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The Parenting Journalists Society is the first national organization focused on journalism about parenting and child development. We are committed to serving all parents by offering a diverse set of perspectives and featuring speakers who represent a variety of identities. We welcome interest and feedback. Please submit ideas in our conference survey and suggest workshops here.

Conference Co-Chairs







Ellen Lee is an independent journalist and mom of three in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Wirecutter, The Atlantic, Real Simple and the San Francisco Chronicle, where she was a business and technology reporter. She serves as the co-director of the Asian American Journalists Association Freelance Affinity Group and co-director of the AAJA Media Institute. She loves Broadway musicals, peppermint chocolate and sleep.

Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an independent journalist and MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow, reporting on the science of racial bias in preK-12 education. Her 2018 book The Good News About Bad Behavior grew out of Mother Jones’ most-read article. Her work has also appeared in the Atlantic, New York Times, OneZero, Parents, Washington Post, and Bloomberg, where she was a national correspondent. The daughter of a Singaporean immigrant and a Wisconsinite, Katherine lives in the Washington DC area with her partner Brian and their three children.

Kelly Glass is a journalist whose interests focus on the intersections of health, parenting, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Parents, National Geographic, Romper, Glamour, and more. She’s also appeared on MSNBC Live, Al Jazeera’s the Stream, and NBC Boston. A big city girl at heart, she currently lives in a Midwestern college town with her two children.


Speakers & Moderators

Aisha Sultan, syndicated columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Aisha is an award winning syndicated columnist, independent filmmaker and speaker whose work explores social change with an emphasis on education and demographics. In 2011, she completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan to study how technology is changing families. The Society of Features Journalism has honored her commentary and the Asian American Journalists Association commended her coverage in Ferguson. A Trinity University graduate, Aisha taught college writing at Washington University and hosted a year-long podcast. Aisha lives in the St. Louis area with her husband, two teenagers and an adoring puppy.

A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, Health and Diversity Content Specialist and founder of #FreeBlackMotherhood
A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez is a Health and Diversity Content Specialist whose award-winning writing, speaking, academic research and community activism all aim to amplify Black women’s voices in the mainstream dialogue, especially within conversations on reproductive health and parenting. Read her work in many places, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. She is also the founder of the #FreeBlackmotherhood movement.
Amy Joyce, editor, On Parenting, The Washington Post

Amy Joyce is the editor for the On Parenting section of the Washington Post. Before taking that role in 2014, she was a business reporter, career columnist and features editor for the Post. Author of the book “I Went to College for This?” Amy lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, also a journalist, and their two sons.

Anna Halkidis, Features Editor at
Anna Halkidis is a digital editor and content strategist based in New York City. She is currently the features editor at She graduated with an M.A. in multimedia journalism from the Newmark J-School.
April Daniels Hussar, managing editor, Romper
April is the managing editor of Romper, a site consistently recognized as an innovative, inclusive, leading brand in the parenting space. Her focus is on the day-to-day content that answers the questions keeping parents up at night, as well as big picture initiatives like partnerships, columns, and ambitious content packages exploring everything from PTSD in parents, to secondary infertility and navigating the world of “picky eaters.” Prior to joining Bustle Digital Group, April was Senior Editor of Parenting at CafeMom. She’s contributed to a host of publications including SELF, Women’s Health,, In Touch, Life & Style, New Jersey Family, and more.
Christine Koh, Boston Mamas founder, author, podcast host

Christine is a music and brain scientist turned multimedia creative who creates content to help people reduce the emotional, physical, and logistical stressors from their lives so they have more room to pursue what they care about and enjoy. She is the co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, founder/editor of, designer of Brave New World Designs, and creative director at Women Online. Christine lives in the Boston area with her husband Jonathan, daughters Laurel and Violet, and standard poodle James.

Clint Edwards, author, Father-ish, creator, No Idea: Daddy Blog
Clint Edwards is the author of three humorous books on parenting, the most recent is Fatherish. He is also the creator of No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog, that has a combined social media following of 500K. Clint’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People, and more, and he is a staff writer for Scary Mommy.
Damon Brown, entrepreneur, author, Inc. Magazine columnist & coach

Damon Brown helps side hustlers, solopreneurs, and other non-traditional creatives bloom. As a best-selling author, 2x startup founder, and 4x TED Speaker, Damon co-founded the popular platonic connection app Cuddlr and led it to acquisition within a year, all while being the primary caretaker of his infant son. He now guides others through his 1-on-1 business coaching, Inc. Magazine column, #BringYourWorth show and side hustle bootcamp. Damon was the first Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Toledo Library. His latest book is Build From Now: How to Know Your Power, See Your Abundance & Nourish the World (January 2021).

