Michelle Theall started her career in publishing in 1994 at Women’s Sports and Fitness magazine. Over the next 24 years, she garnered success as editor in chief of three different national titles, founder of one, and the author of three non-fiction books. Theall has spent the last 5 years as an editor and photographer at Alaska magazine, where she became enamored with the Last Frontier. This obsession led to the creation of Wild Departures, a wildlife viewing company specializing in photo and writing tours in Alaska and beyond. As an award-winning professional photographer, Theall is represented by Aurora Stock and Getty agencies, and her images have appeared in media across the globe and in private collections.
She has appeared on NBC Today, MSNBC, The Travel Channel, and the Fox Sports Network. The author of two health books, Theall’s syndicated health and fitness column ran with McClatchy Tribune for several years, and she garnered two prestigious Folio Awards for her work with Women’s Adventure magazine (a ground-breaking title she created in 2003 and sold in 2008). More recently, Theall won three awards of excellence from the North American Travel Journalists’ Association for her travel and adventure writing and a feature photo essay. Her feature essay in 5280 Magazine, All That’s Left is God, earned a 2011 GLAAD Media Award nomination, which led to her best-selling memoir, Teaching the Cat to Sit, about growing up gay and Catholic in the Texas Bible Belt.
As the editor in chief and creative director at Women’s Adventure, Theall published works from Rick Bass, Terry Tempest Williams, and Pam Houston.
Her work has appeared in national magazines including, Health, Sierra Magazine, Backpacker, UtneReader, Natural Solutions, Alternative Medicine, 5280, Women’s Adventure, Oxygen, and other titles.
Theall owns and runs the Creative Conferences, allowing writers and photographers to learn from Pulitzer-nominated industry professionals. Her staff, speakers, and faculty come from National Geographic, Outside, Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure, Shape, Skiing, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times.
She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her wife, their son, and two pups.
Teaching the Cat to Sit
“A clear-eyed, brave-hearted and utterly unforgettable memoir.”
—SARA CORBETT, co-author of the New York Times bestseller A House in the Sky
“Packed with big issues and told with real mastery.”
—KELLY CORRIGAN, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place, Lift, and Glitter and Glue
“Powerful down to the last page.”
—JULIA SCHEERES, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Land
“Genuinely moving, compelling, and at times, hilarious.”
—WENDY LAWLESS, New York Times bestselling author of Chanel Bonfire
“Life under the microscope…an emotional ride.”
—JENNIFER WILSON, Parents magazine contributor and author of Running Away to Home
“A powerful reminder of the ways that discrimination and cruelty still flourish.”
—CRIS BEAM, author of To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, New York Times selection for Notable Non-Fiction 2013
“Teaching the Cat to Sit is about the most important thing of all: Unconditional love.”
—BUZZY JACKSON, Boston Globe Contributor and author of Shaking the Family Tree
“Warm, courageous, deeply honest, heartbreaking, heart-mending.”
—PAM HOUSTON, author of Contents May Have Shifted
“All heart—painfully and beautifully so.”
—LORI DURON, author of Raising My Rainbow
“A powerful testimony to the healing power of language.”