Katya Cengel is a freelance writer and author based in California. Her work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post among other publications. She has reported from North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa and was based in the former Soviet Union for half a decade. She was a features and news writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal from 2003 to 2011.
She is the author of Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) 2020 winner and Foreword Indies 2019 winner From Chernobyl with Love: Reporting from the Ruins of the Soviet Union (Potomac, 2019), Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back (Potomac, 2018), and 2013 Kentucky Literary Award finalist Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life (Nebraska, 2012).
She has been awarded grants from the International Reporting Project, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the International Center for Journalists. Her series on the families of the Lost Boys of Sudan received a second place feature writing Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Award, and her 2017 article "My Brother's Killer Is Now My Friend" was named one of BBC’s “Best Big Reads of 2017.”