Katya Cengel has written about everything from retired dancing bears in Bulgaria to the world’s largest machine gun shoot in Kentucky. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Salon and Esquire among others, and regularly appears in Newsweek.

Her first book, “Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life,” published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2012, was one of five finalists for the 2013 Kentucky Literary Award. See what San Francisco Giants' commentator Marty Lurie, the San Diego Union-Tribune, New York Journal of Books, milb.com, Baseball America are saying about it and read an excerpt. Or just order it!

In Spring 2014 she will be teaching journalism courses at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and U.C. Berkeley Extension.

Her 2013 National Geographic story on inmates fighting the California Rim fire was one of the first to focus on inmate crews at the massive blaze. Aljazeera America rated it one of their top stories of the week and HuffPost Live had her on their show. During the year she also covered college genetic courses that allow students to test their own DNA for Salon, little foreign wars with possible big consequences for World Affairs and Kenyan marathoner Wesley Korir for Sports Illustrated.com.

From Myanmar she reported on the youth scene and former child soldiers for Newsweek and rape as a weapon of war for Time. On the lighter side her story on the Burmese pastime of chinlone ran in Roads & Kingdoms in late March.

Photo: D. Ross Cameron