Chris Walker is a writer and editor based in Denver, Colorado who specializes in narrative longform reporting. He is currently an associate editor at 5280 Magazine.
His work has spanned four continents, ranging from investigative journalism to arts and culture writing. Chris's freelance stories can be found in The Atlantic, Playboy, the Atavist, VICE, Forbes, NPR, Rock and Ice, Backpacker, Westword, and LA Weekly -- among others.
In 2020, Chris released his first narrative podcast series The Syndicate, which peaked at #9 in Apple's top shows chart. He has another narrative podcast series coming in 2023
Bicycling from Paris to Shanghai
2012 - 2013
Walker's journalism career began in 2012, when he and another reporter rode bicycles 16,000 miles from France to China. Cycling allowed the pair to find scoops off the beaten track, launching them into investigations of orphanage tourism in Cambodia, child boxing and gambling in rural Thailand, India's evolving transgender community, Uighur rappers in western China, and a climber's daring self-rescue on the border of Russia.
Upon returning stateside, Walker cut his teeth at Los Angeles' storied alt-weekly, reporting on criminal justice and culture. While at the paper, he unearthed a scandalous tale involving jazz legend Charlie Parker, as well as explored the city's underground cycling scene -- like The Fast and the Furious on bikes.
2015 - 2019
As a staff writer for Denver's alt-weekly, Westword, Walker honed his narrative longform reporting. His 37 cover stories at the paper ranged from profiles of iconoclastic lawyers and musicians in the Mile High City to exploring secret LSD laboratories and embedding with an armed, anti-government militia in southern Colorado.
Freelance Print Work
2016 to present
A murder mystery in Mexico. Missing climbers in the Andes Mountains of Argentina. A profile of America's biggest metal band. Walker continues to write feature stories for national magazines as a freelance reporter.
Walker's latest focus has been narrative podcasts in the vein of Serial and This American Life. His first, The Syndicate, was released in fall 2020. In 2022, Walker released Ballot Trip, a 4-part miniseries with City Cast Denver after being selected for the first cohort of the Ferriss-UC Berkeley Psychedelic Reporting Fellowship. His next narrative project is in the works.
Best of the West
Walker was awarded a first place prize in immigration reporting by the Best of the West Contest for a story about a Pakistani man who, paradoxically, couldn't get himself deported from the U.S. despite his best efforts.
Livingston Award Finalist
2013 & 2020
Two time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2013 and 2020, both in the international reporting category
2015 to 2020
-The Child Welfare League of America's Anna Quindlen Award in 2016
-numerous first place SPJ "Top of the Rockies" awards
-numerous first place Colorado Press Association awards
© 2023 Chris Walker