I’m a former journalist with awards for reporting, column writing, and blogging. By far my favorite form of writing is columns or personal essays, with feature profiles coming in a close second. I’m drawn primarily to four areas in my reporting and writing: parenting, education, religion (particularly the Catholic Church), and stories about marginalized people and communities.

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. I’ve been published in a variety of other venues, including the National Catholic Reporter, the Denton Record-Chronicle, the Arizona Republic, BizTucson, and Portland Magazine, which published my essay about faith and depression.

I currently mentor University of Arizona School of Journalism students as a career counselor, and my ‘You did what?!’ wisdom has beenĀ 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, blogging at Bus Stop Jesus, 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, getting what you need out of college with the least amount of money, 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.