Wendy Thomas Russell is an award-winning journalist, author and publisher. A native Midwesterner, Russell spent the bulk of her career in Southern California, writing and editing for newspapers and magazines. For 10 years, she covered criminal justice and special projects for the Long Beach Press-Telegram — for which she won dozens of awards and honors, including being named Journalist of the Year by the Society for Professional Journalists’ Greater Los Angeles Chapter. After leaving newspapers in 2008, she went on to write three books for the Girls Scouts of the USA centered on media literacy for adolescent girls.
In 2011, after becoming inspired by her own experience as a secular mother raising a young daughter, Russell launched a blog that later became a book, Relax, It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You’re Not Religious. In 2014, she founded Brown Paper Press, which publishes progressive nonfiction in Long Beach, Calif. In addition to running her small press, she writes an occasional parenting column for the PBS NewsHour and, in 2019, co-authored a second book, ParentShift: Ten Universal Truths That Will Change the Way You Raise Your Kids.