Nora McInerny

Author & Host of "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" Podcast

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A reluctant grief expert and “notable widow” (her words), Nora McInerny miscarried her second baby, lost her dad to cancer and also lost her husband, Aaron, to a brain tumor all within six hellish weeks in 2014. Called “The Anne Lamott for the emoji generation,” (Rebecca Stouffer, Modern Loss) Nora has used her creative energies, humor, and interviewing skills towards the exploration of all things terrible, leading a new cultural conversation on emotional honesty and empathy. 

A prolific creator, Nora wrote the critically-acclaimed memoir "It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)" (HarperCollins Dey Street Books), hosts the award-winning podcast "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" by American Public Media, started the Hot Young Widows Club, founded the non-profit organization Still Kickin, and writes essays published in Elle, Cosmopolitan, TIME, Slate, and Vox. 

As a speaker and podcast host, Nora connects with wide-ranging audiences in the millions through her authentic and honest portrayal of common human experiences. Though she addresses challenging and uncomfortable topics like death, illness, mental health, and trauma, she does so with a light touch, using her disarming humor and wit to break down the barriers that often isolate people who are going through terrible things. In this way, Nora’s audiences experience a full range of emotions, often laughing and crying simultaneously, leaving them feeling both grounded and inspired. 


Breakout Session

What's the Best That Can Happen? Building a Brave, Beautiful Life (Even When it Sucks) 

Nora McInerny was a 31-year-old mother when her husband, Aaron, died of brain cancer. There’s no road map to follow when you find your life has fallen apart, but Nora embraced the brokenness and remade her life. She quit her comfortable marketing job, wrote a book with HarperCollins, and started a non-profit and podcast with American Public Media. Fear, setbacks, and loss are a part of life, but they don’t need to be what defines it.