Jessie Grearson has studied and taught writing for more than thirty-five years. Since 2002, she has successfully coached high school students in the art of the college application essay, helping them learn how to capture a sense of themselves on the page in a way that brings the facts and figures of their college applications to life.
When not working with other writers, Jessie is writing herself. A feature writer for Kirkus and AudioFile Magazine, she’s enjoyed interviewing some of today’s best-selling authors, including Jodi Picoult, Joyce Carol Oates, and Lisa Scottolini along with beloved children’s authors such as Jerry Spinelli and Kate DiCamillo. She has co-edited and contributed to a book of literary nonfiction (Swaying: Essays on Intercultural Love) and a second book of essays (Love in a Global Village: A Celebration of Intercultural Families) published by the University of Iowa Press. Her essays, features, reviews and interviews have appeared in magazines including Ceramics: Art and Perception, Sculpture, and The Iowa Review. Several of her pieces on teaching writing and effective commenting have recently been anthologized.
A graduate of Williams College, she was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Traveling Fellowship to write and paint in Great Britain. When she returned, she taught art and writing at Noble and Greenough School before being accepted at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. There, she earned degrees in both poetry and essay writing, with a concentration in the teaching of writing.
Before moving to Maine, Jessie was Professor of Writing at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where she directed the school’s Writing Resource Center for ten years. She has presented ideas on teaching writing in national forums that include the Legal Writing Institute, the National Council of Teachers of English and the College Conference on Composition and Communication. Her artistic awards for essay writing include a Ragdale Foundation residency and a grant for writing from the Illinois Arts Council.
In Maine, she has consulted with several area law schools, edited books for the Intercultural Press in Yarmouth, and worked with individual student and adult writers to improve their written communications. In her spare time, she can be found in her garden or in her kitchen, where she sometimes dreams up recipes she enters into cooking contests.
B.A., Williams College, cum laude (1984)
M.F.A., University of Iowa (1988) M.A.W., University of Iowa (1991)