Melissa Pritchard was born in San Mateo, California. She has published eight award-winning books of fiction, a biography and collection of essays. Among other prizes, she has received the University of Georgia’s Flannery O’Connor Award, the University of Rochester’s Janet Heidinger Kafka Award, Chicago’s Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Prize. A five-time winner of Pushcart and O. Henry Prizes and frequently shortlisted in Best American Short Stories, her fiction and essays appear in The Paris Review, Agni, Ploughshares, Conjunctions, Ecotone, LitMag, A Public Space, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Wilson Quarterly and other venues. WordTheatre has performed her short stories in New York and Los Angeles; two of her books were named New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” and “Notable Books of the Year.” Others, receiving starred reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, have been named as O, The Oprah Magazine “Top Titles” and “Book of the Week,” and as “Best Book of the Year” by The San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. Her essay collection, given a starred review by Library Journal, was included in Publishers Weekly “Top Ten in Essays, Literary Biography and Criticism,” and praised by Lit Hub as a “Best Book about Books,” and by Poets and Writers as a “Best Book for Writers.”
Pritchard’s writing has been anthologized in Mothers: Stories of Contemporary Motherhood, The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories, American Gothic Tales, The New Mortality: Thirty Writers Confront the Inevitable, Best of the West, Hingston and Olsen’s Short Story Advent Calendar, among other anthologies and textbooks.
Awarded fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, the Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation in Switzerland, the Hawthornden Foundation in Scotland and the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy, Melissa currently lives in Columbus, Georgia. Her novel, Flight of the Wild Swan, will be published by Bellevue Literary Press, NYC, in March 2024.
Photo Credit: Morgan Duke