headshot for author Sandy Allen

Photo credit: Rob Dubbin

Sandy Ernest Allen is a writer, journalist and speaker. His work focuses on normalcy, especially to do with gender and mental health. He is transgender and queer. He lives in the Catskills. 

Sandy's debut book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, was published by Scribner (in 2018, paperback in 2019). AKOMP is a radical and innovative work, composed in two fonts. It's based on a "true story" mailed to Sandy by his late Uncle Bob, a desert-dwelling hermit. AKOMP was praised by many publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, O Magazine, Bitch, The New Republic, Psychiatric Times, The Week, Vogue, The Rumpus, and Esquire, which named it one of the best nonfiction books of the year. In 2020, the book was nominated by New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute as one of the top works of journalism of the last decade. That summer, the story of how Uncle Bob's ideas influenced Sandy's own path was featured on This American Life. Learn more about AKOMP here

Sandy’s feature stories, essays and radio stories have been published by 99% Invisible, The CutBuzzFeed, Gay MagazineGuernica, CNN Opinion, Bon Appétit's Healthyish, Pop Up Magazine, and them., where he wrote a column called Between the Binary. Full list of his clips here. From 2013 - 2015, Sandy was BuzzFeed News' Deputy Features Editor, helping to establish longform journalism on the site. Back in 2009, Sandy also founded and then ran the online literary magazine Wag's Revue. It's now defunct but its 20 issues are still available, for free.

In 2019, with audio producer Lee Mengistu, Sandy created a podcast about pop culture and mental health called Mad Chat. The show found many fans, including O Magazine, Self, and the New York Times, which raved: "Listening feels like hanging out with two of your smartest and funniest friends." Much more about Mad Chat here.

Sandy hosts a sourdough bread-baking series called Breb Class.(Featured in this article in Taste.) He created the project along with his husband, TV writer Rob Dubbin.

Originally from a small beach town in northern California, Sandy is a graduate of Brown University and has an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa.

Sandy uses he/him and they/them pronouns. His twitter is @sealln.