Episode 22: Eva Holland

Eva Holland is a freelance writer and editor based in Canada’s Yukon Territory. She writes for several publications, including Vela Magazine and SB Nation Longform. She is the co-editor of World Hum, a website devoted to the best travel stories on the Internet.

Since joining the podcast, Holland’s SB Nation Longform story, “Unclimbable” was named one of SB Nation’s Best of Longform 2015. It was one of nine stories selected. In May 2016, she wrote “Cruising Through the End of the World” for Pacific Standard, and it was noted by Longform.

In 2013, Holland had pieces from Vela Magazine listed as notable in both Best American Essays and Best American Sports Writing. She’s written two stories for SB Nation Longform that were aggregated by Longform.org. One focused on the handlers who help sled dog racers in the one-thousand mile Yukon Quest. The other story is about called “Wilderness Women” and is about women who go to Alaska to compete in one of the wildest and strangest competitions ever.

Her story “Chasing Alexander Supertramp” looks at the increasing number of people who make the pilgrimage to the bus where Christopher McCandless of “Into the Wild” fame died. The hike to that bus includes a dangerous crossing of the Teklanika River in Alaska, and continues to strand hikers on a regular basis, and sometimes claim lives.

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Episode 21: Ben Montgomery


Ben Montgomery
is an enterprise reporter at the Tampa Bay Times and the author of “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail.”

Montgomery’s book focuses on Emma Gatewood, who at the age of 67, through-hiked the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. She was the first woman to ever do so, and later became the first person, male or female, to hike the trail two and then three times. Montgomery’s book doesn’t just chronicle Gatewood’s hikes, but seeks to understand why she took to walking at such an advanced age.

Since joining the podcast, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” went on to become a New York Times bestseller, and Montgomery has written another book. “The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II” is being published by Chicago Review Press, and will be available on Oct. 1, 2016.

As a reporter, Montgomery was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series of stories called “For Their Own Good.” Those stories examined abuse at Florida’s oldest reform school, at times called the Florida School for Boys and the Dozier School for Boys.

He is also the founder of Gangrey.com, a blog devoted to sharing and talking about the best narrative journalism being done in magazines and newspapers around the country. The podcast is a spin-off of that blog.

You can follow Montgomery on Twitter @gangrey.

Episode 19: Mike Sager

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.

Episode 18: Flinder Boyd

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.

 

Episode 17: Chris Jones

At the time of his visit on the podcast, Chris Jones was a writer at large for Esquire, as well as a back-page columnist for ESPN The Magazine. Jones has twice won National Magazine Awards. In 2009, his story “The Things that Carried Him” won for feature writing.

Jones is an expert profile writer. His 2010 piece on the late Roger Ebert is, in our opinion, one of the best celebrity profiles ever written. It’s touching and poignant, showing a side of the film critic that hadn’t been seen since Ebert’s battle with cancer.

Most recently, Jones turned his eye on a man most have never heard of, but a man who has been involved in nearly every major tragic event in recent US history. His Esquire story,  “Kenneth Feinberg: the nation’s leading expert in picking up the pieces,” looks at the man who decides how much money the surviving victims of horrific shootings and bombings get once there is a monetary fund set up for those victims.

In October 2012 he wrote a historical piece on what happened on Air Force 1 immediately after the President John F. Kennedy assassination.

In 2011, Jones participated in a virtual roundtable discussion moderated by podcast host Matt Tullis. That discussion focused on journalism as a sub-genre of creative nonfiction, and was published in Creative Nonfiction in the Winter 2012 issue of the magazine. The discussion was ultimately the inspiration for the podcast.

Since joining the podcast, Jones wrote a piece about astronaut Scott Kelly as he prepared to spend a full year in outer space.

Episode 15: Jeremy Markovich

When Jeremy Markovich visited the podcast, he was a writer and columnist for Charlotte magazine. He also contributed to SB Nation Longform and Our State magazine, and an Emmy-award winning producer at WCNC-TV. His first story about a blind man who hiked the Appalachian Trail won several awards, including the National City and Regional Magazine Award for Personality Profile.

Markovich is now a senior editor/writer at Our State. Click here to see many of his newer stories for that magazine.

On this episode, we talk with him about two stories he wrote for SB Nation Longform. The first — “Elegy of a Race Car Driver” — is about famed NASCAR racer Dick Trickle, who committed suicide earlier this May. That story was recently named a Best of 2013: Sports by Longform. The second — “Over the Edge” — is about BASE jumping, particularly those who gather at the New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia on the third Saturday in October every year to jump.

Episode 13: Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas is a correspondent for GQ and the director of The Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of seven books, including “Hidden America,” as well as the award-winning trilogy of memoirs: “Fifty Acres and Poodle,” “The Exact Same Moon,” and “Growing Girls.”

Since joining the podcast, Laskas turned her story about concussions in the NFL, “Game Brain,” into the book “Concussion,” which has since been turned into a feature film starring Will Smith.

On this episode of the podcast, we talk with Laskas about her profile of Vice President Joe Biden“Game Brain,” and her most recent GQ story, “Oops, You Just Hired The Wrong Hitman.”

Formerly a contributing editor at Esquire, and a weekly columnist (“Significant Others”) at The Washington Post Magazine, she has been writing for national magazines for twenty years, with work appearing in The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Allure, Ladies Home Journal, and many others.

Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Best American Magazine Writing and Best American Sports Writing.