Ashley Wurzbacher

MFA Alumni Bio

Ashely bio feature

Ashley Wurzbacher earned her MFA in Fiction from Eastern in 2010 and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston in 2016. Her stories have appeared in The Iowa ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewGettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. Her novel, How to Care for a Human Girl (Atria Books) will be published in August 2023. Her story collection, Happy Like This (University of Iowa Press) won 2019 the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. In 2019, she was selected by Brandon Hobson as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honorees. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at the University of Montevallo, where she teaches creative writing.

Here’s what she had to say about the MFA program:

“My experience at Eastern helped me clarify my career goals. Not only did I gain invaluable teaching experience as a TA, but I also got to try out editing through an internship with Willow Springs and got nonprofit/community teaching experience through Writers in the Community. I left the program with a clear sense of my interests and abilities in all three areas. Ultimately, I determined that teaching was the right career for me, but I felt (and still feel) confident in my skill set in other writing- and teaching-adjacent fields, as well. I also felt confident in my ability to market those skills by clearly and elegantly communicating them to potential employers. The MFA program honed my critical thinking/reading skills, sharpened my communication skills, and helped me get used to giving and receiving constructive feedback. These are skills that are vital to *any* career.”