:: Who are my disability writing all-stars?

Updated Sept. 2019

This list was inspired by my panel presentation at the Creative Writing Studies Organization Conference in September 2016. An audience member asked who I would assign in a nonfiction writing class—”Who are your disability writing all-stars?”—and I said a few names, and then I said that I need to make a list.

So here’s that list.

A few notes on this list. It is a living document. I intend to update it. (I have only done so once, however, since it was first published, because who updates their blog posts.)

One update since the original 2016 post: Kelly J. Baker and I founded and now co-edit a free, zero-profit and zero-income, labor-of-love online magazine of writing by disabled writers, nearly all of them new writers, called Disability Acts. You can read it at disabilityacts.com, and we welcome your submissions. (Please read our guidelines.)

A final note: The writers on this list appear in no particular order. This list is also incomplete. I just wanted to get it out there and growing.

Some of Katie’s Favorites:

Karrie Higgins, “Strange Flowers,” The Manifest Station, 2014. (This one got a Best American Essays nod.) Also, read everything else Karrie writes, starting with her blog.

Jillian Weise, “Cloning Disabled Subjects,” Drunken Boat, 2012. (Also anything by Jillian.)

Ellen Forney, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (Graphic Memoir), 2012.

Esme Weijun Wang, “Fashioning Normal,” Catapult, 2016. Also read Esme’s other work on disability and mental illness.

S.E. Smith’s column in Catapult Magazine, and here’s a sample: “Are We Ever Disabled ‘Enough’ When You Don’t See Our Disabilities?

Kelly J. Baker’s writing on mental health, a lot of which appears in Disability Acts magazine.

There is more. I’ll add more soon.

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