As we head into our 40th conference year, we’re proud of the literary community our conference has fostered over the years. That fellowship is what poet, essayist, and novelist Jill Koenigsdorf especially appreciates about her three conference experiences.
She recalls vividly the atmosphere of camaraderie in a 1992 fiction workshop led by Ron Hansen. “I met a simpatico group of writers and astute readers at that workshop,” she says. “We formed a writers’ group that stayed together 13 years, helping each other polish short stories and eventually sharing in the delight of actually seeing some of them published.”
The piece Koenigsdorf workshopped at that conference, a story called “Spelunker,” later appeared in the San Francisco journal ZYZZYVA. The writers’ group that formed following Hansen’s workshop still reunites on occasion, and the members have amassed a body of published work that includes two novels, a short story collection, two books of nonfiction, and multiple short stories. “[We] have been known to roll up our sleeves and commit to critiquing entire novels for each other,” says Koenigsdorf.
Returning to the conference in 1994 and 2001, Koenigsdorf participated in workshops led by two of her favorite writers: Pam Houston and Amy Bloom. “I was thrilled to have the chance to work with them,” she comments.
Koenigsdorf’s works—both poetry and prose—have garnered awards and recognition. Her piece “Browsers and Grazers” won the Chautauqua Review Short Story Contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, while “The Bundling Board” won second prize and appeared in The Writer magazine. She is the recipient of The Peregrine Prize and The McGinnis Award. Her work has been published in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Southwest Review, ZYZZYVA, The South Dakota Review, The Sun, and the anthology The Whole Story: Editors on Fiction. She has also published a novel called Phoebe and the Ghost of Chagall, and has completed a second novel, titled Radiance.
Visit Jill Koenigsdorf’s blog to read more of her work.