I’m Jessie Roy, a queer fiction writer, teacher, and editor.
I hold an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University and am currently a PhD Candidate and Distinguished Dissertation Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2019-2020, I served as Fiction Editor for the literary magazine Cream City Review. My short fiction has recently appeared in American Literary Review and The Journal, and my novel-in-progress, Brides, was First Runner-Up in the 2020 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.
When I’m not writing, you can find me designing and sewing my own clothes.
For my short fiction, I have received three Hopwood Awards, a Cornelia Carhart Ward Fellowship, and was selected as a finalist for the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing Fellowships, and the 2019 American Literary Review Fiction Contest. My short story “The Lamentations” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.
I am currently at work on a novel, Brides, which draws on my professional experience in the bridal industry and my personal experience as a married queer woman to explore the tensions and contradictions within ‘gay marriage.’ Brides was named First Runner-Up in the 2020 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.
In 2019-2020, I served as Fiction Editor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s nationally distributed literary magazine, Cream City Review. I also have ten years of experience serving as a reader, assistant editor, and editorial committee leader for popular anthologies, textbooks, and literary magazines.
Publications I’ve edited or served on the editorial board for include The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 (edited by Dave Eggers with an introduction by David Sedaris), the eighth edition of the textbook Critical Encounters With Texts, and the literary journals Salt Hill and Cream City Review.
Over the past eight years, I have been the instructor of record for many literature, creative writing, and composition classes for college and high school students.
My teaching philosophy revolves around structure. In the classroom, I work hard to provide an organized, productive environment where students feel safe and supported in their learning. And in my writing and reading assignments, I challenge students to recognize the structures of effective published writing and mimic them in their own work until they become second nature.
Undergraduate courses I have taught include:
Introduction to Creative Writing
College Writing and Research
Introduction to College Writing
Living Writers (a survey of contemporary literature)
Representations of Sex and Sexuality
Visual Rhetorical Analysis in Gender and Sexuality
I also served as the primary Fiction Instructor for the Syracuse University Summer College Program in Creative Writing, a two-week intensive program where I guided high school students in writing, revising, and workshopping their short fiction and poetry.
I co-founded the Milwaukee Queer Writing Project, an organization which partners with Woodland Pattern Book Center to create writing workshops for young people in Milwaukee public schools. In 2019-2020, we at MQWP designed and led a series of poetry workshops for Gay-Straight Alliances at Riverside University High School, Carmen High School, and Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy.
My research focuses on women writers of the early-to-mid 20th century whose work engages with ordinary, gendered embodied experiences like food and fashion. My objects of study include the works of literary writers like Eileen Chang, MFK Fisher, and Assia Djebar, as well as popular cookbooks, food journalism, and home economics manuals by women like Irma Rombauer, Mary Brooks Picken, and Mimi Sheraton. I also collect 1930s – 1940s issues of women’s magazines like McCall’s and Woman’s Home Companion and write about serialized fiction and mid-century advertising practices aimed at women.
Recent conference presentations include:
“Who’s That Woman?: Follies and the Queer Self” at the Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2019
“The politics of the private in Eileen Chang’s Aloeswood Incense” at the Northeast MLA Conference 2019
“‘Labor-saving’ for whom?: working on the white body in 1930s magazine advertising” at the Pop Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference 2019
“Who’s That Woman?: Reconstructing Follies” at Backward Glances 2019
I collect and comment on excerpts from midcentury women’s print culture at my blog, Homemakers’ Chat.