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I write Short Stories, Novels, Creative Nonfiction .
Originally from Minneapolis, I currently live in Minneapolis. I am also a parent.



Author’s Bio

I was raised on the icy tundras surrounding Minneapolis, Minnesota, where snow camping for “fun and survival” is de rigeur and hotdish was haute cuisine (thankfully, true haute cuisine has arrived in Minnesota). I spent my salad days in New York, where
I worked in publishing after getting my MFA at Columbia University, before returning to the tundra to raise my family.

Here’s something slightly more official:

Ashley Shelby is the author of Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City, which was praised by Salon, the Associated PressPhiladelphia InquirerLibrary Journal, and other media outlets. Her original reporting on the Exxon Valdez litigation has been published in The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, and alternet, has been republished in news outlets around the globe, and has been anthologized in the I Hate Corporate America Reader (Thunder’s Mouth Press/Da Capo).

She co-founded and curated the KGB Bar Nonfiction Reading Series in New York’s East Village, where she hosted authors such as Sebastian Junger and Adrian Nicole Leblanc. Ashley, who has received the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction and the Third Coast Fiction Prize, received an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. She has also been an Artist Fellow at Blacklock Nature Sanctuary and received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for her writing. She has received a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and has served as a juror for the Foundation. She was a finalist for Lascaux Review’s Prize in Short Fiction and Southeast Reviews “World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest,” the latter judged by Robert Olen Butler.

Her work has been published widely, including in The Seattle Review, Post Road, Sonora Review, The Portland Review, J Journal: New Writings on Social Justice, Sierra, Full Circle Journal, Babble, Gastronomica, Carve, and other literary journals. Her short-short, “Kuwait: 1991,” is forthcoming in Southeast Review.

Ashley is also a Teaching Artist at Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She has lectured at the University of Minnesota and taught memoir writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Before moving back to Minnesota, Shelby was an Associate Editor at Penguin Group (USA) Inc. in New York, where she specialized in political and social issue nonfiction, memoir, and narrative journalism. As a freelance editor, she has worked with a number of critically acclaimed authors.

Ashley recently completed her second book, Continent without Country, which will be published by Picador USA in Spring 2017. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family.

Representation: Lisa Bankoff, ICM



Before moving back to Minneapolis she was an editor at Penguin Group (USA) Inc., where she specialized in nonfiction, memoir, and narrative journalism. She is currently a Teaching Artist at Loft Literary Center. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two children.


Publications and Prizes

Anthologies: Falling Backwards (Hourglass Books) The I Hate Corporate America Reader (Thunder’s Mouth)


Publication History Books  Red River Rising: Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City, published by Minnesota Historical Society Press/Borealis Books (April 2004) Short Stories  “Sundog,” in J Journal: New Writing on Social Justice, Spring
2011 “Winter-Over,” in Third Coast Literary Journal, 2010 Winner of Third Coast Fiction Award, awarded by Stuart Dybek • “Folly Beach, 1974” in The Alembic, Spring 2004 • “In a Cold Climate” in Falling Backwards (Hourglass Books), 2004 Winner of the William
Faulkner Short Fiction Award, 2002 • “A Small War” in Riva Gauche, Spring 2004 • “The Vegas Solution” in Strawberry Press Magazine, March 2004 • A Temporary Assignment” in Identity Theory, February 2003 • “Disappeared is a Promise” in Spire Magazine, Winter
2002 • “Anonymity” in Full Circle Journal, Fall 2002.  “No Apparent Sadness” in, September 2002 Nominated for e2ink-2: The Best of Online Journals, 2003 anthology • “Parchment” in Watchword Lit


William Faulkner Short Fiction Award
Third Coast Fiction Award
Minnesota State Arts Board Grant
Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Artist Fellow
Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award

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