Nonfiction Books

I’ve written many nonfiction books, some on writing, some on law, some on grammar, and more. My books are published with Oxford University Press, Carolina Academic Press, Pearson Education, and more. You can learn more about my nonfiction books by clicking the covers below or by scrolling down.

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THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: Transform Your Creative Life and Career

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.


“Ultimately, Pryal’s becomes both a cautionary tale and a beacon of hope for frustrated academics in similar positions. The Freelance Academic traces a path out of traditional academia with grace and humor.” Foreword Reviews

“A roadmap that’s as practical as it is hopeful.” -Bestselling author Camille Pagán for Booktrib Magazine

“So many academics—current, former, and struggling—will see themselves in Pryal’s story. I hope just as many see all of the possibilities she enumerates, and understand, as she does, that the passions and talents that draw us to the university in the first place are often best used outside it.” -Rebecca Schuman, Ph.D., author of Schadenfreude, A Love Story

“With candor and vulnerability, 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

“An indictment of how the academy squanders talent by embracing the gig economy through contingent labor and the devaluation of teaching. A new, necessary book.” -Catherine J. Prendergast, Ph.D., author of Buying into English: Language and Investment in the New Capitalist World


Book Information:

  • Author: Katie Rose Guest Pryal
  • Title: THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: Transform Your Creative Life and Career
  • June 2019, Blue Crow Books
  • ISBN Paper: 978-1-947834-35-4; ISBN Ebook: 978-1-947834-36-1
  • Distributed through Ingram
  • Purchase Link:

About LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education

Academia isn’t an easy place to be if your brain isn’t quite right.

Colleagues carelessly call each other “schizo” and “bipolar.” Another colleague is fired—easy enough to do these days, when most college teachers no longer have tenure—for “instability.” In these ways and many more, psychiatrically disabled people working in higher education are reminded every day that their privilege, their very livelihoods, can be stripped away by the groundless suspicions of others. Their lives can be, in an instant, interrupted.

The essays in this book cover topics such as disclosure of disabilities, accommodations and accessibility, how to be a good abled friend to a disabled person, the trigger warnings debate, and more. Written for a popular audience, for those with disabilities and for those who want to learn more about living a disabled life, Life of the Mind Interrupted aims to make higher education, and the rest of our society, more humane.

“Katie Rose Guest Pryal is one of the foremost writers of disability and higher education we have today. Like Kay Redfield Jamison and Elyn Saks, Pryal pulls aside the curtain to look at what academic life is like for someone with a mental disability. With unmatched legal insight into the intersection of disability and university life, Pryal’s writing is also accessible. Reading her writing is like sitting down to coffee with a friend. Covering vital topics such as disclosure, collegiality, and accommodations, Life of the Mind Interrupted helps academics and friends of academics navigate the thickets of higher education, where expectations of “sound mind” are cruelly at odds with the reality of disability. In Pryal’s work we see hope: For a kinder, more just, more capacious understanding of what it means to be human, to pursue knowledge, and to educate.”  —Catherine J. Prendergast, Ph.D., Professor of Disability Studies


Book Information:

  • Author: Katie Rose Guest Pryal
  • Title: Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education
  • October 2017, Snowraven Books

About WE ARE ALL ENEMIES OF THE STATE: And Other Essays on Speech

When the president declares war against the media, he is declaring war against the people of the United States.

In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Katie Rose Guest Pryal is an attorney, an essayist, and a legal commentator. WE ARE ALL ENEMIES OF THE STATE collects some of Pryal’s writing over the past two years on how the First Amendment has fared under the Trump administration. This book will appeal to anyone interested in free speech, freedom of the press, and how we must guard these important rights.


Book Information:

  • Author: Katie Rose Guest Pryal
  • Title: We Are All Enemies of the State: And Other Essays on Speech
  • November 2018, Snowraven Books


A Short Guide to Writing About Law (Pearson 2010) is a writing handbook that teaches non-experts in law how to read legal documents and incorporate legal sources into their research and academic writing. (View on Amazon.)

Click here to download a free PDF of the Table of Contents and Preface.

This book is designed for writers in many types of courses and situations:

  • rhetoric and law courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • writing in the disciplines (WID) courses that focus on law, political science, and other topics.
  • writing across the curriculum (WAC) courses in law, criminal justice, political science, and the like.
  • any course that includes legal texts as part of their primary reading material.
  • new legal writers preparing to write about legal subjects for the first time in research genres such as seminar papers, conference papers, or journal articles.
  • journalists interested in learning how to use legal sources in their work.

A Short Guide to Writing About Law teaches readers how to read law and how to write about law. The law is a complex professional discourse that has begun to appear in a variety of courses including political science, criminal justice, sociology, journalism, and law and literature.  The book offers an accessible introduction to the rhetoric of law, legal opinions and statutes, and wide-access online search engines for conducting research of legal topics.

The book includes different writing assignments such as a case brief, a rhetorical analysis, an annotated outline, and a research paper modeled on a law journal article.

A Short Guide to Writing About Law starts with an overview of the Anglo-American legal system and moves to a discussion of lawyers as rhetors, including a discussion of the Sophists. The book covers syllogisms and the Aristotelian appeals, as well as rhetorical analysis of legal arguments.


Book Information: