Jess E. Jelsma was born in Louisiana and grew up in Alabama and Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.F.A in prose from the University of Alabama. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in English with a creative dissertation at the University of Cincinnati, where she works as an assistant editor for The Cincinnati Review. In the fall of 2018, she served as a co-instructor for The Fundamentals of Fiction Workshop at the Mercantile Library.
Her previous work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize anthology and awarded the University of Alabama's Don Hendrie Jr. Memorial Fiction Prize. Her stories have been named finalists for the Passages North Neutrino Short-Short Prize, SmokeLong Quarterly's 15th-Anniversary Flash Fiction Contest, and the Colorado Review Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction. She was recently selected as a Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction for the 2018 Sewanee Writers' Conference.
Her latest work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Arkansas International, Catapult, CRAFT, Entropy, Flyway,The Normal School, Pembroke Magazine, Post Road, and The Southern Review. Her academic interests center on memoir/life writing, documentation in fiction, disability studies, and issues of gender and sexuality, with critical work in The Explicator.
At present, she is at work on a story collection and a collaborative novel with Matt Jones.
You can follow her on Twitter @JessEJelsma.