Jenny Shank

Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Boulder, CO

Author's Bio

Jenny Shank was born in Merced, Califoria, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and earned degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado. Her story collection, Mixed Company, won the Colorado Book Award in General Fiction and the George Garrett Fiction Prize. Her novel, The Ringer, won the High Plains Book Award in fiction. 

Her stories, essays, satire, and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Onion, Poets & Writers Magazine, Bust Magazine, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Santa Monica Review, Five Chapters, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Toast, Offline, Image, Printer's Row, Barrelhouse, Rocky Mountain News, Dallas Morning News, High Country News, PBS MediaShift, The Rumpus, 5280, The Huffington Post and The McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals (Vintage, 2012).

Jenny Shank was the Denver/Boulder Editor of The Onion A.V. Club for six years, and for four years she was the Books & Writers Editor of New West, which was named "Best Literary Blog" in the Westword Best of Denver issue. She was a Mullin Scholar in writing at the University of Southern California. She has taught creative writing at the University of Colorado, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and the Boulder Writing Studio, and she is on the faculty of the Mile High MFA at Regis University in Denver. 

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Atlantic Monthly
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Poets & Writers
Washington Post


Dear McSweeney's: Two Decades of Letters to the Editor from Writers, Readers, and the Occasional Bewildered Consumer (McSweeney's Books, 2021)
McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals (Vintage, 2012)
Mixed Company: Stories (Texas Review Press, 2022)
THE RINGER (Permanent Press, 2011)
Prizes won: 

Jenny Shank's story collection, Mixed Company (Texas Review Press, 2022), won the Colorado Book Award in General Fiction and the George Garrett Fiction prize.

Jenny Shank's novel, The Ringer (The Permanent Press, 2011), won the High Plains Book Award in fiction, was a finalist for the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association's Reading the West Book Awards, was a Tattered Cover Book Store Summer Reading 2011 selection, and was a finalist for the Book Pipeline competition.

One of her stories was listed among the "Notable Essays of the Year" in the Best American Essays, and one received Special Mention in the 2018 Pushcart Prize anthology.

She's won writing awards from the Center of the American West, the Montana Committee for the Humanities, SouthWest Writers, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Colson Whitehead, Jesmyn Ward, Louise Erdrich, Jess Walter, Danielle Evans, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Elif Batuman, Z.Z. Packer, Lucia Berlin

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, French
Born in: 
Merced, CA
Raised in: 
Denver, CO
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Last update: Sep 14, 2022