I’m an award-winning former journalist, columnist and academic advisor now mentoring university journalism students as a career counselor. I’m also blogging at Renee Wrote This, shopping around my first novel, and freelancing occasionally. My reporting and writing expertise lies in education, religion (particularly the Catholic Church), parenting, mental illness, general personality profiles and commentary.
I got my feet wet as a K-12 reporter in Texas before launching a freelance career as a family life columnist. I sold that column to various papers for a decade, including the Dallas Morning News and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Additionally, I sold more than 100 articles to various Catholic publications during that time, including to The National Catholic Reporter, Saint Anthony Messenger, and The National Catholic Register. I was a self-syndicated op-ed columnist for the Texas Catholic, the Hawaii Catholic Herald, the North Texas Catholic and the Catholic Vision from 1992 to 2003, selling more than 300 columns to those outlets.
In 2007, I was hired by the now-defunct Tucson Citizen as its higher education reporter. When not dogging the Board of Regents I was a dive-bomb reporter on the sports desk and wrote the obituary of a former crime boss before being assigned to cover the closure of my own paper. The blog I started in the dust of the paper’s demise – God Blogging and More – won Best News Blog in the 2009 Arizona Press Clubs awards.
I’ve been published in a variety of other venues, have done live storytelling about cake saving the day and people saving each other, was featured on the Crush Your Internship podcast, and have been interviewed about the Catholic Church on Wake Up Tucson. The highlight of my career was the late, great Brian Doyle buying my essay on faith and depression for Portland Magazine. There’s nothing that compares to someone who won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature calling your work “exquisite.” His death remains a huge loss to the creative non-fiction community and to any and all writers of faith.
If you need a speaker for your event, a guest for your radio show, or a writer or editor for your project, click on the Hire Me button above. For other requests, feel free to reach out to rshorton08(at)gmail(dot)com.