about

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I’m a journalist, editor, speaker, consultant, and producer. My investigative reporting, cultural commentary, and personal essays have appeared in over 100 print and digital outlets, including The Atlantic, Harper's Bazaar, Salon, Slate, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, The LA Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Variety. In addition, I've appeared on TV and radio over 100 times, including “Politically Incorrect,” CNN, and NPR. In 2002, I created one of the first blogs about sex, The Reverse Cowgirl, which TIME named one of the best blogs of 2008. I've been described as a “rare commodity online” and a “modern-age Studs Terkel.”

I'm the editor of the Forbes Vices section on the Forbes website, where I oversee a team of contributors who cover the business of vice, including gambling, cannabis, sex, drugs, guns, food, and drinking. I’m also a senior contributor to the site, where I write about all things vice, from selling sex to high-end firearms, and my work has been mentioned by The Wall Street Journal, AdAge, ESPN, BuzzFeed, and Katie Couric.

My investigative projects have garnered global media attention and have been taught in college classrooms. In 2009, I published “They Shoot Porn Stars, Don’t They?”, a groundbreaking work of long-form investigative journalism examining the impact of the Great Recession on the adult film industry. Slate included it in "Seven Great Stories About Paying for Sex and Being Paid to Have It,” and Longform called it “unflinching and devastating.” An essay I wrote about the project, "The Numbers On Self-Publishing Long-Form Journalism," has been taught in “Media, Politics & Power in the Digital Age” at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Studio 20 at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. For five years, I conducted “The Letters Project,” in which men and women confessed their secret sex lives to me in anonymous letters and which was featured on Salon, Newsweek, and CBC Radio.

As a journalist, I've written for Harper's Bazaar, Details, Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Daily Beast, Marie Claire, Esquire, The Guardian, Men's Health, The Atlantic, Glamour UK, The Billfold, Women's Health, Inc., The Telegraph, Movieline, The Vancouver Sun, The Virginian-Pilot, Wired, The New York Post, Variety, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The LA Weekly.

As a producer, I've developed scripted reality television series, specializing in true crime, outdoor adventure, and miniseries. I’ve produced field segments for and appeared as on-camera talent on FX and Playboy TV. I’ve also consulted on film projects, including Steven Soderbergh's 2009 "The Girlfriend Experience."

As a copywriter, I’ve worked with Publicis Groupe's MSLGROUP and Weber Shandwick, increasing social media engagement and writing commercial scripts for the world's biggest brands. I’ve ghost-tweeted for celebrities and voiced Pepto-Bismol on Facebook, growing that product's social engagement by 500% as market share grew 11%. I’ve created social content for Scope, Oscar Mayer, Swiffer, Crest, and Oral-B.

From 2008 to 2011, I was an editor for Time Warner's The Frisky, a digital vertical for 18-to-34-year-old women. I wrote nearly 1,400 posts, oversaw a team of freelance contributors, and directed the site’s digital outreach program, helping grow traffic from startup to 4 million unique visitors and 22 million page views a month through my longstanding network of digital influencers. From 2011 to 2012, I was the Digital Outreach Manager for Conan O'Brien's "Conan" late-night show on TBS, teaming up with Emmy-winning Team Coco Digital to generate compelling content and increasing digital engagement and video views.

I’m the author of a short story collection, You’re a Bad Man, Aren’t You?, and my fiction has appeared in many anthologies and literary journals. Anthologies include Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things, edited by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn and published by Fantagraphics; Best Sex Writing: 2009, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press; Smut: Volume 1, edited by the Editors of Nerve.com and published by Chronicle Books; Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, edited by Daphne Gottlieb and published by Soft Skull Press; Sudden Stories: The Mammoth Book of Miniscule Fiction, edited by Dinty W. Moore and published by Mammoth Books; and Chick-Lit 2: No Chick Vics, edited by Cris Mazza and published by Fiction Collective 2. Literary journals include Ghost Town, Construction, PANK Magazine, Clackamas Literary Review, Contrary Magazine, Sycamore Review, Nerve, Identity Theory, 3:AM Magazine, Born Magazine, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, Opium, A Shaded View on Fashion Fiction, Word Riot, Elimae, and 2 Gyrlz Quarterly. My comics have been featured in Best Erotic Comics: 2008, edited by Greta Christina and published by Last Gasp; Dirty Stories: Volume 3, edited by Eric Randolph and published by Eros Comix/Fantagraphics; Headpress 23: Funhouse, edited by David Kerekes and published by Headpress Press; and on Artbomb.

I’ve spoken at conferences about topics ranging from investigative journalism to technology. I was a panelist on “Investigative Reporting: A Panel Discussion” at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley; a speaker at the Crossroads Writers Conference in Macon, Georgia; a panelist at Techweek Chicago at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois; and a panelist on Live from the Blogosphere! at Electronic Orphanage in Los Angeles, California. I’ve read my fiction at Writers with Drinks at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco, California; Roar Shack at 826LA in Los Angeles; Vermin on the Mount at Book Show in Los Angeles; The Encyclopedia Show at the Vittum Theater in Chicago; The Encyclopedia Show at The North Door in Austin, Texas; 215 Festival at Tritone in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Orleans Book Fair at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, Louisiana; Spoken Interludes at Le Colonial in Los Angeles; Sit 'n' Spin, produced by Jill Soloway, at the Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles; The F-Word Project at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco; and Fake Fiction at The Fake Gallery in Los Angeles.

I hold a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. from the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2019, I was invited to attend the Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City, New York. From 2018 to 2019, I was the Lawrence Grauman Jr. Post-graduate Fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2016, I was a Resident at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard in Masschusettes. In 2015, I was a Fellow at the Logan Nonfiction Program at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York and a Storyteller at Thread at Yale at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. I was born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley, and live in Los Angeles.

If you’re interested in hiring me or connecting with me, email me at susannahbreslin@gmail.com.