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. She has taught a combination of Composition, English, and Creative Writing at the secondary- and university-levels for the past six years. She will begin working as an assistant editor for The Cincinnati Review in the fall of 2018.
Her previous work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 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 Catapult, CRAFT, Entropy, Flyway, The Normal School, and Post Road. Her academic interests center on issues of gender and sexuality, with critical work in The Explicator.
At present, she is at work on a novel and a collaborative, serialized nonfiction podcast with Matt Jones.
You can follow her on Twitter @JessEJelsma.