Cynthia Simmons is an award-winning political reporter who teaches in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. She has long considered creative writing to be a way to examine truths that are too big for daily journalism. Wrong Kind of Paper is her first novel.
Simmons is a co-author of The Jury and Democracy, which examines the life-changing experience of serving on a jury. Her short stories have appeared in the Licton Springs Review. In 2015 she won a Center for American Literary Studies award for nonfiction for an essay about getting a migraine and temporarily losing her vision while reporting inside the Penitentiary of New Mexico.
Simmons grew up near Cleveland, Ohio. During high school she spent a year as an exchange student in Finland. She graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in cultural anthropology. She later earned an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has reported for daily newspapers, city magazines, United Press International, The Associated Press, and public radio stations WHA in Madison and KUNM in Albuquerque. She also worked as the news director at the Madison community radio station WORT. In her 40s, she earned a J.D. from the University of Washington. She taught media law in the journalism program at the University of Washington before moving to Penn State.
In her spare time Simmons enjoys Moth-style storytelling, stand-up paddle boarding, and exploring the woods with her dog.