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Journalism

The Burden of Invisible Illness

A feature article for Medium that went viral.

I’m an environmentalist opposed to single-use straws. My disability has challenged my views.

I rejected single-use plastic straws at restaurants long before it became the trendy thing to…

What My 80's Childhood Taught Me About Rape Culture

Originally written for Medium, BUST republished my article.

SPECIAL FEATURE: MORE POTENT THAN RODENTS

Poisons meant for pests are killing animals and impacting humans in Mass.

what others are saying...

  • Laura turns in the most professional and polished copy, and is one of the brightest self-starters with a nose for sniffing out info and sources. She keeps our editorial team posted on progress, hits deadlines, and…is an asset to our operation, and no doubt would serve a comparably critical role in any program or newsroom.

    Chris Faraone

    Editor-in-Chief, DIG Boston
  • Laura has been an absolute professional to collaborate with. The articles she contributed – whether assigned….or on a topic she pitched – [were] crafted with intelligence, integrity, and reflecting curiosity about & interest in our community.

    Margaret Michniewicz

    Editor-in-Chief, Vermont Woman Magazine
  • Laura is a solid researcher and writer, uses her own resources to come up with excellent story ideas, and delivers top-quality work in a timely manner. She can write with expertise and insight on a wide range of topics, including environmental issues.

    Tom Benner

    Editor-In-Chief, Spare Change News
  • Laura is every editor’s ideal writer. Her work is sharp, strong, and focused.

    Emily Ladau

    Editor-in-Chief, Rooted in Rights
  • Laura taught an excellent op-ed writing workshop for our members that was informative and engaging. She was adept at teaching the course so that people with a range of education levels could participate.

    Shaya French

    Community Organizer, Boston Center for Independent Living
  • Laura is a knowledgeable and accomplished journalist. She wowed our audience of professional communicators with her unique insights into pitching and received resounding praise for her wisdom and personable demeanor. She was delightful to work with.

    Carlin Twedt

    Marketing and Social Media Manager, Ragan Communications
  • Laura is an excellent writer and interviewer who works efficiently and conscientiously. Highly recommended!

    Neil Andrews

    Executive Editor, Relief News, Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center
  • Laura Kiesel has been a valuable contributor to the Harvard Health Blog. Her posts provide thoughtful narrative, valuable information, and context that captures the chronic illness experience.

    Nancy Ferrari

    Managing Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
  • Laura is a resourceful and excellent journalist, writer and blogger who supported my client, a leading national healthcare organization, by writing original contributions regularly for our column in the Huffington Post. She is highly-responsive and receptive to feedback and was adept at helping to select appropriate subjects and identify primary sources for interviews. It was a pleasure to work with her!

    Justin Wilson

    Global Public Affairs & Media Strategy Consultant

Buzz

When Kids Have to Act Like Parents, It Affects Them for Life

Some people who have to be responsible for their siblings or parents as children grow…

WBUR: CommonHealth

GOP health bill would hike uninsured rate in Massachusetts to 10.3 percent, report finds

The Take with Sue O'Connell

An interview on NECN’s The Take about my Politico piece correlating gun violence and toxic…

Speaking

I am often a featured speaker at conferences, seminars and classes about many of the topics I report and blog on–whether that be the intersection between chronic illness and socioeconomic status, the impact of the opioid epidemic on families, the therapeutic qualities of writing, or as a journalist giving voice to what potential stories interest me to report on and blind spots in the media.

Pitch tank: Pitch our panel of journalists and see if your story sinks or swims

I was recently featured on a panel of contemporary journalists providing feedback to writers on…

Coaching

I offer manuscript consultation through the premiere writing school of the Boston area, Grub Street, where I am also a faculty member who teaches courses in journalism, memoir and personal essay writing. Additionally, I work as an independent contractor through word of mouth and have helped people in ordering and improving their poetry chapbooks, select what publications and journals are most suited for their themes and styles, and in refining their writing and storytelling skills. I take a strengths-based approach and adapt my coaching method to hone and strengthen the unique style and aesthetic of each individual writer and speaker I work with rather than impose my style or will on them. Students I have coached or consulted with have gone on to achieve notable successes, whether becoming a Moth champion or having their work accepted at reputable literary journals and online outlets.

  • I much appreciated Laura’s expert knowledge in all areas of memoir creation. She helped me go forward with… my work in a supportive manner.

    William Levine

awards and recognition...

Literary

Hard Time

Uncle Billy, the father figure in my life, came back from prison broken and distant.…

My Brother's Keeper

To be a parentified sibling is to be swallowed up by guilt and grief…

When Mom Steals From Her Kid

One of the hardest things about being a seven-year-old with a drug-addicted mother was realizing…

Biography

I’m a journalist, essayist, poet and novelist (basically, a WRITER of almost all trades), as well as a public speaker, teacher/educator, writing coach and consultant. As a journalist and essayist–the primary genres I publish in–I cover a wide spectrum of topics ranging from feminism and politics to healthcare and sustainability.

I’ve written for many well-renowned media outlets including The Atlantic, Politico, The Guardian, Salon, Al-Jazeera, the Washington Post, Vice, Vox, Ozy, the New York Daily News, Science and more. My reportage for Salon has been syndicated in Alternet, as well as covered by Jezebel, Bustle and the Young Turks Network.

From 2013 until 2015, I was an award-winning reporter and columnist for the financial news website The Street, where I covered issues related to renewable energy, the impacts of climate change on agriculture, student loan debt, the gender wage gap and rising income inequality between the classes. My articles for The Street were often been the most viewed, commented and shared on the site the given week they were posted and have subsequently been featured in many other online publications, including Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider and The Fiscal Times. Many years ago, I got my feet wet as a freelancer by being a regular contributing writer for Spare Change News and the New England Press award-winning bimonthly magazine Vermont Woman.

I have a B.A. in English and journalism and a Master’s degree in natural resources management and policy. I often combine my two degrees by reporting on environmental issues as a journalist and offering editorial consulting to environmental nonprofits, including

past clients such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, Valor Water Analytics and the Green Education Foundation. I am also completing a memoir, The Drug Addict’s Daughter, excerpts of which have been published in Salon, Narrative.ly, The Manifest-Station and The Fix.

I am currently a regular blogger with Health Union, where I chronicle my daily life with chronic illness and share the latest medical research related to my diagnoses. I also occasionally blog for Harvard Health Publications (a division of Harvard Medical School) and am a regular contributing reporter and columnist for DIG Boston, through the Boston Institute of Nonprofit Journalism, or BINJ. I was a ghostwriter of a health column on Huffington Post for Good Days–a nonprofit that offers financial assistance for those with chronic illness who need help paying their medical bills–from August 2017 through February 2018. I am a faculty member at Grub Street, where I mainly teach classes in creative nonfiction–including memoir, personal essay and literary journalism. In addition to my work at Grub Street, I also offer one-on-one writing coaching and manuscript consultation for aspiring writers.

Born and raised in Brooklyn by my blue collar Irish Catholic family, I now call the Boston area home. When I’m not writing, I spend my free time reading, painting, cooking (& eating) vegetarian dishes, enjoying music, watching movies, discussing politics, volunteering, and hiking up mountains and around the woods of New England.

Contact Me