Ellen Snortland

Author, Teacher, Gender Justice Activist

Meet  Ellen

Ellen Snortland is a lawyer, author, filmmaker, and writing teacher. As a public intellectual regarding gender justice, Ellen has been a speaker, U.N. Press Corps credentialed journalist and delegate for major United Nations World Conferences: the Women’s conference in Beijing and Conference Against Racism in South Africa, and the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.

Featured on Dateline NBC, Ellen’s breakout book is “Beauty Bites Beast,” which is also the title of her award-winning documentary which has screened all over the world. Ellen lives in California with her husband Ken and their three naughty dogs.

 Author, Activist and Women's Self Defense Advocate


Making A Difference 

Ms. Snortland has been a broadcast and print journalist specializing in human rights issues, including the movement to achieve gender balance in institutions, women in history, reducing violence against women, and childhood and adult sexual harassment.

Ellen particularly advocates nipping sexual harassment in the bud where it starts, in the home and on the playground, by empowering girls and women to speak up at the moment. As a self-defense advocate, Ellen writes about and teaches both women and kids physical self-protection skills. She completed the IMPACT empowerment-based Self-Defense Instructor Training, then joined the IMPACT Personal Safety board in its newly formed 501(c)(3) rebirth as a non-profit organization.

She attended the U.N.A. Non-Governmental Organizations Forum and the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 as both a delegate and a journalist. She also covered the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in August 2001. She received a grant from the Better World Campaign to cover the U.N.’s 47th Commission on the Status of Women and has attended the U.N. C.S.W. for many years. Ms. Snortland was a part-time faculty member in the Communication Studies Department at California State University, Los Angeles.

Ellen has been inspired by and worked alongside many of the great activists of our time, Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta and Jesse Jackson to name a few.  Recognized as a leader in her community, Ms. Snortland was declared a “Woman of the Year” by Congressman Adam Schiff in 2012.

See Ellen in ACTION! 

Ellen's Body of Work  

Ellen Snortland has the unique ability to speak and write with authority on subjects ranging from knitting and cooking, to S.W.A.T. team methods of close-quarter hand-to-hand combat to the opportunities and obstacles of the professional American woman.  Her perspective provides a much needed bridge of understanding between the home, university and the office in a context of feminist theory. 

Beauty Bites Beast

True to her Renaissance Woman nature, she is the author of “Beauty Bites Beast: The Missing Conversation About Ending Violence,” which was featured on Dateline NBC and is now in its 3rd edition. This ground-breaking book has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Korean.

Beauty Bites Beast’s mission is to "normalize" empowerment self-defense as a human need and right; to inspire those on the fence to see that the drive to protect oneself is not a gendered attribute. We want to make empowerment self-defense accessible, portable and affordable to the populations most at risk: women, kids, minorities and LGBT communities.

Beauty Bites Beast is now also an award-winning feature-length documentary film. 

Ellen co-authored a second book with IMPACT Personal Safety founder Lisa Gaeta called “The Safety Godmothers.” Snortland’s third book, “Biting the Hands That Squeeze Us,” is in the editing phase. 

The Safety Godmothers

Every day, the concerns you have about your personal safety and that of your loved ones increases with each news story about rape on campus, domestic violence, or someone who just “loses it.” What can you do? PREPARE FOR IT, just like you prepare for earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters. You need a plan and some skills… and THE SAFETY GODMOTHERS are here to show you the way!

Regular Contributor

Ellen was awarded “Best Columnist of 2018” by the Los Angeles Press Club.

For 25 years, Ellen has been shaking up the status quo and providing thought-provoking social commentary via her “Consider This…” column in the Pasadena Weekly. She has been described as California’s Molly Ivins with unique humor, vast experience, and an abiding commitment to social change. She emerged as a fresh and progressive voice of the 90s and continues her provocative column into the 21st century as a regular columnist for the Los Angeles Downtown News.

In addition to the Pasadena Weekly, Ellen has, for many years, been a contributing writer to Ms. Magazine. Also, she has articles on Medium, MS Blog and was a regular Huffington Post contributor with over 40 articles posted. To foster writers and writing, Ellen is also the founder and coach of The Writer’s Workout in addition to Author Bite By Bite.

Snortland has also published commentaries in the L.A. Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Fernando Valley Daily News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Providence Journal-Bulletin, The Charlotte Observer, Arizona Tribune Newspapers, Houston Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Rapid City Journal.

Writer's Workshop

Perhaps you need to make a commitment to work out your "writerly" self. Maybe you need to put some money where your mouth is. Like physical fitness, writing fitness requires strength, time and discipline. Some people can work out on their own. Most of us need support, something like "Writers' Workout," the gym for writers.

For information about joining Ellen's writers workshop contact Ellen:  [email protected]


Goddess Guide

Ellen is the Goddess Living Community historian, feminist and activist and she brings all that AND her fabulous humor as one of the contributors, speakers and guide.

Goddess Living is a community of women committed to empowering each other, elevating the value of the feminine and diversity in our culture, while building a network of inspiring and powerful sisters of many backgrounds.

There is a Goddess in EVERYwoman EVERYday. We aim to explore and discover the unique qualities of the feminine perspective and how that view impacts our sense of self, our value in society and our power to effect change.

You can enjoy and learn from Ellen LIVE on most Friday Goddess Talks. 

Ellen will be presenting at the iLumn8 Summit  Imagining in Action