Jonathan Escoffery

Fiction Writer

Author's Bio

Jonathan is the author of If I Survive You, linked stories that follow a Jamaican family as they seek stability upon moving to Miami, navigating cultural dislocation, tenuous family ties, and the challenges posed to sustaining a Jamaican identity across generations in America, forthcoming fall 2022 from MCD/ FSG, as well as the forthcoming novel, Play Stone Kill Bird.

Jonathan is the winner of The Paris Review’s 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction and is the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts (Prose) Literature Fellowship. His story “Under the Ackee Tree” was among the trio that won the Paris Review the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and was subsequently included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020.

His most recent stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended ReadingZYZZYVA and American Short Fiction.

Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program (Fiction). He has taught creative writing and seminars on the writer’s life at the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, the Center for Fiction, Tin House, Writers in Progress, and at GrubStreet in Boston, where, as former staff, he founded the Boston Writers of Color Group, which currently has more than 2,000 members. He is a 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and attends the University of Southern California’s Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature Program as a Provost Fellow.

Publications & Prizes

Prizes won: 
  • 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellowship, Stanford University.
  • 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, The Paris Review, for “Under the Ackee Tree.”
  • 2020 National Endowment for the Arts (Prose) Literature Fellowship.
  • 2020 ASME National Magazine Award for Fiction, The Paris Review, for “Under the Ackee Tree.”
  • 2019 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship.
  • 2018 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, for “Chasing Carlos.”
  • 2017 Kimbilio Fiction Fellowship.
  • 2017 Ivan Gold Fellowship (The Writers’ Room of Boston).
  • 2017 Somerville Arts Council Artist Fellowship.
  • 2016 Waasnode Fiction Prize Winner, Passages North, for “In Flux.”

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American, Jamaican American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Raised in: 
Miami, FL
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Last update: Nov 02, 2021