:: I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We’re all Okay. That’s what THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC is all about.

I wrote a new book. This isn’t totally surprising, since writing books is a Thing I Do. But this one is particularly meaningful to me because it’s so close to the life that I live now, day-to-day. The book, THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: TRANSFORM YOUR CREATIVE LIFE AND CAREER, is part manifesto (I do love my manifestos), part indictment of the adjunctification of the academy, and part how-to guide for making your academic (or not-so-academic) career into one that you have some semblance of control over or at least joy in.

The book is also part-memoir, in which I document my stumbles, and my pain, as well as my successes. My friend Kelly (Baker, y’all surely know who she is to me at this point), has talked a lot about how important is for us post-academics or alt-academics to avoid waving the magic wand, to avoid saying, “Ta-da! Look at my non-academic career I magically have!” Documenting our face-plants is really important too. Not just so that others can avoid making the same mistakes, but also so that others can feel better when they make entirely other mistakes on their way to their own new careers.

I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We’re all Okay.

Anyways, I have a new book. I hope you like it. You can pre-order the paperback now, and the ebook version will be up for pre-order in a little while.

Order from the publisher Add to Goodreads to-read list

Or you can get it on Amazon, here:

And you can also get it wherever you like buying books, like your fave local bookshop.

Here is some advance praise for the book:

“Part memoir, part instructional guide, and part real-talk-of-the-caliber-you-expect-from-your-best-friend, The Freelance Academic is a refreshingly honest and practical book about what it means (and what it takes) to transition from a contingent profession in higher education. With candor and vulnerability, Katie Rose Guest Pryal shares her own experiences and hard-fought wisdom to make a compelling case for a rewarding professional life beyond the walls of traditional academia. And best of all—she’ll show you how.” -Amy Impellizzeri, award-winning novelist and author of Lawyer Interrupted: Successfully Transitioning from the Practice of Law—and Back Again

“Freelance advice books floods the marketplace, but Pryal’s THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC fills a particular niche: The academic turning freelancer. It covers not just the how-tos, but it also recognizes the emotional, social, and knowledge leaps that must be made for someone who has made years of investment in one career path to leave that path and choose another. The book is an indictment of how the academy squanders talent by embracing the gig economy through contingent labor and the devaluation of teaching. You’re not leaving a solid academic job when you go freelance, Pryal reminds us. You’re trading your gig in higher education for another one. A new, necessary book.” -Catherine J. Prendergast, author of Buying into English: Language and Investment in the New Capitalist World


Higher education has changed—and we have to change with it. The Freelance Academic will show you how.

When Katie Pryal started her career in higher education, she did everything right—she thought. With a law degree, a doctorate, and a federal clerkship, how could her career go off track? But this is higher ed in the new millennium. “Off track” is the new normal. So, slowly, she made her own career, one she dubbed “the freelance academic” in a long-running column in The Chronicle of Higher Education of the same name.

Five years after leaving academia, Pryal has created a living for herself. In The Freelance Academic, she tells her story and provides accurate (and sometimes blistering) critique of how higher ed as pushed its workforce to the margins. Best of all, she gives plain, practical advice for how to make the career you want, one that uses your strengths, and your creativity, to thrive.

  • Author: Katie Rose Guest Pryal
  • Title: THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: Transform Your Creative Life and Career
  • Publication Date: June 2019
  • ISBN Paper: 978-1-947834-35-4; ISBN Ebook: 978-1-947834-36-1
  • Distributed through Ingram
  • freelanceacademic.com

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