Katie Rose Guest Pryal, J.D., Ph.D., is a bestselling author, speaker, and law and creative writing professor. She is the author of Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (2017), #1 Amazon bestseller; The Freelance Academic: Transform Your Creative Life and Career (2019), winner of a Gold INDIE award; and Even If You’re Broken: Essays on Sexual Assault and #MeToo (2019), winner of a Gold IPPY award. She’s also written three novels, Entanglement, Chasing Chaos, and Fallout Girl, and many textbooks on law and writing. She is a columnist for Women in Higher Education, where she covers gender issues, labor, and academia. Her popular column for Catapult magazine, “Mom, Interrupted,” is about family life, mental illness, and raising disabled kids as a disabled parent. Her column “Public Writing Life” for the Chronicle of Higher Education advises academics who wish to transition to writing for public audiences. She speaks frequently about mental health and disability, writing and publishing, gender issues, and higher education.
Awards and Recognition
- EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKEN: ESSAYS ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND #METOO won a Gold 2020 Independent Publisher Book Award—an “IPPY.”
- THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: TRANSFORM YOUR CREATIVE LIFE AND CAREER won a GOLD 2019 INDIES Award (for small presses).
- 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
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- Mental health and disability, including creating accessible and collegial workplaces
- Gender issues, and sexual violence, assault, and harassment
- Writing, including creative writing, writing craft, profession of writing, and publishing
- Higher education, careers in and state of, including legal education
- View my Portfolio to learn more
Last updated: July 2020
Katie Rose Guest Pryal, J.D., Ph.D., is an award-winning author, speaker, and law professor. She is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education. She is also the author of The Freelance Academic: Transform Your Creative Life and Career (Winnder of a Gold INDIE-award) and Even If You’re Broken: Essays on Sexual Assault and #MeToo (Winner of a Gold IPPY award). She’s written four novels: Entanglement, Chasing Chaos, and Fallout Girl. She is a columnist for Women in Higher Education, where she covers gender issues, labor, and academia. Her popular column for Catapult magazine, “Mom, Interrupted,” is about family life, mental illness, and raising disabled kids as a disabled parent. Her column “Public Writing Life” for the Chronicle of Higher Education advises academics who wish to transition to writing for public audiences. She speaks frequent about mental health and disability, writing and publishing, gender issues, and higher education.
She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at UNC Chapel Hill and an Instructor in the Drexel University MFA program in creative writing. A specialist in writing, including legal writing, she’s written many textbooks on law and writing, including Core Grammar for Lawyers (4th ed. 2020, with Ruth Ann McKinney), The Complete Legal Writer (2d ed. 2020, with Alexa Z. Chew), and the Complete Bar Writer (2020, with Alexa Z. Chew).
After publishing her first novels with a small press, Pryal co-founded Blue Crow Publishing, LLC, with Lauren Faulkenberry in 2017, which has since published many bestselling and award-winning titles under its Blue Crow Books imprint. She is also the co-proprietor of Blue Crow Author Services, which guides authors who seek to publish with major publishers and small presses, or as independent authors. Pryal is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers (tallpoppies.org), a community of women writers committed to connecting authors with each other and with readers.
Pryal attended boarding school for four years at Westtown School, a Friends school outside of Philadelphia, after which she attended Duke University, where she majored in English and French with a minor in Women’s Studies. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship, and her law degree from UNC School of Law. After law school, Pryal clerked for a federal judge, practiced law, and earned her doctorate from UNC-Greensboro in English, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition. After graduating, she joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where taught in the English Department and the law school.