New York Times Best-Selling Author to Give Ashland University Reading

New York Times Best-Selling Author to Give Ashland University Reading

10/23/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Department of Journalism and Digital Media and The Collegian, AU’s student newspaper, will host a reading with New York Times best-selling author Ben Montgomery on Wednesday, Nov. 5. The reading, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will be held in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Schar College of Education. The reading is free and open to the public.

Montgomery, an enterprise reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, will be reading from his book, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail.”

The book tells the story of Emma Gatewood, who in 1954 and at the age of 67, told her family she was going for a walk. The next anybody heard from her, she had walked 800 miles of Appalachian Trail. One year later, she left again and this time survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the trail.

In 2010, Montgomery was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his series of stories titled “For Their Own Good.” Those stories, which also won a Dart Award and a Casey Medal, were about abuse at Florida’s oldest reform school.

“We are really excited to have Ben on campus for a day,” said Matt Tullis, associate professor in JDM and adviser to The Collegian. “He is one of the best reporters in the country when it comes to investigating an issue and then writing a story that is compelling and interesting to readers.”

Montgomery is also the founder of, a website dedicated to showcasing the best narrative journalism being produced by magazines and newspapers throughout the country.

Montgomery will meet with JDM classes and talk with students while on campus. He’ll participate in Tullis’s Narrative Journalism class Wednesday evening before the reading.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###