© 2020 Sandy Ernest Allen

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If you're looking for a bio to introduce me at a live event, here's a short bio written in the third person. Please note I go by "Sandy Allen" professionally and use they/them pronouns!


Here's a longer biography written in the first person: 

I'm Sandy Ernest Allen. I'm a writer. I live in the Catskills with my husband and dog and cats and garden beds and sourdough starter. I'm nonbinary trans and use they/them pronouns. 

In January 2018, Scribner published my debut book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia. It's a formally innovative work of reported literary nonfiction about my Uncle Bob. It's based on his autobiography, which he typed on his typewriter and mailed me a decade ago. Visit this page for more about AKOMP.

I also now host a new podcast called Mad Chat, which unpacks what our pop culture is telling us about madness and mental health. 

I write essays and feature stories about things like madness and mental health and weirdness and normalcy and power and how you stay alright in your head in this mean world. I've published in them.Healthyish, BuzzFeed News, among many others, and have toured with Pop-Up Magazine

I'm also an editor. For a few years I was BuzzFeed's Deputy Features editor. I also co-founded and ran the now-defunct Wag's Revue. All 20 of its issues are still available online for free. 

I'm also a teacher. I've taught writing and literature to undergrads at Iowa and retirees in the Iowa City community and academically excelled teenagers at a summer camp. The last few years I've periodically taught an online course for Catapult

I'm a baker (especially of pie and breb) and a cook and a naive but lucky vegetable gardener. I'm a pretty bad runner and a pretty damn good singer. There's nothing I miss more than doing longform improv. (I co-founded Brown's longform group, Starla.) I worked in the service industry for years, mostly as a waiter

I grew up in a little beach town in Northern California. I went to Brown and the University of Iowa and studied creative nonfiction writing at both. 

I'm now at work on several feature stories and essays and another book that continues the conversation that AKOMP began. Here's a page with some FAQs.