Jo Varnish




Select Publications: Short Fiction, Flash, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Literary Journalism

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The first story I remember being excited to write took the form of a set of journal entries for a competition at St. Michael’s Primary School when I was ten.  That was a year of great success for me.  My story won, and not long after I was also celebrating my performance in the class conker competition, having beaten David Simpson in the championship final.  Sadly, that amounted to the peak of my athletic prowess, but I did keep writing.  And writing. 

These days, I live in Maplewood, NJ and I write with my pit bull on my knee, and my laptop balanced precariously on his huge forehead.  Yup, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s marginally better than having to endure the mournful crinkled brow and the huffing and puffing he exhibits if I don’t let him take his place.  

Aside from dogs and kids, writing and exploring are my grand passions.  I inherited my late mother’s love of travel, and much of my work reflects that in its sense of place.  I try to keep my country count high, resisting revisiting places in favour of new experiences.  Except for Australia.  I’d never resist Australia.  

I am currently assistant editor at X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, studying for my MFA, working on my collection of short stories, and planning the next adventure.  


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Email me here about my freelance writing, my love of potatoes, or

if you have any idea why my lavenders stopped flowering.

“Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded.”

~ Virginia Woolf