CWU News

Writer Sam McManis to Hold Brown Bag Craft Talk on February 6

Veteran journalist Sam McManis, who worked for more than three decades as a staff writer and columnist for several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, is ready to share his best stories.

McManis, currently completing a master's degree in English literature at Central Washington University, will conduct a brown bag craft talk on Tuesday, February 6, from noon to 1 p.m. in Black Hall, room 151, on the CWU campus.

The discussion coincides with the February 2018 release of McManis' first book, a collection of travel essays entitled, Crossing California: A Cultural Topography of a State of Wonder and Weirdness.

"Sam's book is a collection of many of the wonderful travel pieces he wrote over a five-year period for the Sacramento Bee newspaper," noted Lisa Norris, a CWU professor of English, who is coordinating the event. "It's been described by one reviewer as a 'quirky trip through California.'"

Until May 2016, McManis was a lifestyle columnist and feature writer for the Sacramento Bee, covering the entire state of California through columns and cover stories. He previously served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, and has had stories published in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

McManis has received numerous journalism awards, dating to the 1980s, when he was a sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He has been honored three times in the past four years by the Society for Features Journalism for his travel writing and columns and was selected as California's "in-state" journalist of the year for 2016 by Visit California, a website and travel industry group.

He is currently working on a non-fiction book about Yakima's Eisenhower High School cross-country team and its longtime coach Phil English. Under English, the boy's squad has won 19 district titles in the past 21 years.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,