Jan Winburn is a fan of artful storytelling, kickass reporting and the powerful melding of the two. She spent more than four decades working in newsrooms as a narrative editor, writing coach and investigative editor. She is a distinguished professor of practice in the narrative nonfiction MFA program at the University of Georgia, and was selected as the fall 2021 T. Anthony Pollner professor at the University of Montana, where she taught trauma-informed journalism and narrative writing. She edited Lisa Pollak’s 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, and the Dart Society recognized Winburn’s career work with its 2009 Mimi Award given to editors “who encourage journalistic excellence and understand the emotional landscape of assignments on tragedy and trauma.”
She led reporting teams at CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Hartford Courant. Among the other top prizes her writers have earned: the Edgar R. Murrow for an investigative narrative that freed an innocent man from prison, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for exposing human slavery in Mauritania, a country that claimed to have outlawed it; the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling; and the Batten Medal for public service. She is the author of “Shop Talk and War Stories: Journalists Examine Their Profession” and co-editor of two e-books, “Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism 2013” and 2014.