Lonnie Lee Hood is a Tennessee-based, queer Appalachian journalist who has primarily covered issues affecting everyday rural residents. With bylines in the New York Times, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Smithsonian, Tennessee Lookout, Daily Yonder, Huffington Post, MTV, IGN and more, they've covered everything from natural disasters, policy, economy and corruption to games, digital culture, AI and crypto. Lonnie is also working on their debut nonfiction project with the West Virginia University Press, called “Redneck Revolution.”
At Wealth of Geeks, Lonnie is currently a travel team writer. They have presented their writing at Sewanee University, featured on podcasts like “It's All Journalism” and was a panelist at the 2023 NLGJA conference.
Lonnie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2016, after transferring from the University of North Alabama. After college, they worked in social media marketing and has managed marketing efforts for legacy brands and international celebrities, including Dolly Parton, the International Bluegrass Music Association and others. They have also served on the board of Bluegrass Pride, a non-profit organization dedicated to inclusivity in roots music. In 2019, Lonnie left their role at IBMA to work as a full-time freelance journalist, resulting in the bylines they've now accumulated.
During the pandemic, Lonnie built an email newsletter list of more than 3,000 by teaching freelance journalism skills to other writers. They're particularly adept at FOIA requests and accessing satellite imagery.
Although based in Tennessee, Lonnie has previously lived in Chicago and Nashville. They currently reside on one of the longest-running US communes in Summertown, TN with their partner, three dogs, one cat and one very large “miniature” pig. In their down time, you can find Lonnie practicing hoedowns on their fiddle, composting food scraps, reading, roller skating or crocheting.
Fun facts: Lonnie can drive a stick shift in six-inch heels, has been sky diving twice, and was once a national champion of competitive parliamentary procedure.