Photo by Matt Fern

The Recovering Academic features thought pieces on higher ed and an interview series with academics who have successfully pivoted to industry. I also share craft essays, memoir, and poetry. 

Paying subscribers get access to:

  • Longform interviews with PhDs who have successfully transitioned to industry roles, such as Gertrude Nonterah, a medical communications professional, and Larry McGrath, a senior researcher for Amazon. Many of my guests are coaches who specialize in helping academics shift careers and who charge $150-200 per hour for the job strategies they share with me.

  • Thought pieces on higher ed, including reprints of features for The Chronicle of Higher Education and originals that have been republished elsewhere.

  • Original memoir essays, including reprints from my book, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging, and work formerly published in journals such as Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, and Fourth Genre.

  • Many other essays on literature, writing craft, poetry, and fatherhood

Founding members get all this plus a signed copy of my memoir, an electronic version of my unpublished novel, and one free coaching session. 

Free subscribers get two-week access to public posts. 

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Coaching and editing

Do you have a manuscript that you want to take to the next level? Or an idea for a project, but you don't know where to start? Let’s set up a free consultation to see if we’re a good fit for each other. Or check out my packages and rates

I specialize in literary memoir and fiction, but I have also coached clients through shorter projects, such as personal statements for medical residency and op-eds for popular and academic magazines.

Every tool that I have honed over 20 years as a professional writer is available to my clients as I help them sharpen their stories.

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About me

I am a writer and award-winning teacher with 20 years of experience in publishing and editing. My mentor was Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner. My work has appeared in more than 30 magazines, including venues such as these.

My memoir Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging was shortlisted for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize. It is available on Amazon, at The University of Iowa Press, and at many other places where books are sold. 

I co-produced an oral history podcast, Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest, which you can hear on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Season 1, “Homecoming,” features stories from native Iowans who left the Midwest and then came back to stay. Season 2, “Immigration,” features stories from people who left their native countries to make a home in the Greater Midwest.

Logo by Mathew Kelly

I am also father to three fantastic kiddos, who sometimes humor me with backcountry adventures and help me plan each year’s garden. In the hours before breakfast, you can usually find me running the back roads in central Pennsylvania or pumping iron with the other early birds. 

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Thought pieces on higher ed and interviews with academics pivoting to industry.


Joshua Doležal

Author @UIowaPress, book coach, and journalist. Follow me for interviews with academics pivoting to industry, thought pieces on higher ed, and literary work. I specialize in memoir but also accept coaching clients for short projects.