Steven Leckart

I was born in Los Angeles and raised by New Yorkers. After a stint in the music industry, I moved to San Francisco to attend UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. During my first semester, Wired Magazine's editor in chief Chris Anderson hired me to be his writing assistant on his forthcoming book. Published in 2006, The Long Tail appeared on The New York Times bestseller list and won the Loeb Award for Business Book of the Year. Not long after, I became a correspondent at Wired.

From 2007-2009, I edited Cool Tools, a website published by Kevin Kelly, Wired's founding executive editor. During that time I edited more than 500 reviews of wondrous doodads — everything from bicycle pumps to beekeeping gear. Published in 2014, the print version of Cool Tools has been compared to The Whole Earth Catalog.

Since 2010, I've been a freelance writer for various magazines. Among other subjects, I've written features about biotech and body hackers, performed as a pro mascot, trained as a Benihana chef, experimented with online dating, explored controversial treatments for military veterans with PTSD, and profiled celebrities including Ashton Kutcher. In 2011, I was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Personal Service. To read my magazine work, see Print.

I wrote and co-edited a hardback book based on the website Cabin Porn (SFW). Published by Little, Brown and Company in 2015, the book debuted on The New York Times bestseller list for How-To/Misc. According to Powell's Books, "It’s sweet to look at beautiful photos of woodsy cabins; it’s calming and the pictures are lovely. But the stories about the work behind the cabins — that’s the magic." To date, Cabin Porn has been translated into eight languages, including German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Chinese.

Since 2012, I have been writing, directing, and producing documentaries. The first feature documentary I wrote was All Things Must Pass, which explores the rise and fall of Tower Records. Directed by Colin Hanks, the film premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and was called "freshly compelling" by Variety and "disarmingly intimate" by Newsweek.

My directorial debut was a short documentary for ESPN Films & FiveThirtyEight called In Deep Water, which tells the story of two friends who set out in 1985 to find the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history. Shortly after the film premiered, I began filming across the globe -- from Bangalore & Berlin to Tel Aviv & Tokyo -- as the story producer on a documentary short series called Moon Shot. Executive produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Academy Award-winner Orlando von Einsiedel, these nine short films profile people competing in the Google Lunar X-PRIZE, a $30 million competition for anyone to land a rover on the Moon.

In 2017, I completed work as the showrunner on Hunting ISIS, a six-part series for A&E Films about westerners volunteering with the Kurdish forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The series premiered on the History Channel and Viceland in 2018.

Currently, I am writing Untitled Muhammad Ali Documentary, a multi-part series directed by Antoine Fuqua for HBO Films.

Say aloha...   sl AT


photo by Noah Kalina