Debbie Reber, author, Differently Wired and host, Tilt Parenting podcast *

Debbie is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and founder of TiLT Parenting, a top resource and podcast for parents raising neurologically atypical (differently wired) children. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. Prior to launching TiLT, Debbie spent more than fifteen years writing books for women and teens. She is frequently interviewed about education, understanding, and support for neurodivergent children.

Doreen Oliver, Writer/Performer/Speaker

Doreen Oliver is a writer, performer, and speaker whose work illuminates the beauty, heartbreak, and unpredictability of life. Her critically-acclaimed one-woman show about raising a child with autism, EVERYTHING IS FINE UNTIL IT’S NOT, broke the record for the fastest sellout of a run in the 20-year history of the New York International Fringe Festival and won the Backstage/United Solo Audience award the following year. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, The Root, Kenyon Review and elsewhere. A recipient of residencies and fellowships from Yaddo, Hedgebrook, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation at Gallery Aferro, Doreen honed her storytelling skills during her years developing and producing films for Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels Entertainment and working at HBO Original Programming in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was a Charles Bonini Fellow.

Hannah Grieco, editor and author, So You Don’t Hear Me *
Hannah Grieco is a writer and editor in Arlington, VA. Her work can be found in a wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, The Week, Parents Magazine, Today’s Parent, Huffington Post, and more. Her story collection, So You Don’t Hear Me, is forthcoming from Summer Camp Publishing.
Jen Malia, author, Too Sticky

Jen Malia is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Coordinator for Norfolk State University. Her #ownvoices picture book, Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism, based on her own and her daughter’s experiences living with autism and sensory issues, was published by Albert Whitman in 2020. She has appeared on NPR’s With Good Reason and written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Woman’s Day, Glamour, SELF, Catapult, and others. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and three kids.

Jenni Gritters, writer, editor, coach and co-host, The Writers Coop podcast

Jenni Gritters is a freelance writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest. She works with clients like the New York Times, the REI Co-op, Wirecutter, University of Washington, Outside magazine, and beyond, and offers business coaching services to freelance writers. She’s also the co-host of The Writers’ Co-op, a business podcast for freelance writers everywhere.

Jessica Lahey, author, The Gift of Failure and host, #AmWriting podcast *

Jessica writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, The Washington Post and the New York Times and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. A sought-after speaker, she is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. Her second book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence will be released in April of 2021.

Jordan Shapiro, author, Father Figure and The New Childhood

Jordan Shapiro, PhD (@jordosh) is a globally celebrated American thought leader. He’s senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. He teaches in Temple University’s Intellectual Heritage Program. His Forbes’ column (2012-17) on global education, learning through digital play, kids and culture was read by over 5 million people around the world. He is an international speaker and consultant whose fresh perspective combines psychology, philosophy, and economics in unexpected ways. His book, The New Childhood: Raising Kids To Thrive in a Connected World (Little, Brown Spark 2018) changed the cultural conversation about parenting and screen time. In his upcoming book, Father Figure: How to be a Feminist Dad (Little, Brown Spark 2021), Shapiro offers a norm-shattering perspective on fatherhood, family, and gender essentialism.

Kirsten Ott Palladino, Editorial Director + Cofounder, Equally Wed
Kirsten Ott Palladino is a multi-award-winning writer, editor, speaker and author. She is the cofounder and editorial director of Equally Wed, the world’s leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine, as well as the creator of Equally Wed Pro, an LGBTQ+ inclusive certification course and educational platform. Kirsten has written for and/or been featured in myriad luminary publications including Washington Post, The New York Times and Forbes, as well as been an in-studio guest on major news networks, such as CNN, NPR and CBS. She is the author of Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding.
Laura Lambert, managing editor, MOJO
Laura Lambert is the managing editor of MOJO, a new youth sports brand that’s making sports more fun for parents, kids and coaches. She’s been in the parenting space for more than a decade, having written or wrangled content for the likes of Disney, Reading Rainbow, the Penguin Random House site Brightly and
Laura Vanderkam, speaker, author and podcast host

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Juliet’s School of PossibilitiesOff the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcast Before Breakfast and the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds, and frequently speaks about time and productivity to audiences of all sizes.

