«Class of 2019

Sarah Shourd

Sarah Shourd ('19)

freelance journalist, Oakland, California

Employing the tools of fiction to bring journalistic investigations to life; helping audiences engage with information outside their geographic, social and online bubbles.

Sarah Shourd is a journalist, author and educator based in Oakland, California. Over the last five years, her work has focused on exposing the cruelty and overuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. She has traveled the country extensively as a public speaker and as a University of California, Berkeley Visiting Scholar. She has conducted more than 75 interviews with prisoners in isolation. Out of this research emerged several works: “The BOX,” a journalistic piece of investigative theater; an anthology, “Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices From Solitary Confinement” and numerous articles and op-eds. In 2011, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt published “A Sliver of Light,” the memoir she co-authored about her experience being held as a political hostage by the Iranian government from 2009 to 2010. She was awarded the 2016 Community Hero Award by San Francisco’s GLIDE Memorial Church and, as a #LoveArmy Fellow at The Dream Corps, is developing a podcast titled “Of Two Minds.”  

Inside Story

Posts by Sarah

Thinking in multiple frames: How journalism can be more collaborative

A year ago I boarded a plane to rural Louisiana looking for a story, and I ended up finding an audience. (5 minute read)

Promoting transparency and trust in journalism

How the careful use of creative tools can strengthen storytelling. (7 minute read)

Seeing media through a wider lens

I’m taking a broader view of the journalism profession during my fellowship year at Stanford. (6 minute read)

Read @SShourd on Medium.

Information on this page is from the fellowship year.