I’m Jessie Roy, a queer fiction writer, teacher, and scholar.

I hold an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University and am currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  I’m also Fiction Editor for the literary magazine Cream City Review.  My work appears most recently in American Literary Review.

When I’m not writing, you can find me designing and sewing my own clothes, cooking from historical recipes, and collecting women’s magazines from the 1930s and 1940s.

You can follow me on Twitter at @jessie_c_roy.

You can find my Pinterest, where I archive midcentury fashion photographs and sewing patterns, at pinterest.com/ihavemade.

You can read my blog, Homemakers’ Chat, where I collect and comment on women’s print culture, advertising, and ephemera, at HomemakersChat.Tumblr.com.

Writing

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.

You can read my short story “The Lamentations” online in the Fall 2019 issue of American Literary Review.

I’ve given readings of my work in bars, coffeeshops, libraries, bookstores, banquet halls, auditoriums, and living rooms from Western Kentucky to the Finger Lakes region of Central New York.

jessie roy reading at woodland pattern in milwaukee, wi

I am currently at work on a novel, titled Bridesabout a queer bridal designer who must negotiate the complex and traumatic relationship between her own marriage, the marriages she guides her bridal clients into, and her family of origin.

Teaching

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.

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design by Conor Scruton

Recently, 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 are designing and leading a series of poetry workshops for Riverside University High School‘s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Scholarship

My research focuses on women writers of the modernist period whose work engages with ordinary, gendered embodied experiences like food and fashion.  My objects of study include the works of modernist 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 and upcoming 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

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I collect and comment on excerpts from midcentury women’s print culture at my blog, Homemakers’ Chat. You can read Homemakers’ Chat here.

Editorial

Currently, I’m serving 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.

Fashion Design

I’ve been designing, making patterns for, and sewing my own clothes for almost 15 years.

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Many of my designs are based on midcentury fashion illustrations and street photography. I collect and archive these images for inspiration at my Pinterest, which you can view here.

I love high-waisted trousers, bishop sleeves, menswear details, and plaid.  Recently, I made my first necktie.

Contact