On this episode of Gangrey: The Podcast, host and producer Matt Tullis talks with Christopher Goffard about “Dirty John,” a combination print series and podcast. Goffard is an author and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. “Dirty John” focuses on the relationship between Deborah Newell and John Meehan. It was a relationship Deborah’s children hated, and one that ended in the death of one person.
Goffard shared in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for the LA Times’ investigation into the city of Bell, California. He has twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, in 2007 and 2014. His book, “You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya” was based on his LA Times’ series and was published in 2011.
He’s also a successful fiction writer. His novel “Snitch Jacket” was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2008.
Walt Harrington is a former staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine. He’s now a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Harrington has written a number of award-winning books, including “The Everlasting Stream,” which was turned into an Emmy-winning PBS documentary.
His book “Intimate Journalism,” has been a staple of journalism writing classes for more than 15 years. Last year, he co-edited an anthology called “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.” He produced that book with Esquire writer Mike Sager, a former podcast guest. The book features 19 stories written by journalists who are all under the age of 40.
In May 2014, Harrington’s book “Acts of Creation: America’s Finest Hand Craftsmen at Work,” was published by The Sager Group. That book consists of 14 portraits of people who work with their hands, including a fireplace maker in Maine, a cabinet maker in Maryland and a locksmith in Ohio.
Since talking with Matt Tullis on the podcast, Harrington write another book: “Artful Journalism: Essays in the Craft and Magic of True Storytelling.”
Mike Sager is a bestselling author and award-winning reporter who has been called the beat poet of American journalism. He currently works as a writer at large for Esquire Magazine, and is also the editor and publisher of The Sager Group, a consortium of multimedia artists and writers.
Sager recently co-edited the book, “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.” He’s also released a collection of his own magazine stories called “The Someone You’re Not,” as well as a novel titled “High Tolerance.”
Sager began his journalism career in the Washington Post newsroom, working for Bob Woodward. He went on to write for dozens of high profile magazines, including GQ, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Vibe, Spy and Interview, among many others. In 2010, he won a National Magazine Award for profile writing for his story on former NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich.
Flinder Boyd is a former professional basketball player who now writes longform journalism. For 10 years, he played as a point guard in the lower and upper levels of many professional European basketball leagues.
Now he’s writing, often about basketball. His story “20 Minutes at Rucker Park” profiles a young man’s cross-country journey on a Greyhound bus to New York City’s streetball Mecca.
That story was published on SB Nation Longform. It was subsequently a Longform selection and named by Longreads a Top 5 Longread of the Week. It was also a Nieman Storyboard recommended reading selection and earned Boyd Longread’s Favorite New Writer Discovery in 2013. Finally, Sports on Earth called the story a Top 20 sports story in 2013. To top things off, the story was anthologized in Best American Sports Writing 2014.
He’s written two other stories for SB Nation Longform; a profile of NBA player Chris Copeland and a first-hand account of the corruption and chaos of playing professional basketball in Slovakia.
Since joining the podcast, Boyd has started writing for many other outlets, including Rolling Stone, Newsweek and Fox Sports, where he wrote about Rafael Palmeiro in April 2016.
Boyd has also written for The Classical, Sports On Earth and BBC online among others. You can follow him on Twitter @FlinderBoyd.