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Natalie S. Harnett

Short Bio: Natalie S. Harnett has an MFA from Columbia and has been awarded an Edward Albee Fellowship, a Summer Literary Seminars Fellowship, and a Vermont Studio Center Writer’s Grant. Her fiction has been a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, the Mid-List Press First Series Award for the Novel, the Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers, and The Ray Bradbury Short Story Fellowship.  Her publications include the Chicago Quarterly ReviewThe Irish Echo, & The New York Times. Her debut novel, THE HOLLOW GROUND, won the 2015 John Gardner Fiction Book Award, the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year Award & was longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. Recently the first chapter of her novel-in-progress was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives on Long Island and Northeastern PA with her family.

Long Bio: I grew up in Queens, New York and for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. I think my love for language came at a young age and was fostered by the many afternoons I spent reading early twentieth century poems to my maternal grandmother. My family’s love of made up words and my paternal grandmother’s broken English—she was an ethnic German immigrant from Slovenia—also helped.

Though I did well in school, I had a poor understanding of grammar until I taught it to myself during my first year of graduate school. Oddly enough, I think my lack of knowledge of grammar and punctuation gave me a kind of freedom with language that I would not have otherwise felt or expressed. It seems strange to say, but I’m actually glad I didn’t learn grammar until I was an adult!

While attending Columbia’s MFA program in Fiction, I was awarded a Teaching Writing Fellowship and that’s the work I’ve been doing since. I've taught or tutored writing at Columbia, Polytechnic University, Baruch College, the NYC's Board of Education Aspiring Principals Program, Nassau Community College and the US Merchant Marine Academy. I have been awarded an Edward Albee Fellowship, a Summer Literary Seminars Fellowship, and a Vermont Studio Center Writer’s Grant. My fiction has been a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, the Mid-List Press First Series Award for the Novel, the Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers, and The Ray Bradbury Short Story Fellowship.  My publications include the Chicago Quarterly ReviewThe Irish Echo, The MacGuffin, Stories of Inspiration: Historical Fiction Edition, and The New York Times.

THE HOLLOW GROUND, my debut novel, won the 2015 John Gardner Fiction Book Award, the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year Award & was longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. It is an is an Amazon and Audible Best Seller; a Goodreads Book Group Worthy title; a LIBRARY JOURNAL's "Debuts with Buzz" Selection; a SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE's '5 Books to Read This Month' Selection; and a NYC Irish Arts Center 2015 Book Day Pick. PROVIDENCE JOURNAL writes: ". . .hands down the best novel of 2014."  Recently, the first chapter of my novel-in-progress was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Currently, my greatest challenge and joy is balancing work, writing and motherhood.