Evan J.


Evan’s enthusiasm for helping others with their writing began in the second grade, when he coached his friend Michael through the writing and illustration of a short book about a society of friendly rodents who lived beneath the stairs of a house. Evan attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington (his home state), where he received an interdisciplinary humanities education. After graduating, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years, writing for newsweeklies, magazines, and online publications in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. He then attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he earned an MFA in Fiction and began publishing his creative work. Evan recently published his first novel, Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe, and has a book of essays coming out in March 2020. He has received prestigious fellowships from artists’ residencies in the U.S. and abroad, from Yaddo in Saratoga Springs to Arteles Creative Center in Finland. His work has appeared in major publications such as The New York Times, Oxford American, and Travel + Leisure. He also serves as an editor-at-large for The Iowa Review.

Evan has taught creative writing, expository writing, and English at the middle school, high school, and undergraduate levels. He taught at the University of Iowa, as well as at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio high school summer program. He taught an intensive summer writing workshop at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and now teaches at Pierrepont School in Westport, Connecticut, where he mentors middle and high school students, guiding them to cultivate their writing skills and encouraging their creativity.

In his free time, Evan loves to cook, play tennis, ride his bike around New York, listen to music, and read. (He’s a former bookseller as well, having worked in multiple independent bookstores.)

Education & Qualifications
  • The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, MFA in Fiction
  • The Evergreen State College, BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Expository Writing & the Essay
  • English & Literature