MFA in Writing

Jacquelyn Mitchard / Faculty, CNF/Fiction

Jacquelyn Mitchard, VCFA Writing Program

Jacquelyn Mitchard has written ten novels for adults, including several New York Times bestsellers that have also enjoyed critical acclaim, recently winning Great Britain’s Talkabout prize and named to the short list for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She has written seven novels for young adults and five children’s books, as well as a memoir, Mother Less Child, and a collection of essays, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship. Her essays also have been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide, widely anthologized, and incorporated into school curricula.

Her reportage on educational issues facing American Indian children won the Hampton and Maggie Awards for Public Service Journalism. Mitchard’s work as part of Shadow Show, the anthology of short stories honoring her mentor, Ray Bradbury, won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award and was honored by the Shirley Jackson Awards. She served on the Fiction jury for the 2003 National Book Awards, and her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, later adapted for a feature film by Michelle Pfeiffer. Mitchard is the editor in chief and co-creator of Merit Press, a new realistic YA Fiction imprint. A Chicago native, Mitchard grew up the daughter of a plumber and a hardware store clerk who met as rodeo riders. A member of the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa tribe, she is a Distinguished Fellow at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois. Mitchard taught Fiction and Creative Nonfiction at Fairfield University and was the first Faculty Fellow at Southern New Hampshire University. Her most recent novel, Two if by Sea, was published in 2016 by Simon and Schuster. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband and their nine children.