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Victoria Payne

“Recovering English professor using her nerd power to host & publish at the Naked Librarian, a health & happiness brand for grown-ass women.”


About Me

My day job is helping people talk about their lives, businesses, or brands with originality and emotion—so I am a great fit for topics related to productizing your genius, business storytelling, the intersection of self-knowing and self-expression, narrative psychology, emotional recovery, and healthy lifestyle habits.

Here's how I became someone who knows a lot about creativity, emotional healing, language, and stories:

As a writer, story coach, and former English professor, I decided to put my skills to work for myself when I created the Naked Librarian in early 2023. This project has allowed me to combine my lifelong passion around health and personal development with my own story, as the child of international drug smugglers (surprise!) and parent of an adult child with substance use disorder. In other words, I know a lot a lot about trauma, and I've spent a lifetime learning how to grow, heal, and thrive even when life hands you what my therapist calls a shit sandwich.

I explore hard topics with authenticity and humor because I believe we need more real, honest conversation around the relentlessness of existence. I am especially interested in something I call existential first-aid and have written and researched how to take good care of yourself when you're dealing with loss, anguish, apathy, and feeling stuck. I'm currently working on a book on this topic, which I plan to publish in 2024.

The Naked Librarian is both a podcast and a publisher. I published my first workbook The Naked Librarian's Guide to Your First Colonoscopy: An Activity Book for Grown-Ups earlier this year. It's a hilarious handbook with 10 original activities and gastrointestinal trivia to help grow awareness around colon cancer screening, which now begins at 45. I am also publishing an upcoming word-of-the day calendar, based on the language of well-being.

As a guest on your podcast: I bring a refreshing perspective on how to stay hopeful, healthy, and real when you're living with pain, crisis, or simply navigating the challenges of parenting or aging. As a former teacher and lifelong storyteller, I have a knack for breaking down complex topics with clear explanations and fun metaphors. For example, do you know about shit sandwich denial? That was me for the first decade of adulthood — acting like everything was rosy, when it fact, I really did have my unfair share of life's woes. Coming to grips with my own story with honesty and humor has been a big part of my healing, and it's something I'm passionate about sharing with others.

Somewhat related & interesting Victoria facts: In February 2024, I won my first story slam on the Moth stage in Portland, Oregon. In 2017, I received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Portland, where I taught for 16 years. The next year, I published Write Big: From College Application Essay to Storytelling Standout. I continue to be a sought-after story coach for students applying to college. I've helped hundreds of students receive acceptance into award-winning universities and win over a million dollars in scholarship offers. I've also had the honor of publishing over 40 of their essays. I am a regular speaker at local high schools and professional groups, as well as the co-founder of, with my husband Kyle Sexton. I am also the lead writer and editor behind a weekly content subscription service for associations with a reach of over 6 million business leaders.

Fun fact: Kyle and I have what the internet calls an apart-together lifestyle, where we split time between Portland and Salem,Oregon, while my youngest son finishes high school. So if you've got questions around happy marriages with a distance-twist, I've got you covered.

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The Naked Librarian

The Naked Librarian covers impolite conversations with wellness professionals on women's health, aging gracefully, and self-acceptance.

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