Writer and Editor
To write books and essays of true stories that are accurate, honest and compelling, Lee Gutkind will often live and work among the people about whom he writes.
He has scrubbed with organ transplant surgeons, treated zoo animals with veterinarians, roamed America on a motorcycle, immersed himself in a psychiatric hospital, traveled with a crew of Major League baseball umpires, chronicled the design of robots destined for outer space, performed as a clown for Ringling Brothers, bicycled across Tanzania, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, profiled professional wrestlers, and participated in Samurai sword rituals for Judo and Karate for Christ.
He is the author of three volumes of personal history/memoirs, capturing his evolution from growing up in Pittsburgh as a too-fat teenager to a literary renegade and outcast, to raising a son as a single dad.
Beyond story telling, Gutkind’s books and articles about the techniques of the genre he has pioneered as “Godfather,” according to Vanity Fair, have been published, distributed and shared throughout the world. Gutkind has written about his “Writing True Stories That Matter” techniques for the New York Times “Opinionator Draft” series and discussed his ideas about writing true stories for National Public Radio, where he has served as a story consultant and coach.
His book: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction, From Memoir to Literary Journalism to Everything in Between, is “Reminiscent of Stephen King’s fiction handbook On Writing,” according to Kirkus Reviews—“An accessible, indispensable nonfiction guidebook from an authority who knows his subject from cover to cover.”
Gutkind is founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, the first and largest literary magazine to publish narrative nonfiction exclusively. The book length anthologies he has inspired and edited confront compelling and vital subjects, people and ideas, capturing the challenges of nurses and doctors, patients and practitioners working through mental illness and issues dealing with the end of life.