Writing is my way
of grasping the sky.
JoAnn Bren Guernsey
My career has spanned over four decades; I am the author of three young adult novels published by Clarion Books, and sixteen nonfiction books for middle-grade children published primarily by Lerner Books. In addition, I collaborated with fellow Minnesotan Jim Brandenburg to write four award-winning books for young readers (published by Walker & Company) chronicling his adventures as an internationally renowned wildlife photographer and environmentalist. After working on my first adult novel for several years and receiving a McKnight fellowship for it, I was delighted to see Glass Asylum published by North Star Press (2011).
Several of my short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies. One of my earliest erotic stories was included in The Best American Erotica of 1997, edited by Susie Bright (Simon & Schuster).
My literary and somewhat historical story that takes place in Krakow, Poland was a finalist in a Glimmertrain competition and eventually found a home in my Red Bird chapbook Tangled Strings (2013). Another favorite, “Fort Defiance,” won first place in a fiction contest sponsored by Big Muddy—A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley in 2008.
The second aspect of my career that brings me great satisfaction is my role as a teacher of creative writing, mentor and freelance editor. I have taught both fiction and memoir, to everyone from middle-school children to senior citizens, in community centers and churches. I enjoy making "author appearances" (although I still sometimes stumble over the word "author") at schools, senior centers, writing conferences and book clubs.
Please contact me for more info.