MICHAEL CONNIFF is a writer and producer. His novel, BOOK OF O’KELLS: MOTHER NATURE—the story of a billionaire ex-nun who becomes a radical eugenicist and tries to create a town without men—reached #6 on the Amazon Top Ten list for Historical Fiction in 2016. The author of more than a dozen published short stories, he was nominated by Tim O’Brien and selected as a Sokolov Scholar in Fiction at the Breadloaf Writers Conference. For the last twenty years he has been writing THE BOOK OF O’KELLS, a multiple media work of fiction based on his mother’s family that includes novels, a novella, mysteries, a play, oral histories, book reviews, forewords, afterwords—and anything else he can think of, including the novel THE GOOD EGG on Facebook. His play BOOK OF O’KELLS: THE MADNESS OF HATTERS was performed in a workshop by Theatre Aspen.
Michael has written several TV pilots and screenplays, including SPY HIGH, a one-hour dramatic thriller about the children of parents who rule the world and decide to form a teenage espionage ring; and DIRE, a one-hour dramatic-sci-fi thriller about a prehistoric dire wolf brought back to life after a fossil find, only to escape into the wilderness to terrorize the ski town of Loverly, Colorado. Michael is currently working on a new TV pilot, the conspiracy theory thriller CONSPIRATORIUM, which asks the question “What if there really is one big conspiracy?”
At Harvard in 1980, he became not only the first and only Journalism Tutor in the college’s history, but also the first writing instructor to use word processing as a teaching tool. He then became the first person ever hired full-time in new media by NBC. More recently, he is co-founder of The Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College and founded the Digital Story Lab there to foster and facilitate multimedia and social media storytelling. (Mr. Conniff was selected Faculty of the Year at the college by students.) He is also the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the social marketing company Post Time Media Inc.; a featured blogger on Huffington Post; former editor-in-chief of Aspen Post, at the time the most accomplished local blog in the country; and the former host of “Con Games” in Aspen, the #1-rated radio talk show on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Mr. Conniff is a third-generation newspaperman and the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank Conniff. A graduate of Harvard with honors in history, he cut his teeth as a copy boy and then a reporter on the San Francisco Examiner, Baltimore News American, and the Boston Herald. In his career, he has started four independent news services. He designed Citicorp Global Report, the first international online news service for end-users and the first such service to ever achieve profitability. For Reuters, he was the lead consultant spearheading Reuter TV 2000, the news provider’s attempt to integrate video into its global offerings.
Mr. Conniff led his own consulting firm, High Comm Group, for ten years, and completed assignments for clients large and small, including General Electric, Citicorp, Pacific Bell, AT&T, and Reuters. After High Comm Group, Mr. Conniff co-founded Interactive Sports Inc. and became its chairman and chief executive officer. The company started by developing video database systems for teams like the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League, then morphed into a consumer media company that produced over 100,000 stories for company-owned brands like Women’s Sports Channel, Urban Sports Network, Nutrition.com, and X Ice, a joint-venture with the NHL New York Islanders. The company also provided sports content to Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen network, and developed and operated the interactive information network at MCI Center, one of the first such systems of its kind in the world.