I’m a former journalist with awards for reporting, column writing, and blogging. My favorite form is columns or personal essays, with profiles coming in a close second. I’m deeply curious about many things, but have focused primarily on parenting, education, religion (particularly the Catholic Church), and stories about marginalized people and communities in my writing.
I sold more than 600 articles and columns to Catholic newspapers and magazines during a 15-year freelance career, penned a weekly family-life column for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for seven years, and was a regular contributor to the Dallas Morning News parenting section for three years before joining a daily newsroom at the now-defunct Tucson Citizen.
There, I covered higher education in a wild-west state that doesn’t believe in education funding, and was used as a dive-bomb reporter on the sports desk when a local sports legend stopped showing up to work. When the Citizen was shuttered during the Great Journalism Reaping of 2009, I returned to sporadic freelancing and started Bus Stop Jesus, because who wasn’t blogging back then?
I’ve been published in a variety of venues, including the Arizona Daily Star, the National Catholic Reporter, the Arizona Republic, BizTucson, and Portland Magazine, which published my essay about faith and depression.
My current job is mentoring University of Arizona School of Journalism students as a career counselor, and my ‘You did what?!’ wisdom has been featured on the Crush Your Internship podcast. In my off-hours, I’m working on a novel, doing my best to “yes-and” during improv classes, and being saved by the love of a toddler. I’ve even done a bit of live storytelling.
If you need a speaker for your event, my wheelhouse includes parenting, higher education advocacy, and the intersection between faith and public life. My public talks have been called informative and funny, especially if you’re drinking a margarita. Feel free to reach out to rshorton08 (at) gmail (dot) com.