Leslie Arreola Hillenbrand, founder, Latinx Parenting

Leslie is a first generation non-Black Chicana mother to three biracial children ages 8, 2, and 1. She is a descendant of Indigenous Tarahumara Rarámuri and Spanish lineages who has resided on occupied Tongva and Acjachemen land, also known as Orange County, CA, all of her life. Formerly an early childhood teacher and 1:1 behavioral coach, Leslie has worked with children and families for over 13 years, with training that includes Trauma-Informed Nonviolent Parenting, Positive Discipline, Supporting Fatherhood Involvement (SFI), and Community Parent Education (C.O.P.E). 

Liz Monahan, Freelance writer, Editor-at-Large of Voices SAC for The Sacramento Bee
Liv Monahan is a Sacramento-based journalist and editor. Her writing critically examines the dynamics of culture and politics with a focus on action and participation over passive observation. Her focus has and will continue to be bringing marginalized voices and stories to the forefront.


Matt Villano, freelance writer and editor *

Matt Villano proudly has two full-time jobs: father and freelance writer and editor. In the first, he’s “Daddy Cat” to three daughters, ages 11.5, 9, and 5. In the second, he pens journalism articles, corporate content, and marketing copy for a variety of different clients. Every now and again the worlds overlap and he gets to write about parenthood or life as a Dad.

Michelle Woo, editor, Forge at Medium, author, Horizontal Parenting

Michelle Woo is a senior platform editor at Forge, a Medium publication. Her first book, Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down, comes out this fall. She was previously the parenting editor at Lifehacker. Her work has appeared on CNN, Jezebel, Gizmodo, and in USA Today. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Matt, and her kids, Maggie and Max.

Nefertiti Austin, author, Motherhood So White

Author and memoirist, Nefertiti Austin writes about the erasure of diverse voices in motherhood in the critically acclaimed Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender and Parenting in America. Her work around this topic has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, MUTHA, Gen Medium, and many other publications. She was the subject of an article on race and adoption in The Atlantic and appeared on numerous shows/podcasts and radio programs, including The Today Show, 1A with Joshua Johnson, and NPR. Nefertiti is the proud adoptive mother of two children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Priscilla Blossom – Journalist / Content Writer
Priscilla Blossom is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and content writer specializing in the intersections of parenting, health, arts and culture, identity, and social justice. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Yahoo Life, Parents, The Miami Herald, The Advocate, Salon, Romper, Lonely Planet, and more. With a background in anthropology and gender studies, she is also a member of Dotdash’s Anti-Bias Review Board. A former Floridian, she currently lives in Denver, Colorado and is working on a novel about friendship in the Sunshine State.


Sa’iyda Shabazz, freelance writer *

Sa’iyda Shabazz is a freelance writer and aspiring YA author. She is a staff writer for Scary Mommy and creates content for Netflix Family. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bustle, Romper and more.

Sharon Holbrook, managing editor, Your Teen Media *

Sharon is a freelance writer and the managing editor at Your Teen Media. She believes in the power of parenting writing to launch writing careers. After working as an attorney, she got her first clips by pitching parenting essays on spec and then leveraging those clips into reported work and editing. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Real Simple, Brain, Child, and many other publications. She is currently writing and querying a parenting book.

Tyrese Coleman, author, How to Sit
Tyrese L. Coleman is the author of How to Sit, a 2019 Pen Open Book Award finalist published with Mason Jar Press in 2018. She is also the writer of the forthcoming book, Spectacle, with One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Writer, wife, mother, attorney, and writing instructor, she is a contributing editor at Split Lip Magazine and occasionally teaches at American University. Her essays and stories have appeared in several publications, including Black Warrior Review, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, and the Kenyon Review and noted in Best American Essays and the Pushcart Anthology. She is an alumni of the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University.
Vanessa Hua, author, A River of Stars, columnist, San Francisco Chronicle

Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of the national bestseller, A River of Stars, and the short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, among other honors. Her work appeared publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and elsewhere.

  • Dani McClain, author, The Political Power of Black Motherhood
  • Kalee Thompson, editor, The New York Times

(Names with an asterisk are also on the programming committee.)

