Contemporary and epic fantasy with unforgettable characters, complicated families, and music in the sentences.


Sarah Avery won the 2015 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Tales from Rugosa Coven, a trio of linked novellas about a coven of very modern Wiccans in a New Jersey even weirder and more absurd than the one you think you know. Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Space and Time, Fantasy Scroll, Great Jones Street, and Black Gate. She was also Black Gate‘s columnist on teaching and fantasy literature and on series fantasy for a decade. With David Sklar she coedited the themed anthology Trafficking in Magic, Magicking in Traffic, which features stories by James Enge, Darrell Schweitzer, and Elizabeth Bear. A Kickstarter campaign allowed her to publish The Imlen Brat, a fantasy novella for adults about a wild seven-year-old in a perilous royal court, with illustrations by Kate Baylay.

Avery is an escaped academic who taught way too many sections of freshman composition. After earning a doctorate in English with a dissertation on modernist poetry, she spent a few weeks driving around the Adirondacks blasting Tori Amos on the car stereo and asking herself, What would happen if I stopped holding back? The answer turned out to be a return to her first literary love, fantasy fiction. As a mildly entrepreneurial writing coach for teens, she’s able to get almost all the best parts of teaching with almost none of the annoying parts.

She grew up as an Army brat in Kentucky and Korea, Japan and Germany, with a long enough run in Maryland to think of it as home. She moved to New Jersey for grad school and accidentally made a life there for 20 years. Sarah married her high school sweetheart and now lives in Maryland with her husband and sons and over a hundred kinds of medicinal plants.

Her work is supported in part by grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.