Julia Ridley Smith’s short story collection Sex Romp Gone Wrong is forthcoming from Blair on February 6, 2024.
Her first book, The Sum of Trifles, is a memoir published by the University of Georgia Press (2021) as a title in their Crux literary nonfiction series.
Julia’s short stories and essays have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary Review, Arts and Letters, the Carolina Quarterly, Chelsea, the Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, Electric Literature, the Greensboro Review, Literary Matters, the New England Review, Southern Cultures, and The Southern Review, among other places. Her book and art reviews have been published in Art Papers, Our State, the Raleigh News and Observer, and elsewhere.
Julia currently teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at her alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill, where she was the 2021-22 Kenan Visiting Writer. Previously, she taught creative writing, composition, and literature in the English Department at UNC Greensboro.
After earning her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College, she worked for nearly two decades as a freelance editor of academic books for university presses, and served for several years as editor of Inch magazine and associate editor at Bull City Press. A firm believer that art is for everyone and helps people build stronger communities, she helped launch the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival and has served as a volunteer docent at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. She has taught writing workshops for the Weatherspoon, as well as for The Porch, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the Redbud Writing Project.
In 2019, Julia was awarded the Cos Barnes Fellowship in Fiction at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Tennessee Williams Scholar in fiction at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, artist-in-residence at the Millay Colony, and Crossfield Fellow at the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency. She’s also been the grateful recipient of grants from the Durham Arts Council, Nash County Arts, and the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro. Her essay “Legs” (Ecotone) was chosen as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2019.
Photo: Felipe Troncoso