Jen Ippensen was a Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer in 2018, and her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Flat Water Rises: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Emerging Nebraska Writers, Midwestern Gothic, and Collective Unrest. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She earned a BA in theatre from Doane College and spent several years performing, stage managing, and directing before completing the transition to teaching program and later earning an MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English through the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She is a certified educator in the state of Nebraska and has spent considerable time teaching language arts classes and coaching competitive speech teams. Originally from Worms, Nebraska, she has lived and worked, among other places, in small towns throughout the state. She now resides with her family in Norfolk, Nebraska, where she writes literary fiction; consumes dark chocolate, hazelnut coffee, and copious amounts of cheese; and fosters an obsession with the color black.