Non-fiction Authors

Lou Cannon

Workshop – Explanatory Journalism

Lou Cannon, known for his political reporting on California and the nation, is the foremost biographer of Ronald Reagan. He has written five books about Reagan, including the acclaimed President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, a Book of the Month Club main selection when originally published by Simon and Schuster in 1991. George F. Will said that Cannon was “Reagan’s best biographer.” John Chancellor called President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime “indispensable,” saying it presented “the real Reagan, without the makeup or the handlers, seen through the eyes of the keenest Reagan-watcher of them all.” The White House announced in December 2010 that President Obama was reading this book on his vacation.

Lou Cannon worked 26 years on the national staff of The Washington Post, where he won many awards and was often described as a “reporter’s reporter” by his colleagues. Subsequently, he was a contributing editor and then chief executive officer of California Journal, an acclaimed non-partisan magazine that was published from 1970 to 2005. He is now editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal in Sacramento, a Lexis-Nexis publication, for which he writes a monthly “Cannon Perspective” column. He also writes a weekly column, “Short Takes,” for the acclaimed website RealClearPolitics. Cannon lectures on the presidency, the media, California politics, and police issues and has written for Smithsonian magazine, National Review, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and other publications and websites.  Cannon’s noteworthy books include Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, published in 1998 by Times Books.

Cannon has four children and eight grandchildren. He and his wife, Mary, live in Summerland, near Santa Barbara, California.

Maureen Murdock

Workshop – Intermediate Memoir Workshop

Maureen Murdock, Ph.D., teaches weekly memoir classes in Santa Barbara and leads memoir workshops internationally. Since 1990, she has taught creative writing in the UCLA Extensions Writers’ Program where she received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1995. She is the author of the best-selling book, The Heroine’s Journey, which explores the rich territory of the feminine psyche and delineates the feminine psycho-spiritual journey. Murdock is also the author of Fathers’ Daughters: Breaking the Ties that Bind; Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory; Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children; and The Heroine’s Journey Workbook. She is the editor of Monday Morning Memoirs: Women in the Second Half of Life and she  has written pieces for the Huffington Post on mental illness and the criminal justice system. Her latest memoir is Hooked on Hope: A Mother’s Tale and her blog on the same topic is

Diana Raab

Workshop – The Essentials of  Memoir Writing

Diana M. Raab holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Spalding University’s Low-Residency Program. She has a BS in Health Administration and Journalism from Cortland State and an RN degree from Vanier College in Montreal. She is the author of four nonfiction books, including two memoirs, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She has received numerous awards for her writing. She is editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooksand Writers on the Edge. She has four poetry collections and has published over 500 nonfiction articles. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and writes her own weekly blog called, “Literary Musings.”  She is frequently a guest blogger, speaker, panelist and teleseminar facilitator on the craft of writing. She occasionally teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She is currently guest nonfiction editor for the Louisville Review.

Diana has been writing from an early age. As a child of two working parents, she spent a lot of time crafting letters and keeping a daily journal. All of her published works; both non-fiction and poetry began on the pages of her journal. She is a journaling advocate and frequently lectures on the healing benefits of writing, whether it is fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Diana is on the board of a number of organizations, including Poets & Writers, The Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary and is a trustee on the UCSB Foundation.

Maria Streshinsky

Workshop – Long-form Nonfiction

Maria Streshinsky is the Editor in Chief of Pacific Standard magazine, a general interest magazine with a focus on economy, health, education, and society. Pacific Standard was formerly known as Miller-McCune. She came to Pacific Standard in 2011, from The Atlantic in Washington D.C., where for four years she served as managing editor, responsible for editorial production of the 155-year-old magazine. At The Atlantic, Streshinsky managed a staff of more than 25 editors, art directors, and interns; and edited a variety of stories. She developed The Atlantic’s Fiction-for-Kindle program with Amazon, working with such authors as Christopher Buckley, Joyce Carol Oates, and Paul Theroux. In 2009 she won the Atlantic Media Company 2009 Chairman’s Award for editing excellence. Before The Atlantic, Maria spent two years at the U.S. Department of the Interior working on Indian affairs issues. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a BA in comparative literature in 1991, she began a career in magazine journalism with VIA, the AAA magazine in San Francisco. She was managing editor before leaving to do contract work as a freelance writer, editor, and consultant.