"[Schmader's] protean wit, his willingness to stare without blinking into howlingly painful emotional cyclones, and his unfailingly calibrated ethical compass are three virtues every writer should strive to emulate.”

The Stranger


The Stranger

Between 1999 and 2015, Schmader served as a writer and editor of the Pulitzer-winning Seattle newsweekly The Stranger, writing the column "Last Days: The Week in Review" and covering everything from the Michael Jackson criminal trial to the post-prison life of the West Memphis Three.

Like Seeing God or Something

An Interview with Lily Tomlin

Among the Faithful

The criminal trial against Michael Jackson has just begun, but for the troubled King of Pop's most passionate fans, Jackson's innocence is more than a foregone conclusion—it's a fact of life.

The American Audience Is Terrible

An Interview with Fran Lebowitz

Suicide Solution

Sims Ellison did more than provide yet another tragically premature rock corpse

His Kampf

Morrissey's Wonderful and Horrible Autobiography

Funny First, Dyke Second

An Interview with Ellen DeGeneres

The Sound of Falling in Love

Intiman Bares Its Musical Heart with the World Premiere of ‘The Light in the Piazza’

Filipino Fabulousness

Inay's Asian Pacific Cuisine Is All That

Goodbye, TrimSpa’s Rose

In Memory of Anna Nicole Smith

Real-World Horror, Film-World Triumph

Megan Griffiths's Brilliant Eden Makes Humane Art Out of Inhumanity

Paradise Found

An Interview with the West Memphis Three's Jason Baldwin

Steamfitter's Daughter

With a New Album on Her New Label, Visqueen's Rachel Flotard Honors the Man Who Made Her


Mormons, Mysteries, and a Beauty-Queen Sociopath

On a Deadline

(How Not to Get Married)

Into the Vegettoir

A Truth-Seeking Vegetarian Dares to Look His Field Roast in the Eye

Bookstore Heaven

After 26 Years, History Catches Up to Bailey/Coy Books

Seattle Times

What Prince Meant to the World

He treated pop like it was destiny

City Arts

In 2016, Schmader began writing essays for the Seattle magazine City Arts.

Songs of Peace

On Making a Mixtape for My Dad's Final Days

Musical Emancipation

Xolie Morra is a Gifted Singer/Songwriter Staking a Claim for Neurodiversity


California Marriage Ruling

One of the Lucky Couples

What the Drugs Taught Me

A five-part collaboration with the award-winning comic artist Ellen Forney, originally published in The Stranger and subsequently published in Forney's comics collection I Love Led Zeppelin.