Jill Koenigsdorf has been writing since the age of ten. Her novel, Phoebe & The Ghost of Chagall was published by MacAdam Cage in November of 2012, and is forthcoming in paperback from Dzanc Publishers. Her short story, “Browsers and Grazers” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, having won first place in The Chautauqua Review Short Story Contest. Her story “The Bundling Board” won second prize and was published in The Writer magazine. She was a finalist for this year’s Lamar York Prize.
Her work has been published in: Tin House, ZYZZYVA, American Short Fiction, The Southwest Review, The South Dakota Review, The Sun, and the anthology: The Whole Story: Editors On Fiction. She has also received The Peregrine Prize and The McGinnis Award.
Jill’s non-fiction pieces have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, California Magazine, Sonoma Magazine, and many other Bay Area and New Mexican publications.
Jill grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and her first foray into writing took the form of poetry. Because she could major in writing, she chose Bard College, an hour and half north of New York City and filled with fellow artists, dancers, musicians, actors and writers. She studied at Bard for two years, then took a gap year, during which time she traveled to Australia to meet her Australian mother’s people for the first time.
Upon her return to the United States, Jill attended Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado, where she studied with many of the poets she had long admired. She applied to the University of California at Santa Cruz for an exchange year, fell in love with California, and graduated from UCSC in 1980.
Shortly after college, she lived in Paris for one year. She is fluent in French and has remained an unapologetic Francophile. Much of her novel Phoebe and the Ghost of Chagall takes place in France.
Jill started her flower shop – Spring Fever Flowers- in 1982, where she ran it successfully for twenty-five years, continuing to freelance for local newspapers and submit stories to literary magazines throughout this period. She still works as a floral designer and is an avid devotee to all things botanical. She also has a passion for old things, and the stories they tell, and has sold antiques as “the day job” for several years.
Jill is currently at work on her second novel, RADIANCE, which follows three generations of women whose lives have been affected by radium.
“I like entering another world, where my species is not the dominant one…”
– Jill Koenigsdorf