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Cheryl Strayed          

Author of Best-Selling Memoir "Wild"; Inspired Oscar-Nominated Film Starring Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir "Wild." At age 22, Strayed found herself shattered by two major life events: her mother’s sudden death from cancer and the end of her young marriage. After hitting rock bottom, Strayed decided to confront her emotional pain by trekking over 1,000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild tells the amateur hiker’s tale, peppered with the colorful characters she encounters along the way, as she struggles to find inner peace and stability. Strayed’s story inspired Oprah Winfrey to revive her tremendously popular book club, with Wild as its inaugural selection for the launch of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The story also inspired producer and actress Reese Witherspoon to bring Wild to the big screen in 2014.

Strayed’s personal struggles and story of survival motivate and inspire crowds. She is a dynamic speaker, and her moving rhetoric resonates with audiences of all sizes.

Strayed is also the author of The New York Times bestseller "Tiny Beautiful Things," a collection of her widely popular Dear Sugar columns, and the critically acclaimed novel "Torch," a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Missouri Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun and elsewhere. Her books have been translated into 26 languages around the world.

Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and serves on its board of directors.

Speech Topics

A Wild Life

In her memoir Wild Cheryl Strayed describes the sometimes harrowing, other times hilarious stories behind her solo wilderness trek on the Pacific Crest Trail and the personal journey that led her there. In this talk, Strayed will discuss what she learned about how we bear the unbearable, how we move from grief and anger to acceptance, and how we keep walking even when it seems impossible to stand.

The Sweet Life: Stories from "Dear Sugar"

In 2012, Cheryl Strayed revealed that she was the voice behind the popular (and unorthodox) online advice column "Dear Sugar" on In this talk, Strayed will share stories about what she's learned in the course of encouraging readers to live large, love hard, and be brave enough to break their own hearts.

Rules to Write By

In this lecture about the less-craft oriented elements of writing, Cheryl Strayed will share the "rules" and practices she's learned to live by and rely upon as a writer—from how to write with guts to keeping the faith when it seems all has failed.


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Yeesh, local author Cheryl Strayed is having a great couple of years. Yesterday it was announced that Reese Witherspoon—long on board to produce the film ...

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Strayed.JPG Writer Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," comes to the Ohio Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 19 to speak in the ...

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Cheryl Strayed, author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," is appearing at Syracuse University ...

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ASPEN - One summer, Cheryl Strayed spent three months on and around the Pacific Crest Trail, hiking the 1100 miles from the Mojave Desert to the southern ...

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