Programming Committee

Catherine Pearlman, founder of The Family Coach
Dr. Catherine Pearlman is a licensed clinical social worker, the founder of The Family Coach and an associate professor at Brandman University. She’s the author of Ignore It!: How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. Catherine’s work has appeared in US News, The Los Angeles Times,, Lifehacker, Romper, Grown & Flown, Parents magazine, Good Housekeeping, and The Wall Street Journal. She lives in California with her husband, two (mostly) well-behaved children, and dog, Poppy.
Emily Popek, freelance writer
Emily F. Popek is a freelance journalist, and former Associated Press award-winning journalist, and communications professional living in upstate New York. She is the author of three non-fiction books for young readers.
Kate Rope, author, Strong As a Mother and co-author Soldiers of Science (Audible Original)
Kate Rope is an award-winning freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and CNN. She is co-author (with Alan Alda) and co-executive producer of the new Audible Original Soldiers of Science: The Vietnam War, Anthony Fauci and the Doctors Who Revolutionized American Medicine and author of Strong as a Mother: How to Be Happy, Healthy and (Most Importantly) Sane From Pregnancy to Parenthood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.
Kortney Lapeyrolerie, founder, community organizer, and editor, Queer Doula Network
Kortney Lapeyrolerie (she/they) is a queer Black birth worker, editor, and community organizer. She is the founder and director of the Queer Doula Network, which maintains an international LGBTQIA+ birth work and birth work-adjacent service provider directory; holds virtual community spaces for LGBTQIA+ birth workers and parents to find support; and produces queer-centered full spectrum birth work content. Her words have been featured in them. Magazine and through the Center for American Progress.
Shana Westlake, freelance writer
With more than a decade of experience in the media industry, Shana Westlake has worked in journalism, PR and live events for companies like ABC News, MSNBC, CQ Roll Call, Vox Media and Bloomberg. As a freelance writer, her work has been featured in the Washington Post, The Establishment, GOOD, Today’s Parent, Mommy Nearest and more. She has a BA in journalism from NYU and an MA in media studies from The New School. Shana currently lives in the DC metro area with her husband and two children.
  • Juliet Martinez, freelance writer and editor
  • Tonya Abari, freelance writer and editor
  • Heather Clarke-Mackin, education professor and founder of The Learning Advocate

Frequently Asked Questions

When and how long is the conference?

The conference spans two days from 10 am to 8 pm ET, on Friday March 12 and Saturday March 13. Each day includes one keynote speaker and five workshops, each lasting 75 minutes. Attendees may connect and network every evening from 7-8 pm in structured happy hours organized by interest group.

What will I get out of the conference programming?

The event is run by journalists who will ensure that speakers stay on topic and offer clear takeaways and actionable advice. The workshop leaders and keynote speakers represent some of the most prolific and talented parenting journalists in the country. Whether you’re an aspiring parenting writer or someone with years of experience, you’ll learn strategies for pitching, honing your craft, advancing your career, becoming more productive and making more money. Plus, you’ll network with your peers around the globe, meet editors and make important professional connections.

How do I access the conference?

The day before the conference, you will receive an email with links to the Zoom webinars for each session. Hold onto it! This email will be your one-stop-shop to access the conference. You can join live, chat with other attendees, and ask questions of the presenters.

If you haven’t received the email by 12 pm ET (and you’ve checked your spam folders), please email us at so we can help you. Please plan on joining each session 5 minutes early to facilitate a smooth start.

The webinars are hosted on Zoom. Please download the Zoom software or update it ahead of time on the device you plan to use, so you have the latest version. (If you have an out-of-date version of Zoom, you will see a message “connecting” that just hangs there.).

I might have to miss a session. Are replays available?

Yes! All sessions will be recorded (except for the networking hour) and will be available for replay for two weeks after the event. Please watch it promptly, so you don’t miss out on this relevant and important material.

What's in the bonus bundle?

The Bonus Bundle includes bonus items from our speakers, including downloadable PDFs, worksheets, checklists, podcasts, webinars, and more. When you register, you’ll receive an email with instructions for joining the series’ Resource Hub. Bonus Bundle items can be downloaded from the Hub.

I'm not on Facebook. Will I still benefit from the series?

The Facebook group is an added bonus for those who have an account and would like a place to continue the conversation after the conference with other attendees. But all of the presenter-led material will be made available through the live events, and the Resource Hub where replays will be accessed.

Will the conference be acccessible?

We are using a service from to live-caption the conference sessions in order to make them accessible. If you have additional accessibility needs, please contact us at

What is the cost and refund policy?

The total cost of the conference is $49 US, early bird rate through March 5. After March 5, the cost will be $69 US. Upon registering, you’ll be invited to join the Resource Hub, where you’ll be able to access replays, the bonus bundle material, additional downloadables, and more. You’ll receive Zoom links for the conference sessions the day before the event. Refunds are available within one week of purchase with a written request. No refunds are given after the conference has begun on March 12.