In 1991, fourteen-year-old Brent Runyon came home from school, doused his bathrobe in gasoline, put it on, and lit a match.
He suffered third-degree burns over 85% of his body and spent the next year recovering in hospitals and rehab facilities. During that year of physical recovery, Runyon began to question what he’d done, undertaking the complicated journey from near-death back to high school, and from suicide back to the emotional mainstream of life.



Brent Runyon is the author of his memoir The Burn Journals and two young adult novels. 

He is a contributor to This American Life and National Public Radio. 

Brent is available to speak at schools and special events. 





Brent is available to speak at schools, events, and conferences. He visits high schools and colleges throughout the United States. 

He is available as a keynote speaker at suicide prevention, mental health events and conferences. 


I had the pleasure of listening to you speak a few years ago, here at my school.  This year, again,  I am reading Burn Journals in my Junior English class.

I must tell you that the response to your book is amazing.  I have kids who don’t want to come to school, coming just so they can read your book.

The energy is contagious and palpable. I feel your book is leading them to like reading!

- Teacher in Chicago, Illinois

Audiovisual Conference

“The Burn Journals describes a particular kind of youthful male desolation better than it has ever been described before, by anyone.”

-Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon


©2018 by Brent Runyon.