John Clayton
About John Clayton

John Clayton is an independent author, journalist, essayist, and ghostwriter based in Montana. His book Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Creation of America’s Public Lands, published by Pegasus Books in hardcover August 2019, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Review of Books, and on NPR's OnPoint.


A previous book, Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of  an American Cultural Icon, published in hardcover in August 2017, was a Montana Book Award honor book and winner of the High Plains Book Award.

John's articles appear regularly in the Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, and dozens of other publications. An earlier book, Stories from Montana's Enduring Frontier, collected John's essays on Montana history. A major previous work, The Cowboy Girl, chronicled the life of Montana/Wyoming novelist, journalist, and homesteader Caroline Lockhart. John's first book, Small Town Bound, was featured in Time and Harper's magazines and on the Today and Oprah Winfrey shows.

John's work for the business world includes ghostwritten articles, reports, white papers, e-books, video scripts, website text, and case studies, as a writer/editor/ghost for several leading high-tech companies and consultancies. John enjoys bringing his engaging, informal style and fascination with narrative structure to the communication needs of business executives.

John has contributed to several other books, including a photographic history of Red Lodge, Montana. He has taught at Montana State University-Billings and Rocky Mountain College, and served on the advisory board for the Montana Center for the Book. He speaks about public lands, Yellowstone, Caroline Lockhart, the ghost metropolis of Mossmain, writing, and the West at libraries, conferences, and other events. 

In his spare time John enjoys basketball, hiking, telemark skiing, home-brewing, and of course reading. John graduated from Williams College, and lived in the Boston area for several years before moving west in 1990. He lives in a small town in central Montana with his dog, Chaka Khan.

(Photo by Ted Kim)


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