Jen Ippensen has writing in or forthcoming in The Flat Water Rises: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Emerging Nebraska Writers, Every Day Fiction, and Midwestern Gothic, among other places. Her story "Three Things You Should Know About Jarod J. Brinkley III" at Collective Unrest was nominated for Best of the Net. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Nebraska and has been named a Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer. 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. She is a certified educator in the state of Nebraska and has spent considerable time teaching language arts classes, coaching competitive speech teams, and directing plays. She currently serves as literary manager for TheatreMidwest and a teaching artist with the Nebraska Writers Collective. Originally from Worms, Nebraska, Jen has lived and worked in many places, from New York City to large and small towns in the Midwest. She now resides with her family in Norfolk, Nebraska, where she writes literary fiction, creative non-fiction, and the occasional poem; consumes dark chocolate, hazelnut coffee, and copious amounts of cheese; and fosters an obsession with the color black.
Honors & Awards
2019 Best of the Net Nomination
"Three Things You Should Know About Jarod J. Brinkley III" (published October 24, 2018) was nominated by Collective Unrest for Best of the Net 2019.
2019 Wyoming Writers, Inc. Scholarship Recipient
In 2019, Jen was grateful to be selected as a Wyoming Writers, Inc. scholarship recipient and to participate in the summer conference held in Laramie, Wyoming, along with Holly Pelesky.
2018 Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer
In 2018, Jen Ippensen was the featured Mari Sandoz Emerging Writer at the Story Catcher Summer Writing Workshop & Festival presented by the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society and Chadron State College. Related events were hosted at Fort Robinson State Park and the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center.
Nebraska Writers Collective
Jen is enthusiastic about working as a Teaching Artist with the Nebraska Writers Collective in conjunction with Louder than a Bomb: Great Plains.
Jen is happy to serve as literary manager and dramaturg for TheatreMidwest, a company that produces projects relevant to people in the middle of the United States and seeks to raise voices of women and other under-represented groups, while offering radical hospitality in order to make theatre more accessible.
Jen is excited to be involved with WSC Press by interviewing authors for the Nebraska Territory Mini Interviews series. Check out her recent interview with award-winning poet Marjorie Saiser.