Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017), which The New Yorker called “mesmerizing,” and was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Triangle Publishing Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and named a Best Book of 2017 by Esquire, Book Riot, The Cut, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Rail, Bustle, Refinery29, Salon, The Rumpus, and others. Her second essay collection, Girlhood, will be published by Bloomsbury in March of 2021. Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including The Believer, Tin House, McSweeneys, Sewanee Review, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, The New York Times, Elle, The Guardian, Vogue, Dissent, The New York Time Book Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Bitch Magazine, and Poets & Writers.
Febos is the inaugural winner of The Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Prize from LAMBDA Literary, the 2017 recipient of The Sarah Verdone Writing Award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, The Sewanee Review, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The BAU Institute, Ucross Foundation, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Ragdale, and The MacDowell Colony.
The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program. She served on the Board of Directors of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for five years and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for ten years. She curates literary events, teaches workshops, and speaks widely.