Ellen Lesser is the author of two novels, The Other Woman (Simon & Schuster) and The Blue Streak (Grove), and the short story collection, The Shoplifter’s Apprentice (Simon & Schuster).

Work from the Shoplifter’s volume has been performed in the “Selected Shorts” series on National Public Radio and reprinted in Houghton Mifflin’s Images of Women in Literatureas well as the Green Writers Press anthology, Contemporary Vermont Fiction. Ellen’s current project is a linked collection about mothers and adolescent daughters in crisis. (To hear an excerpt from the story “Talk,” click on the audio file on this page.) Work from the cycle has appeared in The Iowa ReviewThe Antioch ReviewNorth American Reviewupstreetand Brain, Child; received three Pushcart Prize nominations; and earned a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. Ellen’s fiction, plus her criticism and literary interviews, has also appeared in The Missouri ReviewMississippi ReviewEpochThe Southern ReviewNew England Review, and The Village Voice. Her essays on fictional craft have been featured in The Writer’s Chronicle and in craft anthologies including Words Overflown by Stars (edited by David Jauss).

A long-time member of the MFA in Writing faculty, she also teaches in and directs VCFA’s annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. Ellen is a graduate of Yale College and received her MFA in the Vermont College program. A native of New York City and its near suburbs, she has lived in Vermont for more than three decades.


MFA - Writing | Vermont College
BA - Literature | Yale

Selected work

Tomás Q. Morín

Faculty, MFA in Writing

Richard McCann

Faculty, MFA in Writing; Novel Retreat

Nance Van Winckel

Faculty, MFA in Writing

Robert Vivian

Faculty, MFA in Writing

Natasha Sajé

Faculty, MFA in Writing

Abby Frucht

Faculty, MFA in Writing