Jenny O’Connell’s debut book project, Finding Petronella, traces her 2014 solo trek across Finland following the footsteps of a female legend into the heart of the Arctic Circle. A 2019 Maine Literary Award finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, Jenny’s writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, SLICE Magazine, Appalachia Journal, Hippocampus, Camas, Stonecoast Review, and the anthology Awake in the World, v. 2 (Riverfeet Press). Jenny is a contributor at Maine Magazine. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast, and has held artist residencies with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation and Feathered Ink in Maine, and Chulitna Lodge Research Institute in remote Alaska. An outdoor guide with ten years of experience, her writing carves out space for women in the wild, explores themes of risk-taking and transformation, and asks questions of the way we live and the way we die.
Jenny lives in Portland, Maine, where she teaches creative writing at The Telling Room, works for Stonecoast MFA on initiatives that empower writers to create positive change through the literary arts, and guides wilderness expeditions in the eastern U.S. and abroad.