in print.
I’ve been at it pretty much ever since, reporting and writing news, features, and commentary for newspapers and small magazines for more than two decades before diverging into student services work at the University of Arizona for nine years. I’ve won a number of awards for both writing and higher education, and was once called the GOAT on Twitter. Being super un-cool, I though this was a bad thing until a web search revealed the student who posted the tweet was calling me “the greatest of all time.”
Recently, I decided to shift most of my creative energies to fiction, plugging away to reach “The End” on two novels I drafted many years ago. I still take on selected editing projects and do a limited number of private consultations for parents of middle and high school students hoping to do what I managed to do with my four children: Get full-tuition merit scholarships to public universities. (Yes, it can happen. Yes there are hoops and rules. Yes, I know them and can share them. And yes, it is actually is best if you start the steps in middle school.)
Outside of writing, I’m an unapologetic coffee snob, British-TV lover, outdoor enthusiast, small-child-whisperer, education advocate, horse devotee, and resident Catholicism expert. I make pretty good sourdough bread, have never met a stranger, and believe in Carbon Fee and Dividend. I can hold my own in a room on a variety of topics, but especially in the areas I used to cover as a reporter – parenting, education, and religion – and in most things having to do with college success.
The best thing I’ve done is raise four amazing kids, although contributing to the New York Times coverage of the assassination attempt on Gabby Giffords and interviewing Gloria Steinem and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem are close seconds. I’ve spoken at women’s retreats, higher education conferences, and in a number of neighborhood kitchens, having been told I’m informative and funny. Two of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done were live storytelling events (about how we save each other and cake once saving me ) and I prefer to never do that again.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my work. If you’re interested in hiring me for editing or education coaching/college scholarship advising, please reach out to rshorton08 (at) gmail (dot) com.