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Josephine Sloyan

Finalist in the 2018 Nick Adams Short Story Contest

Read the story: Object Lessons

Final judge Will Boast wrote:

"A fascinating, philosophically rich exploration of the complex desires of its teenage, female protagonist."


More about Josephine Sloyan:

  • Josephine Sloyan

    Josephine Sloyan

    Senior at Grinnell College

  • Majors: English; French
  • Hometown: Reno, NV

Q. What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?

I have been writing since I was a kid, pretty steadily into young-adulthood. My dad is a high-school English teacher, so I was exposed very early to great fiction as well as great poetry, plays, and nonfiction.

Q. What drew you to write about the subject and characters in "Object Lessons"?

"Object Lessons" is a revised excerpt from a larger project that follows the perspectives of five individuals. The protagonist of "Object Lessons" was defined by a certain rigidity and almost formality of personality — an organized and compartmentalized psyche — that translated into a kind of rule- and goal-orientedness that I found poignant and a little hilarious in the context of a sexual coming-of-age.

Q. What are your plans after you graduate this spring?

After graduation, I plan on working in the Chicago area or as a TA in France through the TAPIF program for the next year before applying to graduate programs in either English or creative writing.