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Jean Shields Fleming

As a writer, I began as a poet, intrigued by how just one word, even one syllable, could transform meaning, thereby linking the sensual world with the soul. While I still write poetry, my primary practice areas now are memoir, the personal essay, and novels. 


My current project is a novel set in California, where I have deep family history. The human story of that land is written in waves of conquest – from literal conquistadors to gold rushers to lotus eaters to tech fabulists. With each wave the land has morphed. But what happens when the last land is up for grabs? This is the situation of the novel, told through the perspectives of three remarkable women. The fight over how to use that land forms the plot. Read an excerpt now! 


I am the founder and editor of Certain Age magazine, where we are creating space for women to share their most audacious ideas. I've shared a few there, too - on the necessity of wildflowers, the tragedy of wildfires, and the life-changing magic one letter had on me. I've had the pleasure to profile rally drivers and a jazz singer who doesn't give an eff, and even got the sublime Joanne Harris to share just what's in The Shed

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and hold an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. I have been fortunate to learn from the best, and am grateful to Robert Stone, Carl Hiaasen and Lynn Freed for their mentorship. Thank you, as well, to Hedgebrook, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Loss and Renewal for giving time and space to write. 

I may not have been smart enough to be born in Greece, but I'm lucky enough to live here now. Home is a small village called Agios Nikolaos (St. Nick!) on the Peloponnese. Here, my husband I toil on behalf of 5 feral cats - and 1 fox - who add much operatic flair to our daily lives. 

Headshot of writer Jean Shields Fleming

Represented by 
Lukas Ortiz

Afternoon Light

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