Rachel Toor's ambition, on graduating from Yale University, was to work on a dude ranch in Wyoming (never having been to a dude ranch—or to Wyoming). Moving to Missoula, Montana, for an MFA in creative writing is the closest she's come. After a dozen years as an editor of scholarly books, at Oxford and Duke University Presses, she slid down the ladder of social mobility and did a stint in college admissions, quitting to write Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process (St. Martin's, 2001) in an attempt to demystify an arcane and brutalizing rite of passage. Since then she has published a memoir, The Pig and I (Penguin, 2005; Bison Books, 2009) and Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). Rachel writes a monthly column in The Chronicle of Higher Education and a bi-monthly one in Running Times magazine, where she is a senior writer. Her work has appeared in various and diverse places, including The LA Times, Ploughshares, Glamour, Inside Higher Ed, Reader's Digest, Runner’s World, Ascent, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) and variety of other more academically-oriented publications.
Rachel is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers in Spokane, the graduate writing program of Eastern Washington University. She is also on the faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program, and is sponsored by the Text and Academic Authors Association to give workshops on academic writing (or how to avoid it) at colleges and universities. She does college counseling on a highly selective basis.
She can be reached at racheltoor at gmail.com.