Last Updated 8/2023
Katie Rose Guest Pryal, J.D., Ph.D., is a keynote speaker, law professor, author, and expert in mental health and neurodiversity. She is autistic and has bipolar disorder, and she writes and speaks about her experiences living with a neurodivergent mind.
She is the author of the forthcoming A Light in the Tower: A New Reckoning with Mental Health in Higher Education (Univ. of Kansas Press, 2024); the #1 Amazon bestseller Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (Blue Crow Books, 2017); the INDIE-Gold-winning The Freelance Academic: Transform Your Creative Life and Career (Blue Crow Books, 2019); and the IPPY-Gold-winning Even If You’re Broken: Essays on Sexual Assault and #MeToo (Blue Crow Books, 2019).
She is also the author of the Hollywood Lights Series of romantic women’s fiction novels, all of which center neurodiversity such as autism, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Her novels include Entanglement (2015), Chasing Chaos (2016), Fallout Girl (2018), and Take Your Charming Somewhere Else (2021), which won the 2022 IPPY Gold Medal in Romance.
She is the author five legal writing handbooks, writes frequently for national publications, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She is an Adjunct Professor Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she spent 10 years as full-time faculty. In 2023, she founded an organization to improve inclusion of neurodivergent riders and trainers in equestrian sports, called NeuroEq. She is represented by BrightSight Speakers and literary agent Joelle Delbourgo.
She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her spouse, her two children, her bay mare Georgette, and her paint pony Asha.
Awards and Recognition
- TAKE YOUR CHARMING SOMEWHERE ELSE won the 2022 IPPY Gold Medal in the Romance category. (An IPPY is an Independent Publisher Book Award for small press titles.)
- “The Holes We Live With,” essay in FULL GROWN PEOPLE, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in December 2021.
- EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKEN selected by RAINN as a featured title on their book list to learn about sexual violence, October 2021.
- LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED and THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC were named to THE PROFESSOR IS IN Top 12 Books About Academia in 2021.
- THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC was named Recommended Reading about Higher Ed by FROM PHD TO LIFE in 2021.
- EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKEN: ESSAYS ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND #METOO won a 2020 IPPY Gold Medal. (An IPPY is an Independent Publisher Book Award for small press titles.)
- THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: TRANSFORM YOUR CREATIVE LIFE AND CAREER won a 2019 GOLD INDIES Award (for small press titles).
- BOOKRIOT picked LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: ESSAYS ON MENTAL HEALTH AND DISABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION as one of the Top 5 Books to Help You Understand Higher Education in 2019.
- Essay in CATAPULT Magazine, “The World Doesn’t Bend for Disabled Kids (or Disabled Parents),” was the Most-Read Article in the magazine of 2018.
- CHAPEL HILL MAGAZINE picked FALLOUT GIRL: A NOVEL as one of its Top 5 Books From Local Authors to Take to the Beach in 2018.
- Essay in MOTHERWELL Magazine, “With New Life Comes a Fear of Death,” was named one of the Top-10 Most Popular Articles in the magazine of 2017.
If you are with the media and would like to interview me, great! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in booking me to speak, contact BrightSight Speakers, and my amazing team there will help you. Read below for a detailed description of my expertise.
- Mental health and neurodiversity, including creating accessible and collegial workplaces
- Fighting stigma against neurodiversity and mental health struggles
- Being an autistic mother to autistic children—and thriving
- Mental Health and higher education